Nobody actually says to you how much work, time and effort you should put in, to have a happy, healthy and well-rounded dog. When it comes to training your dog there are no quick fixes.
Young dogs can sometimes be a frustrating experience whether you are a new dog owner or a seasoned dog owner. They are full of fun and sappy; would rather chase butterflies than go to the loo; they have a short attention span and no ears half of the time.
They can frustrate you, make you angry, make you sad, put a smile on your face, cheer you up when you’re down. They can invoke many emotions in you all in a day. And, this is not counting the times you might feel overwhelmed and ask yourself if you have done the right thing by adding a dog to your family.
Even experienced dog owners can feel overwhelmed. We are likely all guilty of this in comparing the dog or dogs that have come and gone in our lives to the one we have now. No two dogs are the same and if you have had a dog for many years it’s easy to forget what it was like when that dog was a young dog because memory fades and often we only remember the good stuff. Good stuff like how good he/she was to walk with, how helpful, how chilled out and the list goes on and on. It’s easy to forget the time that you spent training & hanging out with your dog, the downs and ups you had along the way, the frustration you feel sometimes because your dog was lagging all of them!
Here’s the thing: dogs are not humans and they think differently than we do. Don’t expect too much too; if you think that they should know what is expected from them, they don’t. You have to teach them and this can take time, devotion and a lot of patience.
Too often small steps are the way to go and without realising it is easy to set up your dog to fail. For example, when a teacher begins to go to you with your dog on a short lead and then asks your dog to sit, then moves one or two steps back and then asks your dog to come, more often than not the dog will come to you. For both you and your dog the end result is a genuine accomplishment.
Now repeat this: suppose you tell your dog to sit and move a couple of meters away, your dog begins walking toward you after a few seconds, so you go back and make him or her sit again and the same thing happens. You may do this 2 or 3 times but your dog isn’t able to sit for this long so that your dog fails what you asked of him/her.
How does it feel to you, angry, frustrated or are you ok with it because you realized, you were expecting too much from your dog?