is my favorite holiday, a time to reflect on all good
the world of dog training, it can be a challenge to keep
a positive perspective. We work with dogs that have poor
temperaments, dogs that are neglected by their owners,
dogs that are afraid of their owners and dogs that have
been trained harshly. We see lots of behaviors and
undesirable habits that could have been avoided with
proper care and training, before becoming a problem.
can be difficult to convince dog owners that routine
correcting and punishing of their dog is not only an
unnecessary training practice, but it also jeopardizes
the human/animal bond.
there are lots of good things to reflect on as well. For
example, the Swedish Kennel Clubís new training policy
regarding the relationship between humans and dogs has
been modified and confirmed by its board of directors.
Sweden and other Scandinavian countries lead the world
in many aspects of humane animal care. Among other
things, it states that "Ö the relationship with
our dogs should be based upon confidence and trust
between dog and owner. For SKK, it is clear that all dog
training and activities with dogs shall be based upon
positive methods." Hooray for Sweden!
to home, it warms my heart to see the tireless efforts
of so many aiding the homeless dogs in desperate need of
care, attention and a permanent home of their own. Just
recently I worked with a couple who had pulled a dog off
the streets, nearly hairless due to a horrendous flea
allergy. Although this dog and their own dog didnít
get along well, these people have gotten the stray dog
the medical care she needed, had her spayed, and are
fostering her until a suitable home can be found.
course it would have been easier to just ignore the dog
and keep on driving, but that dogís life will be
forever changed for the better due to their spirit and
generous heart. Thankfully, this story isnít an
exception; many of our friends and neighbors are
stepping up when the situation presents itself, and
helping out when and where they can.
we work with people who are resistant to our program of
positive, force-free training classes, we get to enjoy
just as many people who jump in with both feet, eager to
learn a new way to work with their dog, and reap the
benefits as a result. As an instructor, itís
heartwarming to watch the relationship evolve between
dog and owner from being frustrated with one another, to
one of mutual respect and admiration, while gaining the
skills needed to turn the hooligan dog into a well
behaved family companion.
I am so grateful for my own dogs. Although my longhaired
dachshund, "Curtis," has become an outstanding
and beautiful show dog, his most precious talent is
snuggling with me in the evenings. My Belgian tervuren,
"Tait," is getting older, but remains healthy
and active. My rescue dogs round out our little family
and are proof that all dogs, regardless of breed or
background, can truly enhance our lives, and for that, I