Most people think they are good to their dogs, treat them well. Yeah, I used to think that too. Until I realized some things:

– There were times that I physically forced my dog to do things she didn’t want to do.
– There were times I was angry when I interacted with my dog, which may have frightened her, which led to a refusal, which made me more angry, which frightened her more.
– There were times when I did what “experts” told me to do even though I didn’t feel right about it. That included hitting.
– There were times when I yelled at my dog in anger and knew that he was frightened and got defensive. That made me angrier.
– There were times that I regretted later what I did to my dog earlier. I got her to “obey” but what did I really accomplish?
– There were times that I did things I regretted because I couldn’t think of anything else to do.
– There were times I did things I regretted because I was embarrassed by my dog’s behavior.

From those realizations came the commitment to do better. My dog deserved better. He deserved my respect. I knew I could do better. But I needed more information so I would know the right things to do.

So began the sea change that would reshape my life. The information I needed was out there. I just had to find it. It’s been an unending learning curve. But what I have today is a great base of kind techniques that work beautifully. But I’m not satisfied, so I keep digging. I keep asking, is this the best I can do? I’m sure not. So I keep digging.

Have you felt this way — the regrets, the guilt? No one’s listening. Be honest.

Okay, now listen up. You can change. You know you should. That’s why you don’t tell anyone what you’ve done.

You can. Your dog deserves it. So do you. You will hold your head higher, walk taller. And your dog will blossom. I have seen it over and over again, in my own dog and hundreds if others.

Do what I did. OWN IT. Then commit to changing it. You don’t have to make it your profession to make a huge improvement.

Want help? There are tons of stuff out there. Look at my sites, cp-hipdogs.com and trainedwithkindness.com. Use the Resources I’ve listed to bounce to other sites. Watch, listen, read. Ask tons of questions. Insist the experts, including me, explain themselves. Why are they doing what they’re doing? I can explain, in excruciating detail, why I do all the things I do. I do not accept the norm, and neither should you.

And please, please stop listening to your neighbors, your relatives, your local dog whisperers. Most of them are working off old, out-of-date information, heresay and anecdotes. Teaching dogs how to live in our world is a profession, not a hobby. Please give us our due. Most of us work very hard to give you and your dog the best service we can.

To sum it up, DO NOT SETTLE. “It’s good enough” IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I always want to say, “I’ve done everything I could.”

I don’t want any regrets.

Do you?

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