©Scott Sheaffer, CDBC, CPDT-KA, USA Dog Behavior, LLC
Virtually every dog I see is not getting the respect it deserves from its owners. Let me explain why I feel this way.
If you’ve brought a new dog into your home recently, you know what a hassle it is to incorporate this new guy into your life. Your new dog doesn’t know how to use his crate; his housetraining is wobbly; he chews on things; he scatters his food when he eats; he barks in the middle of the night; he jumps on Aunt Mabel… You get the idea.
He knows that even though your hairbrush looks like one of his toys…it isn’t.
But how about the dog you’ve had in your home for a few years? He knows all the rules – your rules. He should. You’ve spent years unknowingly teaching him the almost endless number of rules for living with you – and you didn’t even realize he was paying such close attention.
- He knows to never beg for food when you’re watching TV and snacking.
- He knows to never jump up on the bed until you signal that you’re awake and ready to interact with him.
- He knows to eliminate near the Cypress tree in your back lawn and not by the back door.
- He knows to stand still when you give him his weekly bath and brushing.
- He knows when you go by that certain closet that you’ll be getting a leash and it’s time for a walk.
- He knows Uncle Fred is your favorite uncle and he likes him too.
- He knows to never stick his head into trashcans to explore their content.
- He knows to never bother the cat.
- He knows that even though your hairbrush looks like one of his toys…it isn’t.
- He knows he can follow you anywhere, except into the bathroom.
- He knows he can only get on the sofa when you extend an invitation.
- He knows to sleep in his bed at night and not bother you in yours.
- He knows that while the garbage disposal sounds scary, he can safely ignore it.
And he knows 87 more rules for living with you that you’ve never thought about and take for granted. Appreciate your dog for all the things he’s learned that make living with him so easy and enjoyable. So easy in fact, that you don’t even have to think about it.
Oh, and there’s one other thing he knows.
He knows he loves you and he really hopes you know that too.