Photo Credit by: Matt Morris
When you got your dog, did you think about being in it for the long haul? After all, this pup will be with you for the next 10-12 years, and while the newness may wear off for you, it never does for your dog. You become their everything. Think about it. When you leave each day and go to work, your dog awaits your return. That is their whole existence. While you may be looking for companionship, they are looking to you for food, exercise, and leadership. You have many things on your mind, your dog only has one. You. So when you take on the responsibility of owning a dog, this is what you signed up for. Another living being is counting on you. Pretty daunting, isn’t it?
Now, there are certainly some dogs that settle in and are happy to just hang out on the couch during the day with no ill effects. But there are others that will need quite a bit more from you. Structure, boundaries, and routine. If you have one of these dogs, you are going to need to commit to the long haul if you want to live harmoniously with your pup. If you are just now coming to the realization, welcome! The beginning is hard, I’m not going to lie.
Ready to make a change? Start with the small things in the house. Wait for food. Wait to go out the door. Go for a daily walk, and make new rules! No more sniffing, pulling or marking. You decide when it’s time to do those things. You decide to turn right or left, and you decide the pace that you walk. This CAN be accomplished with a leadership mindset and the right knowledge and training tools. See “How to walk a dog with a prong collar” for instruction on how to begin. There is nothing more soothing to me than being in sync with my dog on a walk. It’s one of the highlights of my day and can be one of yours too.
Your dog is looking for you to be his leader. He needs you. Be there for the long haul. Put in the work.
It’s worth it!