After some discussion at the Swamp yesterday, I thought it would be good to add some more points to my/our dog philosophy.

Our dogs are spoiled. As far as food goes they pretty much get what they want. They are all fork trained except Madison who refuses to eat off a fork. When we eat at the table they beg. We don’t care. We love our dogs and we indulge them. However, the dogs still know who is in control. Our dogs are so obedient when it comes to treats that we can give one dog a piece while everyone sits and waits. We say the name of the dog who is next and everyone pretty much sits and waits.*

Anybody who comes to our house can attest to the fact that after about 10 minutes pretty much all the dogs are laying down and behaving themselves. Some of the younger dogs, like Sawyer and Piper, remain a little excited. Even they settle down pretty quickly.

If there is any aggression between the dogs, even mild growling, we all pretty much yell in unison at the offenders. If the instigator can be identified someone is usually pretty much in their face letting them know that it is not ok. Everyone knows we mean business when this happens.

Handling your dog while eating is crucial if you need to get something they should not have you risk getting bitten if you try. One time, I had to dislodge a piece of wood from one of the dog’s mouths. Your dog should tolerate being touched all over otherwise you may put your vet or groomer at risk. If your dog does not like to be touched it is important to work towards being able to touch every part of your dog.

Everyone has their own personal dog philosophy. I am sure there are those who see our dogs and think they are completely spoiled. They are to a point. Our dogs will never win obedience contests although some have some pretty solid skills. We do not place a high value on the traditional meaning of obedience. Our dogs do what they are told when they are told. If we need them to be able to sit we teach it or anything else they need to know.

Our dogs are happy. They live well in a pack and pretty much get along with each other. They have solid leadership that never wavers because that is what they need to keep the pack harmonious. We could not imagine our life without dogs in it. Really they make life worth living for us.

*Zoe waits but doesn’t sit. She is 10 and had a rough life as a puppy mill dog so she does not have to sit.


2 thoughts on “Dog Dynamics 2

  1. Our dogs are only doing things we allow them to. Any “poor” or “bad” behaviour is the result of our leniency or, more likely, my “I-don’t-give-a-shit-as-long-as-they-know-they-are-loved” approach. Our dogs lived through horrors, and no, we can’t fix or change that with pure indulgence, but I can sure as hell try. That’s why I never cared when Kirby “took suggestions under advisement” instead of obeying commands immediately. This is the way we want our dogs to live, and we are quite aware that some people, usually people who have dogs who are trained to within an inch of their lives, look down their noses. Do I give a shit? Uh, no.

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