Poor Little Dog. Unreal Expectations.
I went to see Dandy, a Puggle (Pug Beagle cross) back in January, and because things were not going well I visited again yesterday. Due to his excess excitement they still felt unable to walk him out beyond their large garden. I knew as soon as I walked in and he was jumping excitedly up at me and on the lady, that they had not been following my instructions.
Dandy is easily stirred up when there are several people about, most especially the children and their friends, and commands and frustration hype him up further. He is very receptive to atmosphere.
The gentleman had a labrador as a child and his memory was of a large placid dog that calmly fitted in with everything the family wanted to do. Dandy is himself and can never be changed into something he’s not, and trying to supress his enthusiastic personality is in my mind making him ten times worse.
Little Dandy has absolutely no vices in my eyes! He is gentle, never aggressive, and biddable. He is a wonderful little character and if he were my dog I would find him great fun. He is very receptive if treated kindly. I hope they now try to help him out a little more and ease off. Allow him to have scatty times within reason and be himself. I found that by giving him positive encouragement we were out walking on the pavement in no time. He kept grabbing the lead, and I taught him kindly ‘drop’ it using tiny rewards.
This was fairly typical of a repeat visit to someone who is not doing well – in that the careful plan I had devised for them simply wasn’t being followed. They had their own ideas. I may be big-headed in saying that I probably know best! Having been to nearly nine hundred clients which means thousands of dogs, I have seen countless successes with owners taking their time, using patience and positive reinforcement. Little Dandy is only playing the cards he’s been dealt by the humans around him. Even after my efforts I’m still not sure the gentleman appreciates that we owe it to our dog to consider his doggy needs; he believes it is all about the dog fitting in with all their requirements. I remember as a teenager saying to my father after a row, ‘Well, you didn’t have to have me!’ If Dandy could speak, he may be saying the same thing.
The bottom line here is that they don’t actually seem to be enjoying their little dog. The couple don’t ‘drink from the same water bowl’ where he is concerned and it is causing conflict between them. This is adding more tension to the atmosphere which is effecting Dandy’s behaviour. I suggested they sat down over a bottle of wine and listed all his good points. To work at finding pleasure in him and treating his antics with a sense of humour. As in my previous post, to give him the sort of parenting they give to their children.