Why Don’t They Train the Dog?


I’ve written about spoiled dogs, using a piece of equipment—the  prong collar–expecting the collar to do the work of  training  the dog, but I see this happening more  and more—the out of control dog.  Especially the tiny toy size dogs. Not cute.

I currently have a dog I am working with. He’s adorable, and I know he has had people work with him. He knows most commands.  He was just unreliable and easily distracted.  Most distressing, if he sees a squirrel, or another dog, he just  gets crazy.  He becomes focused on the dog, or the squirrel, and forgets where he is, that he is even with me.  I have to settle him down.

He is improving with behavior shaping. All I know is that for the safety of both of us, I have to continue to work with him.  there is no question, he has to learn self control, and he has to learn his role in our family.

I have a friend who is dating a woman who has an out-of-control little dog.  She  adopted the dog from a shelter or rescue, and has  quickly spoiled the dog.  The dog does not know who is in charge, and, from the behavior my friend has  described, the  dog is stressed out trying to be in control of the social situation he is in.  He barks, he bites, and  he is not able to tell his human how stressed out he is.  She   walks him in a cute  harness rather than a collar, and  does not want to learn how to communicate with this poor dog.

It is causing stress with my friend, as  he is a social unit with the two.  She is in denial that there is a problem.

I see this  kind of situation more frequently than I see calm, trained dogs.  My regular grooming clients have all trained their dogs. That is, they all have them under control, the dogs and owners understand each other, and everything is fine.  However, among my irregular grooming clients, things are not so good.  I see many stressed dogs not just because their owners haven’t  put forth the effort to understand their dogs. Every other pet professional they encounter—at pet shops, and dog day care, panders to these dogs owners and allow them to make excuses for not learning to communicate with their dogs.  Heck—these ‘professionals ‘ make excuses for why they, themselves, have not bothered to learn to communicate with the dogs.  This helps nobody.

It makes me seem  intolerant and out of touch, and the acceptance of what amounts to  dog abuse as normal.  It is abusive to not learn to communicate with your dog, and it is abusive to  use a prong collar on a dog  you have no intention of training.  It is also stupid and unsafe to put an uncontrollable dog into a harness , with a  Flexi, and  let the dog  be out of control.

I am not sure what the  solution to this is, but if the dog is not your dog, but you know the dog owner, you are within your rights to ask the owner when they are going to start training the dog so  the dog stops acting stressed out. Maybe that will do it.

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