Happy Eager Dog Training

I think everyone enjoys watching, living with, and training a happy, eager dog.

My viewpoint is that unless your dog is happy and eager following and obeying you, then something is wrong. Neither of you should just be a passive bystander. For your relationship to flourish, you need to put your love and effort into your interactions. I recommend your outlook should be to always work to make things better today and tomorrow.

Skye (the tan dog) does amazing off leash obedience. She’s loving her new sister, who we just started training.

There are two parts to having that happy, eager dog. Part one? The well-trained dog. Part two? The well-trained owner.

The well-trained dog is sweet natured, happy, playful, responsive, precise, and well mannered. Does that sound like a robot? A well-trained owner is gentle, affectionate, happy, authoritative, precise, and communicates well with their dog.

It starts with picking the right dog trainer. Some dog trainers enjoy being bullies to their students and dogs. I’ve seen a lot of that over the years. Sometimes it is utterly abusive. I made a personal decision many years ago to, as best as possible, avoid strife with others. I try to be kind, a good teacher, and patient. Yes, like everyone else, I can have a bad day. Anyone can. But I don’t live every day like it is a bad day. When people treat me or the dogs as worthless, in such an uncomfortable way that there is no way to ignore it, then then I get away from them. Generally these people combine two traits: they are very disagreeable, and they are neurotic. It is no fun to be around someone with a bad temper, where the blow ups are way out of proportion to whatever is going on. Angry trainers turn dogs into robots, not good training. Angry trainers ruin the training experience for dog owners, which in turn means the dog training won’t work out well for the dog. Neurotic trainers are often moody, sometimes greedy, anxious, or frustrated. They are just difficult people. The worst part is that they might start out as acting very friendly towards you and your dog. There are some great actors and actresses out there. It sometimes can take quite a while before little social infractions towards you or your dog start leaking out. For these actors, it either comes on very gradually until you realize how bad it has become, or one day they just blow up and betray your trust by blowing up on you or taking it out on your dog. This is part of the reason I don’t like board and train systems, since you can’t sometimes figure out what is happening to your dog while you are not around.

Next, consider this. Your dog trainer turns you into their clone. Do you really want their bad attitudes filtering through you into your dog? You must not become your dog’s tormentor. You don’t want to develop a bad temper towards your dog. It is also harmful to load your dog with every bad emotion you can muster. Happy eager dogs are not developed with this kind of treatment.

The other side of the coin are those people who don’t get any training from anyone and let their dogs become a nuisance to everyone. Happy and eager isn’t the same as turning your dog into an ill-mannered and rude pest. I’ve heard some people say they believe teaching good manners and obedience equates into turning a dog into a dull robot. That might be understandable if they’ve had a bad experience with an authoritarian dog trainer. But good trainers don’t ever take the spirit out of dogs. Annoying dogs eventually cause people to lash out and be rough on those dogs, either physically or emotionally.

As you might guess by now, getting a happy eager dog starts with the people, not the dog. Please take a look at what you are wanting from your dog. I think happy and eager is a good, achievable goal. The happy eager dog will give you the kinds of lifetime memories that will make you want another dog some day. Find that path.

Intro Video