Friday, March 28, 2014

Impeding Doggie Obedience

So, I thought that I would use this blog post (assuming mother dearest approves ^_~ ) to rant about something that I think most dog owners go through. At least those of us that want our dogs to behave the way I want my dog to behave. And I will go ahead and apologize in advance to anyone that I may offend. I really, truly don't mean to. My mother has told you all before that I am strong-headed and opinionated, so here it goes.

This is my dog, Jezzibelle. Say, "Hi, Jezzibelle!"
"Ah! Bright light! Something on my face? Where?"

You should totally say "Hi" here, but this spring whenever I'm out walking my dog and there are a bunch of other people walking their dogs and my dog is really excited about how her day is going so she isn't really listening when I'm saying, "Jezzibelle! Heel! Jezzibelle!! Heel!! JEZZIBELLE!!" don't choose then to give her a merry hello!

I'm going to go ahead and speak for all of the aforementioned dog owners and say this. We know that you're a dog lover. We can tell when we walk by you and our dog wants to love all over you. If our dog didn't like you, we wouldn't have any sympathy for you what so ever. So we understand that you just want to be nice and tell her/him how pretty she/he is, but if we're trying to get our dog to behave the way we think they need to behave on the leash (or anywhere else!), please REFRAIN.

I'll mention again that I don't want to come across as rude, so let me explain why I'm asking you to keep your oooh's and ahhh's and "Pretty puppy!!" to yourself. It has been proven time and time again that dogs have what we call a "Pack Mentality". In the wild, dogs are pack animals. This means that they establish a leader, their Alpha, and follow that individual. If you've ever heard someone say "A dog will only ever have one owner," this is what they're talking about. A dog, when being trained, needs to have established in their mind that they have a pack leader that they are to follow and obey always. If they don't have this established, then in their head THEY are pack leader, and this does not bode well for their owner.

So, whenever we are walking down the street and saying "Heel" we, as the Alpha dog, are giving our pack a command. We're saying, "Stay close to me." And even though their tail may still be wagging and they are still excited to see you they should choose not to run and jump on you, but instead to stay close to their master - their Alpha. When you say "Oh pretty puppy mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah so cute!!" You're getting them in trouble, plain and simple. I know you want to love on them. I mean, look at that face up there. She's just gorgeous! But a dog is a much healthier dog if they understand and follow their pack mentality. If a dog is being treated just like you would treat a human, then their psychology gets messed with. They assume Alpha, and you end up with things like dog hair all over the couch, chewed up shoes, pee on the wall, poop on the floor, a bald head from pulling your own hair out, the list goes on. Now, I'm not saying that you should be mean to dogs or treat them inhumanely. I'm just saying that when a person is telling their dog to "Heel" or "Get down" don't say, "Oh they're fine!" or "I have a dog. It's completely okay!" It's really not. You're trying to be nice. I get it, but what you're really doing is impeding that dog's obedience training

Instead do this! I don't want you to think I'm all "DON'T TOUCH MY DOG!" That's not my point. What you can do, is if the dog happens to get overly excited and start jumping and not listeneing ignore the dog and acknowledge the owner. Let the owner regain control of the dog. Stop looking at the dog and pretend like it's not there. After the owner has regained control and the dog is calm, ask the owner if you can pet the dog. More than likely, they'll say yes and you can (calmly) express to the dog how pretty, well mannered, and adorable they are.

Happy walking!

A note from Karen (ie:"mother dearest):
I am the Alpha dog in my pack.

That is all.
Now, Kat, fetch your crochet and get back to work. 


  1. What breed is your lovely dog? My last dog looked very similar to her and he was a cross between a great dane and a lab. He was the sweetest dog in the world with humans, but he was not fond of his furry cousins and would bite first and maybe sniff later! He was very well trained apart from the biting other dogs and pulling dreadfully when on the lead, but the good definitely outweighted the bad! As they say, a home is not a home without a dog :-))

    1. I agree Julie! We have 2 dogs here, both rescues from the pound. One is really chilled out (she looks like a Pit Bull mix) and the other smaller one is so spastic I sometimes believe she needs Valium to calm her down. Lol. (The small one is a beagle/terrier mix).

      I think Kat's dog is a Lab mix with some Pit Bull in there somewhere. She's a beautiful dog.

    2. Yes, thank you, Julie! She is an amazing dog. Black lab and pit bull mix - so smart!