Your Dog Wants YOU
cute border collie dog portrait in studio
I have recently seen a rash of this kind of “human” behavior and so I thought I would address it.
I think the same behavior crosses over into our human child world as well.
People think if they buy their dogs everything, their dog will be happy.
It may work better for your child than it does for your dog.
Your Dog Wants YOU!!!!
I do this dog training thing all the time.
I eat, sleep, breathe dog training and doggy time.
I understand that, for the most part, I am the anomaly, but so many people come to me and tell me or show me all the things that they get for their dog.
They buy the most expensive dog food fad.
- First it was high protein.
- Then it was no preservatives.
- Then the BARF diet took hold.
- Now it is an odd combination of all of the above.
Did you know there is a brand of dog food that is $159(ish) bag of dog food on the market and it is not even a prescription dog food?
That is dry dog food… which is apparently fit for human consumption so if you too, want to share the food with your dog, I suppose you could, but I am pretty sure there are starving people in other countries who would be happy to eat any food… cheap dog food included.
I really can’t imagine that.
I used to get rump hurt when I had to pay $50 for prescription food.
My dogs don’t need to eat Bison or Goat.
And, quite frankly, although it may kill me; I eat food with preservatives. I’m sure I should eat all natural, but I don’t have the money or the time.
I am a firm believer in good quality dog food, but $5 a pound for dog food seems a little high.
AND, I HAVE CLIENTS WHO FEED THAT!
To each his own, honestly if it is safe nutrient wise and made specifically for your dog then you can feed whatever you like. Your vet is the best person to help you find the right food for your dog.
But expensive food, does not impress your dog.
You can tell him how you can’t pay the electric bill or buy new shoes because he needed food but he won’t really care.
If he has a full belly and he is healthy, and you spend time with him that is all he really cares about.
That is the nice thing about a dog.
He doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, he loves you no matter what (sometimes unlike a spoiled child)!
- Buying him expensive food
- Buying him expensive toys
- Buying him expensive treats
I have to tell you, it doesn’t make a difference to him.
He would be happy with a full tummy and old water bottle to fling (not for dogs that chew!) an old tennis ball found in the bushes.
And, of course YOUR TIME
People spend all this ridiculous money and shower their dogs with everything and can’t figure out why their dogs still have behavior problems.
They have the best food, the best toys, the fanciest collar, the softest bed (that they keep shredding).
It reminds me of spoiling your children in the same way when you feel guilty that you don’t spend enough time with them.
Except kids value “THINGS” more than a dog.
If I threatened to take a cell phone, TV or computer away from an addicted child; I could probably get some good behavior.
Your Dog Doesn’t Care About “Things”
Sure, I buy my dogs toys.
And quality food
And I make their treats (although I buy some on occasion)
But they are just as happy to fling a sock through the air as they are to fling their Kong Wubba ©
What Do Dogs Need?
Dogs are simple.
Dogs are loving.
- Dogs require time.
- Dogs require attention.
- They require love and affection.
- They require training.
- And, of course food, water, veterinary care and shelter
- Did I mention TIME?
Now don’t go totally overboard and spoil your dog and spend every waking moment with him…that is also a recipe for disaster.
Moderation in all things.
Dogs need to be independent and WORK for you!
Dogs like work and training!
Remember (for those of you that are old enough) when dinner time was family time and people met around the dinner table to talk and spend time together. Or we had family game night.
Your dog would like to spend his time working and playing for his food instead of eating alone out of a sterile boring bowl.
Trust me, working and spending time with you is what he wants.
Well trained dogs rarely end up at the shelter…
All Relationships Take TIME
I use that line all the time.
All good relationships take time and effort.
Especially in the beginning, you can’t have a relationship without some time and sacrifice.
If your new friend calls you, or texts you and you never respond; you won’t have a friend for long.
Like Any Relationship
Like any good relationship, it takes more time in the beginning.
You must spend time exercising and teaching your dog what you want.
Sure as he gets more established and older you don’t NEED to spend as much time with him.
But, don’t you want to?
Some of my happiest moments are spent with my critters.
20 minutes here, 5 minutes there, a few hours for hiking on occasion and other outdoor activities all make a big difference!
If I was too busy buying them things to spend time with them, I would miss out on those moments that I so cherish.
Quite frankly, I personally would rather live meagerly and spend time with those I love, than live in a multimillion dollar house but have no time and no loving relationships.
Choose your priorities, but understand that you make time for the things you love!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.