Saturday, December 24, 2011

There is NO perfect dog! Or is there?

There are many different ways to view your dog, and these views will shape how you train and interact with your dog. I often say that there are 2 general beliefs for most dog owners: either "no dog is perfect," or "every dog is perfect!" In reality, this is truly a matter of perspective. What is the perfect dog? EVERYONE will have a different opinion, which leads me to my conclusion; either no dog is perfect, or every dog is. Understanding what a dog was originally bred for often helps with this. I have 2 dachshunds, and I deal with many reactive dachshunds. Now, dachshunds were originally bred for hunting badgers, and therefore are supposed to be tenacious, fierce, and never back down! This often leads to a dog who will react to anything that they don't understand because that is natural for them. Think of it this way: if a dachshund does an Earth Dog trial, which means that they have to go into a tunnel underground and find the prey (usually a rat in a cage). A dachshund will fail the test if he backs away from the prey, or stops lunging, barking, etc. When we think about this, it makes sense that a dachshund's first reaction would be to react and go on the offensive. Other dogs are extremely excited, and owners ask me how to help their dogs mellow out. First and foremost, know your breeds, and what their instinct is! A dog who is bred to do a job that requires a lot of energy and drive needs a job to do, physically and mentally. Every dog is perfect for someone, which means that every dog is perfect!

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