When I add a dog to my life, I consider our relationship the beginning of a voyage. I look forward to creating a bond based on understanding and trust. There isn’t a timetable for these events to occur. The bond takes time to happen. My idea is to enjoy the journey.
In these days of cell phones, texting and reality TV, many of us expect instant gratification. In human and canine relationships, taking the time to establish communication is critical.
I like to prioritize the behaviors I want my dog to understand. This is the foundation for the future. If it takes a dog a day or month to learn his name, that’s ok. Eventually the dog will understand and will trust his name means good things.
Teaching your dog to come to you reliably takes practice. You can start the instant you meet your dog, but it will not be a learned skill for days, months or maybe years. That’s ok. Make the commitment to train your dog a few minutes each day. As the time goes on you will see an improvement in his recall. If you are cultivating trust and understanding, your dog will come to you.
In my case, I provide the fun and excitement in my dogs lives. I see the time we spend together as mutually rewarding. I take them on adventures every day. It might be a walk around the neighborhood or a cow pasture or park. It doesn’t matter where we go, it matters that we go together.
In the company of dogs I have seen Sandhill Cranes dance. I have seen coyotes, bobcats and alligators. I hear owls calling most mornings and opossums and armadillos almost every night. Our relationship is a two way street. I want to savor it.
I think many dog owners miss out on the real pleasure of having a dog. They want obedience, and they want it now. Scat mats to stay off the furniture or electronic collars to stop unwanted behavior. This may solve the humans’ issue, but at what expense to the dog? People profess love, but how do they show it?
There is no computer chip you can install for training a dog. No program, no texting or instant messaging. You have to make the time and take the time to teach your dog the skills he needs to enjoy daily life with you. That relationship is beyond beautiful and truly rewarding for you as well as your dog.