The Perfect Dog

Do You Own the Perfect Dog?

Flipping through the channels, admittedly way too late at night, or in this case too early in the morning I came across someone promoting the “perfect” dog.  What is the perfect dog, exactly?  In my opinion it would be a dog that vacuumed its own dog fur, did the dishes, the laundry, answered the phone when those annoying telemarketers called and earned an extra paycheck; not a dog that chews furniture, breaks windows, eats poop, or occasionally tries to mount the cat!

Really, what is the perfect dog?  A dog that I find perfect, most likely will not be perfect for the person sitting next to me at the gym or directly across from me in the produce aisle.  I don’t want a robot dog, I want a dog that thinks and is active but my sister likes a calm dog that spends a lot of time sleeping.

Is there really such a mythological creature?  I mean, how many of us have had “The Perfect Dog”, one that has not suffered from any of the afore mentioned challenges or any other petty annoyances?

I think when we dream of “The Perfect Dog” we insult the relationship that we share with that animal and with any of the animals of our past and our future.  Who in fact has the “Perfect Spouse” or the “Perfect Children” who make no blunders no oversights in their daily doings?

I know there is no such thing as “Perfect” not from the humans and certainly not from our furry friends.  Why must we impose such a dispassionate trait on our dogs?  I have seen this time and time again when working with people and their dogs and the misconceptions that they have regarding the often misunderstood relationship they are currently enduring with their pet.

Why Do We Fall for It?

Unfair Comparisons

Do You Own a Devil Dog?


Most often I have seen it with people who mistakenly think they have indeed lived with the perfect dog.  Frequently these people were children when they shared their lives with this perfect dog, and now they are adults, dealing with the adult dilemmas we all face with animals ownership.  Children don’t deal with the inconveniences of pets they only share in the fantasies and joys of having a pet and sharing misdeeds and fun together.

The story holds true for us adults who have shared our lives with an extra special dog.  We often forget what life was like with that dog when he was a puppy.  We relish the nature of our old dogs that have no interest in conflict or the exhilaration that comes with it.  They are happy to nap their days away and have learned to embrace their status quo lifestyle.

Some people even compare their dog to their neighbor’s dog, or their dog trainer’s dog.  This is simply unfair and unrealistic, unless you live with an animal you don’t deal with the knowledge and inner workings of that bond.

I know that people often see my dog Snitch as perfect because he obey commands rapidly, has a plethora of blue ribbons and obedience titles and is a wonderful ambassador of how dogs should behave, but, what they didn’t see and what I hate to admit is the abundant sofas he consumed when he was a puppy and suffering from separation anxiety.  Or the day he had a setback in his separation anxiety training, and I came home to him doing the “river dance” in my water bed shredding the mattress and biting the waves that flowed over the frame and onto the ruined carpet and flooring underneath.  Certainly, these behaviors would have landed him in an animal shelter, or attached to a chain if he had been unlucky and lived with someone else!

Unrealistic Expectations

The other reason people fail in their relationships with their dogs is that they have unrealistic expectations and/or do not want to put forth the effort it takes to teach the dog correct responses.

People want a dog that will leave the Thanksgiving turkey alone even if it is set on the floor and left for hours at a time.  They want a dog that doesn’t jump when it is inconvenient, or bark when they seek quiet.  They want dogs that renounce their annoying instincts and live as a human would without exerting any effort to attain the behaviors.

This is unrealistic!  There is no magic wand that will fix behavior problems.  Alleviating problem behaviors takes oodles of time and patience.  Almost any behavior can be taught, but it takes time, commitment and kindness!

What Do We Do?

Come up with a goal and traits that are important to you to work towards and then come up with and instill a plan of action.  Without showing your dog the way and working together how are you ever going to attain the goals you have in mind?

  • Come up with a list of traits that will make your dog the “Perfect Dog” for you
  • Instill a plan of action how you will achieve these goals
  • Understand that there will be gains and losses as you race toward your goals
  • Change takes time!  Snitch’s separation anxiety took years of diligent work.
  • In times of stress, dogs revert back to what they know best…which is often the naughty behavior know this and plan for it.
  • You may have months or even years of success and then see problems arise again, this is normal, go back to your action plan.
  • Celebrate little accomplishments and changes
  • Embrace your dog for who he is not who he is not!

NO DOG IS PERFECT!  They are all individuals and they make mistakes like we do.  I could go on and on about the dogs I own now and those of the past trying to convince you how perfect they were, but then admitting to owning dogs that have broken out windows, eaten batteries, and shredded seat belts!  The good news is that when they had reached a ripe old age and were seasoned with the salt of time on their muzzles, all their transgressions had been forgotten and they too were elevated to the status of “Perfect” in my mind’s computer.

Each dog is different, and it is sad to compare one to another or to have unrealistic expectations.  I am not saying not to worship the special relationships of the dogs you have and those you have had, I am only asking you as you compare your current dog with those of the past, do your best to remember the grueling struggles and know that unrealistic comparisons don’t facilitate a resolution in your current relationship!

Do the work in your current relationship; spend time together playing and training and getting to know and love one another and soon you will be revering your current bond and finding it difficult to remember your struggles!

What behavior do you need to work on to make your dog the perfect dog for you?  Leave your comments and questions and I will do my best to gear my articles to you and help you find the way!

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Comments

  1. Carol says:

    Our golden retriever (15 months) is really good about letting us know when he wants to go outside, but when he barks to come back in he will just stand outside, look around to see if anyone is in the neighborhood, then ignores the open door. We have tried to coax him inside but it usually doesn’t work. If we close the door, he barks again. Any ideas?

    [Reply]

    K Geis Reply:

    OMG my dog Rupard does the same thing!! He is a 10 month old Standard Poodle. He barks his head off outside and it has been very frustrating. A couple of months ago he began to just just look at us when we opened the door to let him in. We had a real setback in recall training when my husband started to discipline the dog for not coming in when he was called. So essentially when the dog finally came into the house…….. my husband would yell at him and make him feel as though he had done wrong.

    Well you can see where I’m going with this!! Things got way worse!! To boot, we live in Canada and I don’t always feel like going outside when it is -45 degrees to chase my dog inside.

    What we have been doing is a mix of treat lures and praise when he comes. We have to stand at the door and make fools of ourselves trying to sound very excited, slapping our knees calling the dog every time we call him in….. but it is working.

    Personally I think most importantly the dog should never get away with disobeying a command. When Rupard doesn’t come, although it takes an extreme amount of patience, I persist until I get what I am asking for!! Then he gets praised for it no matter how long it takes. I figure if I let him pick and choose what commands to follow, I’m never going to get anywhere!

    [Reply]

    chris Reply:

    my wife and I manage a mobile home park and we as the residents where not allowed to walk your dog with out a leash, i found my self begging my dog to come home at night when off the leash and of course this was one of the park rules we broke, but the problem was we wanted her to come in fast so no one complained we had our dog off the leash, so what we started doing was using the clicker to convert her to dog whistle to get a fast excited response. This is how we made the transistion and it only took 20 mins to teach her. I sat in the house and like we did at a very young age started clicking and giving a treat to make the bridge correct., we did the same thing for a 10 min period which she knew well, I began to click then treat her and back to back we blow the whistle and use warm bits of steak which we made a big deal out of and she made the bridge from boring treat to big greasy steak treat with the whistle., so we click / treat (bridge it with a whistle blown and then steak) she made the connection in 10 to 20 minutes, the real test was taking outside late at night like I said, and began to see if the whistle alone worked “it worked great” the real test was letting her get out in the field about a 1/4 mile.. I would blow the whistle “ready with steak” and boom she came peeling back as fast as a boston terrier can run. Ok, another test after a couple days was to wait a week and out of the blue I went out let get way out there and blew the whistle, wow, she came peeling back Like I seen the first couple days. I now only grab the whistle when she won’t come. it works. try it. I can now just whistle with my mouth and it still works great. I don’t use it all the time and I don’t alwasys give her the treat, just so it is clear once they get it the treat is not always needed, just aloving pet. she knows now it is a good way to get meat. LOL

    chris
    hope it helps.

    [Reply]

    Dog Training Burnley Reply:

    I agree there is no such thing as a perfecy or a bad dog, all dogs are works in progress. great article!!

    [Reply]

  2. Davette says:

    Help my dog understand the bell is for potty outdoors not only for attention.

    [Reply]

  3. Donna Maehre says:

    My one yr old labradoodle would make a great therapy dog, I believe, some day. He loves people, but acts like an idiot when he meets them. Also, He has been attacked by a pitbull, is more aggressive and pulls when I meet other dogs while walking.

    [Reply]

  4. Paula says:

    I have a 16 month old great dane. He has a terrible habit of whining all the time. He has done this since I had him. My main problem is, is that if there really was something wrong with him, I would not know,as he whines constantly, for no reason?

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    I had a doberman years ago that did the same thing. He would whine all the time, even when I was paying attention to him.
    Unfortunitely he ended up having lymphoma and I had to have him put down. So I would not totally ignore this problem, especially if it is accompanied by panting or pacing. My vet told me that pacing, panting and whining are signs that something hurts or something going on with the dog.
    Also excessive licking or chewing on himself usually means something is hurting or bothering him. So if you see some of these other signs along with the whining I would have him checked out.

    [Reply]

  5. Carmen Nelson says:

    House Training on paper and biting. Puppy is new to our home, 12 weeks old and very energetic almost hyper.

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    House training on paper, or trying to, but she; a Cavapoo ( mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Toy Poodle) INSISTS on chewing, ripping up the potty pads and peeing on the carpet!!!
    She also like to bite on us, my husband and I. Hands, toes, hair, even my head!!!!! H-E-L-P She will be 4 months old the 1st part of Feb 2011. We got her Dec. 7 2010.

    [Reply]

  6. Robert Greenawalt says:

    I would like to get my dog (6month old golden retriever) to stop jumping up on people. (and biting at them)

    [Reply]

  7. Steve Young says:

    I have a seven month old Doberman. He is usually very well behaved when we are home. When we go into the yard he often disregards any command I give (especially the come command). If I take him to the park I can totally forget getting him to come to me and I often spend 20min or more trying to catch him so we can go home. But as soon as we are home he will again respond to commands again even the come from just about anywhere in the house. Any kind of advise on how to transfer his in house obedience to in the outside world would be very helpful I am sure.

    Thanks in advance,
    Steve.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need to work on obedience OUTSIDE the house and you need to be in control, so nothing off leash. Teach him how to respond around distractions and control his environment, once he is listening to you 95% of the time on leash you can consider going off leash and working on obedience.

    [Reply]

    chris Reply:

    check out what i said about converting your dog over to the dog whistle which cuts through all the distractions outside. it worked for me and worked well. I did not find it in a book, I just put it together and used what Chet has taught us about making a bridge and it worked. my friends can all have there dog out side and all playing and my dog will drop everything and run home fast, and I mean fast as possible. she doesn’t always get the steak or sometimes liver treats. chix liver home made. it works good. so look up above from my other response. good luck and like to her if it works.

    chris

    [Reply]

  8. carole barnett says:

    I have a lovely Bichon/maltese who is adorable. But he is constantly barking! He barks at the television if he sees anything that resembles an animal (not just dogs)This is becoming a real problem as its fairly constant.

    [Reply]

    Eileen Reply:

    I’m glad to hear that there is another dog out there that watches TV. My 4 yr. old Westie has intently watched TV since
    she was about 6 mo. old. It is usually animals that get her into
    a frenzy, but it can also be cartoon characters or someone or
    something moving quickly across the screen. When I thinks she’s asleep, she’ll have one eye open looking at TV and runs up to
    it in a flash when there is a commercial jingle she recognizes because she knows what cat,dog, or ghecko will be coming on. My husband and I at first put her in another room in the evening when we watched TV, but then we were all lonely. So that didn’t last long. We had to resort to buying a bark collar and putting it on her only when the TV is on. It might sound mean, but it is a gradual shock. I think she gets one free bark. It would only get bad if she got into a total freakout with her barking, which has never happened. She has learned that she cannot bark when it’s on. She may run up to the TV, jump up and let out a little whine, but no bark. Now we can watch TV in peace!

    [Reply]

  9. Ryal says:

    I have 2 small dogs – a 9 yr. old Maltese and a 2-year old Bichon. My husband is at home, and he is good about taking them for a car ride if he goes out. We try to walk them at night (not as often as I’d like). Overall, good, sweet dogs. The annoying behaviors: the Maltese barks at everything! The Bichon hardly ever barks. Other annoying behavior: jumping over anyone who comes to the door. Luckily they are small but no one likes paws all over them.
    Help!

    [Reply]

  10. Jeanie Smith says:

    I have the perfect dog (ha ha). Here’ my problem, she’s 1 1/2 years old and house broken except for an occasional poop. Help, I can’t catch her, so I don’t know what to do about it. Yes, she has the run of the house, actually she’s the queen of the house. She’s a longed haired Chihuahua/poodle and all of 9 lbs of unconditional love.

    Thanks for any help you can give us.

    [Reply]

  11. We have a 6 month old miniature daschund who chews our carpet edges to shreds. I thought if I gave him his own piece in his crate, he would learn to stop. However, every morning I find his personal rug edges chewed to shreds also. Help.

    [Reply]

  12. kathleen says:

    Hi,
    Barking is the only fault my Belgian Sheepdog has…….How do you stop the axniety that causes her to bark, have tried to eliminate whatever upsets her..

    [Reply]

  13. Mary Jane says:

    We have the perfect dog. He doesn’t sit, lie, stay, or heel on command. He doesn’t fetch our slippers or bring in our newspaper. When walking on leash, he’s like a balloon on a string on a windy day. We’ve never had a dog with so little training. But he comes running whenever we say his name. He greets everyone he sees like he’s meeting a long-lost friend. He cleans the floor whenever we drop food. He gets excited when asked to go to McDonald’s to get a McDouble. He sits on the patio with us and watches the golfers on the green. He brings his toys and plays tug with us when we are bored. He chases the cats through the house until they turn on him, then he runs like he’s being persued by the devil. He delights in being with us. At 9:30 he goes to his cage and closes his door, the end of a perfect day. Despite his lack of training, he pleases us in every way and makes us happy. What more could you ask of a friend?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    absolutely nothing 🙂 you have found “your” perfect dog, and kudos to you!

    [Reply]

  14. joan bensley says:

    We have a almost 2 year old Australian Shepard and he is doing pretty good but we are having trouble keeping him from barking when someone comes to the door and racing up to them. I have trained him to go to his mat and stay but as soon as I release him he races up to the guests barking. We take him into pet stores, etc. and he is fine and pays little attention to people but at home it is a different story.

    thank you for your tips on training.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    read my latest blog for door barking and focus, make sure you get the focus!! Then, teach him to go back to his mat, be quiet and stay focused

    [Reply]

  15. Jan Goben says:

    I have a female Yorkshire Terrier that just turned a year old last week. When she was about 4 month old she started chewing things she shouldn’t. I got her chew toys, then she quit for a while. She startedchewing up my kitchen cabinets and my microwave stand on the bottom . She ruined the doors on my cabinet so I had them refinished. Every time she knows that I am not looking at her she goes back and tries again. She doesn’t try to chew anything else in the house, just those two things. I have tried different products that are supposed to keep animals away from places you don’t want thwem to go by and I have sprayed the cabinets with a prioduct called “YUCK” and “BITTER CHERRY. That does no good, she just goes back and tries to chew more.y vet said he was surprised that e hasn’t had to do surgery on her to remove wood and slivers from her tummy. I play with her and my little male Yorkie all the time, but she seems to have her mind made up to destroy my kitchen. Do you have any suggestionsa on how to stop her?

    [Reply]

  16. Diane Thomas says:

    I have a 14 month bull terrier puppy who overly excitable when she see other dogs. There is no dog aggression, however, some could take it that way as she bounces all over and cries when she sees other dogs. Her owner has done all of the things that I require from my owners. She has had a puppy class and is now enrolled in a clicker training class. The bad thing is that she is so intent on playing with the other dogs, that she tunes out the clicker and any verbal commands. Can you give me any other options for this dog? I am afraid that she will never settle down enough to be shown.
    Diane Thomas

    [Reply]

  17. lysa says:

    I have a 2 year old 110 lb boxer who I can’t walk. He just about pulls me off my feet (I’m 5’2 & weigh 120). I’ve walked him w my other boxer or alone it doesn’t matter. I can’t get him focused and if he gets out of his collar or harness he runs after cars. He’s a big goof. We have a big backyard and he plays well w our other 4 yr old abused boxer and does fine at the dog park. Help. My 2nd boxer walks beautifully on a leash but if puck is getting attention will push his way in to get atention, is getting better w training, but also gets extremely focused on other dogs and has gone after another dog at the dog park when that dog was going after puck. He’s great w people! He was tied up to a pole on a concrete slab and muzzled prior to coming to us in july. I work w them everyday w the sits and stays and they respond well w treats but not outside of the house. Advise?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    read back through the articles and search for loose leash walking 🙂

    [Reply]

  18. Gail says:

    My 2 year old mail happily chews rawhide bones when I’m home…when I go to work, I come home to wood furniture chewed up, oriental rug with a baseball-size hole in it, etc. He has chew toys at his disposal (only a couple at a time) but doesn’t seem to be interested. He also has a companion, an older female dog that has no chewing issues.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    crate training! Crate training will keep him and your things safe!

    [Reply]

    Gail Reply:

    I can’t do crate training because I’m gone 10-12 hrs on the days I work and that’s too long according to experts I’ve asked.

    [Reply]

    chris Reply:

    same here, can’t leave my dog in a creat that long. So what me and my wife did was child proof the kitchen dining area., trash, paper etc., and closed all the bdroom doors, pantry laundry area closed and added a child gate to living room area. When leaving we tell her we were coming home in a minute and we want a good dog, at first if we leave the trash we see it every where but after a 3 years of sonsistent correction on trash when we forgot to remove it and treats when we come home when she was good we now can leave the living room open , trash on floor and even food on the counter “{which she can jump onto”} and she will not mess up, it took time and patience to get that obedience but we will let her know were leaving the living room open and she is a great dog and very obedient. she has plenty of toys in living room and she knows it is a treat to have the living room to hang out in. she is allowed to set in her chair or litttle dog bed. so far past couple months she’s done great a couple times a week , but she still is mostly limited to kit/dining area only. We use it as a treat to have the living room. hope you can get something out of my type of click training.

    Chris
    good luck in this training it works. be consistent all the time. it works.

  19. Nancy Isaac says:

    HELP
    My l l/1 yr old Westie is driving us crazy due to intemittently licking his front paws. We have changed his dry dog food, been careful with treats, had him to the vet who prescribed Benadryl (which he cannot tolerate). Nothing is working. He seems to be frustrated about something when this licking occurs. He acts hyper, agitated but it is a mystery. It is obvious he must be frightened (of what?), hyper (why?) or something medically is going on. He is otherwise okay except for being stubborn, spoiled, and impossible to figure out. HELP….. BTW, when he was a pup, his father got into the area where the two pups (one was Bennie my dog and the other his sister) and killed the sister and “nicked” Bennie but the breeder had her vet check Bennie thoroughly and assured us he was not injured other than a nick. We love this dog, but how can he be so loving at times and out of clear blue, start licking his paws, then may go onto licking a brick wall or something else. We are becoming obsessive over this problem. Thanks so much if you can help us in any way.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Westies are KNOWN for having allergies!! Allergies often show up in between the toes, under arm pits and on the belly, and paw licking and sucking is often a symptom, however the licking leads to more problems and infection. There are many medications and shampoos that can help alleviate the itching, but your vet will have to determine the cause of the infection. Tell your vet the benadryl is not working or seek a second opinion. There are veterinary dermatologists that deal with skin infections all day long and can help you with your dog, seek one of them out or a referral or call the nearest veterinary university. Good luck!

    [Reply]

    JUDITH GIORCHINO Reply:

    I have a Russel Terrier, he used to chew his toes all the time and the Vet found out that he has a thyroid problem and put my dog on daily medication. He was also gaining a lot of weight. But his problems licking his toes did not stop. He also used to get very painfully red under his arms. I found out that he was allergic to flour. If he has a bite of bread only as big as a fingernail he breaks out with this terrible dry red painful problem skin and chews his toes again. There is not much dog food that does not have flour as the main item. That kind of dog food,including snacks are also more expensive. I don’t know if my dogs problems can help you, but I hope so. By the way, I don’t buy a lot of Dog food anymore, I buy chicken legs, when they are on sale and cock them, grind up the meat in a blender, boil the bones and skin well. Pour the broth through a strainer and cool it. The fat will sit on top when it is cold and can be taken off. Than I mix the ground chicken meat with some garlic and the both. The garlic is for the occasional flee, because they don’t like it. The mixture is put into small plastic containers and frozen. I also add some broccoli, carrots and rice to the chicken mixture what ever I have handy when I defrost a container. At dinner time my little friends get the chicken stuff put on top of their dry food and they vacuum it up very fast. Good Luck. J.G.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    be cautious with the garlic and the broccoli both can have negative affects with dogs, however I am glad you found a solution, allergies can be terrible for the human and the dog

  20. Mayra says:

    I am having trouble with my female 3 yr old Dalmatian who continually growls at my fiance. I know that she is a fearful dog but we have been living together now for 1 yr. He is very tall 6’4 and has little patience with her. What can we do to prevent her from growling and agitating him. I’ve told him he also has to do his part and be patient and try not to make her feel confronted or cornered.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He really needs to get involved and be the “fun” parent, he should feed her and take her for fun activities where they can bond. Your comment about him having little patience is the most meaningful to me about the situation. Confronting her or cornering her will only lead to worse potentially dangerous situations. She needs to learn to trust him and he needs to learn to enjoy her. Have him teach her a simple hands off trick or take a fun class with her.

    [Reply]

  21. Elaine says:

    My dog thinks that one version of play is to bite our hands. She jumps all around when we say, “no.” I have tried holding her mouth shut while I say, “no.” No luck except to get up and leave the room, and sometimes this is not convenient. She gets very playful like this at bedtime — just like children. She is 6 months old.

    [Reply]

    chris Reply:

    I would spray my hand with apple bitter and start playing with her as she attempted to bite hand playing which would leave open little nicks on both hands for a weeek. it worked she doesn’t really want to bite my hands unless I encourage to play rough which I am trying to get out of the habit of not doing. I’m training myself to be consistent. LOL

    chris

    [Reply]

  22. karen holman says:

    I have a one year old SHELTIE and live a;one in a condo unit.BUDDY can’t go outside unless he’s in a leach.he barks so bad at the blackbirds and school bus.I have tried many things to stop his barking and right now am using ahock collar on him against my better judgment. I can accept him going out only on the leash(but would be nice if he could go outside to potty and return when I call him} but the barking almost has to stop. any suggestions?

    [Reply]

  23. Terri says:

    My dog howls/barks at people when they come over. She doesn’t back away from them, she stands within a foot of them and howls. She backs up slightly if they try to pet her, then she gets closer and howls at them again. It is more of a loud high pitched “RooRooRoo” bark that is then drawn out into a howl.
    She is a 3 year old, Female Spayed, 20 pound mixed breed with genetic testing suggesting beagle (behaviors of hers would verify that as well), cocker spaniel, border collie (behaviors verify that as well), and Rottweiler.
    Her background is an approximately 8 week old stray puppy that was brought to a Veterinary Clinic where she lived for a month in a cage. When they realized they didn’t have time to find a home for her they gave her to a rescue group where she spent another month in a cage. We adopted her at 16 weeks.
    If she is put in her kennel in another room so that we can have conversations with visitors, she continues to howl until they leave, but we can enjoy their visit. (If she is put in her kennel with no one visiting she does not howl.) She never howls at any other time, only during visits.
    My teenagers have a few friends that come over weekly, and she is left out with them but she will run to within a foot of them, lift her head to look at them, and howl and bark and howl. If they try to pet her she runs away. Because she knows them she also sometimes comes right up to them and wants them to pet her, lift her onto their laps and etc, yet several minutes after she jumps down she starts howling again. It goes back and forth like this the entire visit.
    She is too loud and annoying for anyone to enjoy another persons visit during these times, although the teenagers don’t seem to mind much. It is very embarrassing how obnoxious she is.
    She was clicker trained for obedience school at 6 months old and won two awards. She picked up every behavior within one or two attempts to show her how to do it. (That’s her border collie background.) She is obviously smart and trainable but we don’t know what to do about this very annoying habit.

    [Reply]

  24. Becky says:

    My puppy still jumps on me ~ still is not completely potty trained.

    I would prefer a DVD that I could watch in action how you train and not so many lengthy discriptions.

    [Reply]

  25. Larry says:

    My dog has a nasty habit of picking up anything that resembles food, chewing and eating it if it is(was)food item. Even with the E-collar on, he will endure the signal and wolf down things he finds on our walks. Will he ever get tired of this, and ever be satisfied with the food I feed him?

    [Reply]

  26. Goes crazy when someone comes, if ignored usually settles, Cooper is a year old, sizu and bashon, sometime does his big job on my green shag rug.

    [Reply]

  27. What a great commentary, sounds like all the dogs I have had! the bad memories fade into the background as we grow closer to our dogs and know what to expect of them.
    My husband was so upset yesterday when he saw a chunk chewed off the bottom of our very expensive teak china cabinet that we have had for over 40 years! We recently rescued 2 hound puppies who were abandoned and were living in filth outside in a pen, just being thrown food now and then! We have got the bathroom habits ‘almost’ under control and for the most part their behaviour is ‘good’, however we were shocked at the damage, as we had no idea they were chewing on the cabinet!
    Missy(named by the neighbor) is quite shy and wants so hard to please, so obeys readily, unfortunately Benji who was very ill when we got him, seems to be a little ‘hard headed’ and even though I have tried the methods in your course, he still will not “come” on command, do you have any suggestions—Angela.

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  28. BECKY says:

    I LOVE YOUR INFORMATION. IT REALY HELPS ME. BUT I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY DOG BARKING TOO MUCH, SQUIRRELS IN THE BACK YARD, ANY LITTLE NOISE AT NIGHT. I EVEN BOUGHT SHUTTERS FOR MY WINDOWS SO I CAN CLOSE THE LOWER HALF SO HE WON’T BE DISTRACTED BUT THAT DOESN’T HELP. I BOUGHT YOUR DISC,ITS HELPFUL BUT I NEED MORE IDEAS ABOUT BARKING. MY DOG IS PART POODLE, PART TERRIER. ONLY WEIGH 13LBS, BUT IS A LITTLE TERROR!!!!

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  29. charlene kirby says:

    hi,my lucky is a dob,shep,lab mix. he get so mean when i try to pet another dog he starts growling if im not paying 100% to him he starts showing his teeth to others. what shouls i do? i know noone is perfect people or dogs we all have bad behaviors.

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    Carol Reply:

    I used to have a small dog that would growl if I sat beside my husband on the sofa. If he tried to kiss me, the dog would jump up between us and snap at me. Any other time, the dog was so lovable to me or anyone else. With time, she stopped on her own. She and her sister also used to climb up into a small tree in the backyard and take a nap on a forked branch.

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    Pat Leete Reply:

    I have an 8 and a 9 year old mini schnauzers. when we walk in the neighborhood and meet another dog, both dogs start squealing and “yelling” at the other dog. I try to scoot them past quickly and positively reinforce with telling them “quiet-good quiet” Not real effective. What should I do?
    thanks

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    Marty Reply:

    sonny is a schnoodle and very smart, but if he gets out front yard he will not come back on command. he thinks we are playing , he will come so close then take off. i even tried the clicker. it works wwhen he is in the backyard . he will come into the house but still won;t let me pick him up. i even tried treats when he comes into the house with the clicker . help!!!!

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  30. Tamayra Smith says:

    My girl penny is a shep/lab mix also. she is the most loving dog you can imagine but goes crazy when people come over or when we are fixing to take her for a walk. Any suggestions!

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    Minette Reply:

    read my latest article about desensitizing to the doorbell and you may have to do the same thing when preparing for a walk, desensitize her by putting the leash on but not taking her for a walk so she never knows when the leash goes on if she will be going out, or staying in…this should help with the excitement level you are suffering from

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  31. janine says:

    Foster mom to nonprofit shelter have lots of dogs with there own problems. looking for help to make them better to get forever homes

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  32. Tewa Ackerman says:

    Hi
    This is not to so much about having teh perfect dog ,but my stuck point is
    AM I the perfect Owneerr for my dog …Is there such a thing as a Perfect owner
    i have 2 kelpies I am 70 .used to be fit …workinn my way back there
    I can’t walk my own dogs at the moment
    The older boy is 10 and I manage him
    The younger is 11/2 ..she has an hours run with a young walker EVERY day
    I receive a lot of both valued feedback AND unvalued critisism
    Am I giving my dog enough ……..she is healthy well fed(raw diet and bones) happy and energetic
    Her satmina is low & i wonder if taht is because she isnt running enoughIF rehoming is the best thing for HER I will do taht with great sadness for me HELP

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    Minette Reply:

    It already sounds to me like you are providing your dogs with more than most people do! Each dog is individual and has different needs, even dogs of the same breed. Also physical exercise is not the only important factor, you can still teach her tricks and work on obedience to entertain her mind. Be glad she has a low stamina, that makes living with her easier.

    Don’t let others shame you or make you feel guilty. Do not worry unless her behaviors are becoming more than you can control. It sounds like you are doing a great job to me!

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  33. Jean says:

    Hi,
    I have a 9 month Portuguese Water Dog so I fully realize that we are talking about a young dog still. The behaviour I would like to work on the most is the chewing of everthing in sight and nothing I have tried (i.e., substituting something she can chew for the forbidden item) is stopping it or even making it a little bit better. Any suggestions?

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  34. Betsy Broadstreet says:

    I have a 3 year old Australian Shepherd mix. Oreo is definitely the alpa dog and thinks so much so that if anyone or any animal (esp. dogs) come into site, she begins barking and barking and barking. I know she is protecting what she thinks is “hers” but it gets annoying to the neighbors to hear her constant barking. I’ve tried “sushing” her and that works for a minute occasionally, but when I’m out of site she starts back up. Inside the house when the doorbell rings or if someone knocks, she starts barking and growling. If anyone does come in, she barks until they calm her down. I don’t mind because it’s a warning to us that someone is here. She is a very smart, happy, good girl and I just need to be trained on how to control her barking.Is there any help for me?! Thank you for your emails and videos, they help me immensely and are entertaining to boot!

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  35. Audbjorg Halldors says:

    Hi. I have a 2 year old “berger Catalan” (sheepdog) that we got from a shelter in Spain some 16 months ago. A wonderful dog all in all … but of course not perfect. He enjoys snatching the occasional pizza from the kitchen counter, prefers sleeping on sofas or beds when he has the chance, and tends to jump up when greeting some of our visitors etc. What I would, however, very much like to change in his behavior are two things: 1) he gets too excited when my five year old and her friends are running around the house/garden and tends runs after them barking (scaring the friends) … not in a mean way, though … but being a 27 kg dog … He can look scary to children and even adults. 2) and although generally very good on his leash, when being walked, he becomes a different and a difficult dog, pulling, complaining and barking if the kids or anyone belonging to our group walks/bikes to far ahead ahead. He has a very difficult time then staying by our side. What would be the best way for us to work on changing this behavior?

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  36. Katie says:

    Hi,
    I have 6, yes SIX wonderful dogs and each has his or her individual character. I just love them and except them as they are. We only do a little obedience when out and running, the most important thing is they come to me when I call them in case there is danger which they can’t perceive. When they come back to you it should always be a pleasant experience for the dogs, most important. I am glad I don’t have perfect dogs, life would be too boring, my dogs are all little devils and angels some times like me I suppose. It’s part of life. Never be hard on your dogs, just except. Bad behaviour is learned by spoiling, cruelty or other conditioning responses in the home. What is learned can be unlearned with patients and time and a lot of love.

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    Jim Reply:

    Hi Katie, I for one truly beleive in what you have say.

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  37. Kristina says:

    Our Dog is pretty perfect in every way but one(we know we are so lucky!! but this was also achieved through diligent training-she is a Jack Russell). What she does that we can’t seem to fix is, she barks at very slight sounds that she doesn’t like(someone closing a door in our building, another dog outside barking, someone coming up the stairs.) She doesn’t continue barking for long, it is usually like 2 or 3 times. It is very jarring though(think instant headache!!)! Especially when she is right next to you and it comes out of nowhere because many times we can barely even hear what she is barking at. This has been going on now for about 4 months and it seems to be increasing (she is now 1yr and 4 months). It seems to have started right around the time she became an adult. She is probably just being protective in her little doggie way but it can be super annoying. My husband works from home and this is very bad during his conference calls. We have tried introducing her to all kinds of sounds bytes(from the web) to familiarize and desensitize her to these sounds but it is really not working. When she barks, we tell her Quiet, then when she is quiet, we positively reinforce with a treat but this only works so so. I wish she could just learn which things are necessary to bark about and which aren’t. It would save a lot of headaches and botched conference calls! Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks

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  38. niamh gaffney says:

    Hi, I have a lovely miniature schnauzer female. She’s a great family pet but I reckon we’ve spoiled her so far. She is starting to cry a lot when we leave the house or even when we go to bed and it’s driving me nuts! Am sure she is disturbing my neighbours too she wails so loudly and that’s definitely not good.

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  39. Lois Hansen says:

    We are pretty much a Great Dane family (with a few exceptions over the years).
    And though Danes have unique-to-them personalities, there are major differences as in every breed.
    We lost our last Dane last Feb at 13 years. That’s a long time for a Dane and she was very healthy to the end.
    Star was a fawn and I definitely wanted a different color so as not to “replace” her.
    So we bought a Blue Great Dane, which is a color I’d never seen before.
    Sky is TOTALLY different than Star —- in every way possible. And that’s a good thing.
    What we want from a dog at this time in our lives is a lot different than what we wanted 13 years ago. The only problem is that it’s backwards. This one would have been better for a younger person — but with that said, she is keeping us young just the same.
    Thanks, Chet for all your guidance.
    Lois

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  40. Julie says:

    Hi All,
    Thanks for your incite. It always helps to be reminded that every dog is an individual just like us. I am currently fare from perfect so why should the dog be. I have a 1 and 1/2 year old mini aussi (Cricket). As you can image she has lots of energy. She is very quick to learn and enjoys the challenges. However, my biggest problem with her is the jumping up on people. That is really what is keeping her from being the perfect dog.
    Thanks,
    Julie and Cricket

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  41. Mrs Miles says:

    How can I stop my 9 week old pup from jumping up at me.
    Holding on to the bottom of my trousers and dressing gown

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  42. Jane Reid says:

    There is no perfect dog. JUST NEAR PERFECT. Our dog died last year and it just about took us with her. She was a therapy dog and was in a magazine and on a calender. Not the little angel we have now. She is hyper and wants attentiion 24/7. She is quick to learn and very obedient. She is just what we need in this point in time. Each dog is different. Celebrate that difference and do not expect each one to live up t the other’s standerds.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Absolutely! Sounds like my house! I love my naughty little puppy and the thought she requires! Kudos to you and sorry for your loss! I understand, having a therapy and service dog with cancer! They are family!

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    Elaine Cole Reply:

    Jane, when we lost one beloved Border collie we didn’t last longer than four months before we decided to get another. I have to say that the first 18 months with our new dog was HELL! But with perseverance, patience and stamina, we’re are now on the other side and our boy, now nearly 4, is a much calmer and totally lovable Border who is so much fun! He still has lots of issues but they’re controllable and as you so rightly say, celebrate the difference and don’t expect each one to live up to other’s standard (which I have to say I did for quite a long time)

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  43. Yamile says:

    I have a 6 year old german shepherd and a 4 year old bichon/maltese mix. They used to get along great, even slept on the same pillow, but suddenly all they do is fight. I’m afraid the shepherd will kill the little one, and don’t know what to do. I love them both. Is there any way there can be peace in my house again?

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  44. Thank you for this great information. I trie to use it for my next discussion. Last Weekend I had a simliar speak out with my friend but we don’t find a solution because we don’t had this informations. I’ve been following your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead ! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

    [Reply]

  45. Werbebaelle says:

    A perfect dog – the wish of every mailman. A perfect dog is in my opinion the right mixture of an “original behavior dog” and an “easy to handle dog”.

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  46. testowe says:

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    [Reply]

  47. Susan says:

    My 4 month old Shepoo,is eating her poop if I don’t catch her pottying right away.What can I do?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    At 4 months old I would make sure she is on a high quality puppy food and I would try to feed her more.

    After you have those conquered it is about being with them when they poop and picking it up ASAP.

    Some puppies learn to do this so that they can keep the whelping box or their crate or area clean when they are tiny….it can be difficult to break!

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  48. Vivian says:

    Minette,

    I just spent the last three hours or so reading through many of your articles and I wanted to tell you how grateful I am to you.

    I have learned good tips I’ll try to put in practice with my three dogs but, more importantly, your articles made me pay more attention to the good points in my dogs’ behaviors. The things I ended up taking for granted because that’s what they “should” do. If they sit, give the paw, lay down, come (almost always) when I call even if they’re barking at something, each one of these things is a behavior we accomplished together. If we did this, surely we can do more.

    Thank you so much!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I’m soooo glad 🙂 that warms my heart thank you very much, I am glad I could help

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