I Don’t Like My Dog Very Much – Phoenix Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
PHOENIX , AZ AREA: (602) 708-4531
OR, if you are out of this area, inquire about a telephone or e-Lesson
Have you come to the realization that you don’t like your dog? I understand. I’ve worked with many dog owners in the same spot.
I met with a student the other day. They called me because they said their 4 year old Pug was marking (urinating) all over the home. In fact, the dog had pee’d on the husband’s Apple computer. He said that they were fed up, that the dog would do this kind of thing if he was scolded or left alone, and they were ready to get rid of him if it couldn’t be fixed. When I met the owners, they were definitely angry with their dog. He would jump up on a chair, then up on the kitchen table to steal food. If they corrected him, they said he would go over and pee on a piece of furniture, a wall, or some object.
I spent about a half hour interviewing them about their dog. What I heard didn’t add up to what the dog was actually doing. I then told them I knew, without a doubt, what was going on and what should be done.
First off, Pugs are highly food motivated, and this dog was no exception. In addition, this couple had several small kids, so food was being left out for the dog to get into. It really wasn’t the dog’s fault. The temptation was too great. Yelling at the dog also wasn’t working, and it wasn’t going to work. Harsh punishments, electric collars, spanking, yelling and so forth CAN NOT teach food aversion. It doesn’t work that way. They were putting the dog in a situation where the food was too easy to get to, and the dog was doing what dogs do… eating the tasty and easily available scraps. It was a people problem, not a dog problem. And, after piecing together specific incidents of food stealing, the dog wasn’t peeing after being scolded.
Regarding the marking, I asked a ton of questions, and looked at all the marks. I observed the dog, examined the premises, and so forth. I then compared that to what I know about marking behavior. The diagnosis? The dog wasn’t house trained. It really wasn’t a marking problem, it was a dog that never was truly house trained. I’m an expert on house training. I worked with a man and his adult miniature Poodle the other day. We did my house training program, and within a week, the accidents had stopped. He texted me to say, “You are a game changer!” This Pug wasn’t house trained, and to make matters worse, the owners were misdiagnosing this as a challenge to their authority in the home, and punishing their dog. It was at the point where they didn’t like their dog any more.
So, we did a complete house training lesson. And I told them what to do about the food stealing, as well. Better yet… they understood WHY their dog was doing what he was doing. He wasn’t being properly supervised, and his peeing was THEIR FAULT not the dog’s fault.
Usually when people don’t like their dogs, it is because their dogs aren’t well trained. Once the dog is trained, then I get messages telling me how much they love their dog. And how much more affectionate their dog has become. What changes? The dog and owner are now not at odds any more, and they are also not irritating one another.
Occasionally, people don’t like their dogs because they want their dog to be something it can never be. People want friendly dogs to be guard dogs. People want shy dogs to be bold dogs. People want small dogs to be big, or big dogs to be small. Or they want the dog to make them look important, so they get a dog that they think will make them a “chick magnet”, or make them look tough, or stylish, or lucky, or whatever. No dog can make you into something that you aren’t. And you can’t make a dog into something that it isn’t. It is better to love a dog for what it is, and make the best of that dog. Leave the ego stuff at the door. No dog will make your life magically better. That really isn’t fair to the dog. Further, it is important to keep your dog healthy and well groomed. You’ll like your dog better if it isn’t looking like a dust mop.
Almost all dogs can be made to be awesome dogs. Have you really given your dog a chance to be awesome? I bet you haven’t. So, it is no wonder you don’t like your dog.