By Scott Hunt
The Dog Grumbler
“ALL I want is for my dog to walk calmly at my side when I walk down the street without pulling on the lead or over-reacting whenever we meet another dog.”
This seems to be all that many dog owners want.
Surely, they reason, this is not too much to ask.
Lots of dogs seem to do this with no trouble at all.
We are discussing a common problem: the disconnect between what a dog wants and needs and what some owners expect.
How about I say, “Look, all I want is to stand up on the podium and receive the gold medal for the 1,500 metre freestyle.”
Would you assume that I might first learn to swim?
If your dog pulls on the leash it’s because it has a boring life.
It knows this rare opportunity to interact with the world and gather smells will be short lived and it wants to make the most of it.
If your dog overreacts to the presence of other dogs it’s because it doesn’t meet enough dogs – it has no social life.
Too many people (and this is by no means the first or last time you will read this from my pen) acquire a dog as a status symbol, fashion accessory, toy or weapon.
They believe that you can buy a good dog.
You can’t — you have to make one.
You need to get wet – swim some laps, work on your technique, get some advice from a coach.
You may even have to make some sacrifices.
If you could buy a good dog, Donald Trump would have one.
It would be like, a very stable, genius dog, probably the greatest dog ever. He doesn’t. He has no gold medal either.
You have to earn a good dog. In fact, a good dog is like a gold medal.
It marks an individual who has made sacrifices, who is consistent and dependable, someone who knows what a dog wants (it isn’t a boring walk down the pavement next to the same pair of shoes every day).
Yes, there are people who walk down the street with a dog walking calmly by their side.
Yes, they are both happy but what you see is the tip of the iceberg.
What you don’t see is the relationship that has been created between human and companion.
The dog you see is calm because it knows it will spend most of its day at is bosses side, it will smell many new things today and probably meet other well-adjusted dogs because that’s the kind of life it is used to.
Yes, it looks like fun, but if you want it you’d better get your speedos on.
You have to do the laps.