Back in the day I can remember the first classes I took with Kota and Tasha. I didn’t know anything about dogs and dog training. I went to the popular place for training that advertised a lot. The first thing they did was fit Kota with a nylon choke collar. Oh how I wish there had been a better game in town!
I don’t think anyone can convince a newbie dog owner to do things differently with their dog than what they are. I don’t think you can convince JQ Public that spending the time and effort to learn how to train your dog and build that relationship is worth it. I think it’s all part of learning and figuring it out, but give them the tools to try and get them on a better path for their dog.
In class tonight with Vader, there are two Keeshonds and a poodle mix. The Keeshonds are show dogs but don’t know how to learn. So even though they have been with dog savvy people, those dog savvy people don’t know how to train beyond the conformation ring. There was a lot of leash pulling and excuses for their overweight dog not liking the carrots they brought. Oh and yeah they had dinner at 2 but they are surely hungry again now. SMH.
The Poodle mix was nervous about being where he was. Again, bred by the owner but hasn’t been taught much in his 9 months of life.
Both of these owners bred the dogs they had with them, so at least second generation dog owners, but still didn’t understand the basics of marking or shaping. It’s all kind of sad really and seeing this again made me NOT miss teaching. 😉
It’s very hard to get people to understand that they too can have the dog that heels nicely and sits on cue. That at 7 months can nose target, heel, front, finish, down, stand, turn, play dead, and learn a brand new behavior in minutes. But they have to want that and spend the time and effort.
Just some musings.