1) When you take your dog with you in the car
Does your dog escape (or try to escape) when you get out of your vehicle? Do you have to get out of your vehicle by squeezing through a door that is open just wide enough for you to squeeze through? Are you afraid of shutting the door behind you in case your dog’s little black nose is sticking out?
Does your dog try to climb on your lap when driving?
Do you have your car window open for your dog while driving? Does your dog try to escape out the window? My golden did exactly that once. She was in the back of my jeep, and she had NEVER given any clue that she could, or would jump out the window. Here I am pulling into my driveway and my golden is sitting at the gate waiting for me. I freaked…she must have jumped out the back window as I was turning into my driveway. I never even realized she had jumped out.
2) Does your dog think that your visitors are coming just to play with him? Can your visitors actually get into your home without being jumped on cornered or tackled? Can your visitors come up the stairs without being pounced on by your waiting dog? Is your dog ready to wash your visitors face as soon as they are eye level on the stairs?
3) Does your dog think that visiting children are just big stuffed toys for him to play with? Kids will often lie down on the floor to play with a dog. And this is just what the dog is waiting for. Surely this is just a wonderful wiggling and noisy stuffed toy. It’s time to lick the face, paw the hands, and tackle the little body.
Again, I have a personal experience with this. One of my puppies was playing with a child on the floor. A playing dog loves to “paw” it’s playing partner. My puppy pawed the child, in the eye. Fortunately, no harm done, again, I learned from this.
4) Is feeding time battle time in your household? Has your dog already eaten his food before you have a chance to put his bowl down? Are you being jumped on or bumped and pushed when feeding your dog? Has your dog inhaled his food before you even let go of the bowl?
5) When walking your dog, do you find yourself saying the word “heel” at least a hundred times? The following is a very common scene. Someone is walking their dog, and you hear these strange sounds, over and over again, heel, heeeeeel, HEEL. Of course the dog thinks heel means pull harder, pull in the opposite direction. Or could it mean chase that squirrel?
6) When walking your dog and meeting a friend, does your dog let you stand and have a conversation?
7) When someone knocks on your door, does your dog instantly explode into barking and anxiously wait to embrace your visitor?
8) Are people allowed to walk up and down your street without your dog alerting you about this? I know some dogs believe it is their duty to notify their owners of any movement outside. After all, they are protectors of their property. Any movement could spell danger, right?
9) Can you walk with food in your hand or is this a sign for your dog to grab a snack? Does your dog think that if food is within his reach it belongs to him? Does your dog believe that fingers are part of the food, like doggie “finger food”? If you accidentally drop food, like a chicken or steak or pork chop does your dog temporarily think he is a piranha? Are you afraid of losing your hand if you reach it before he does?
10) If for any reason your dog gets lose, will he come back when called; or is this a sign for him to go gallivanting?
A trained dog is not only a pleasure, it is a necessity. Dogs are so much a part of our socializing these days. We take our dogs walking, shopping…to Tim Horton’s drive through. Memories! I remember once I had a black lab in the back of my jeep on a hot summer’s night. I had the back window rolled down half way. I drove through Tim Horton’s drive through. One coffee for me, and a tim bit for my lab. The nice lady at the take out window reached out to give me the tim bit, and my lab lunges for it out the back window…good thing the nice lady loved dogs and understood the combination of labs and food.
Our dogs need to be trained. They need to behave. When you call your dog he must obey and come to you. This is imperative for safety reasons.
Your dog should never reach, grab or race anyone for food. A dog should only take food once you give him permission.
I remember many years ago, when I did not know what I know today. I took my puppy to visit an elderly lady. This gentle lady gave my puppy a cookie. Well, my puppy grabbed for it and I thought this lady’s fingers were going to get eaten along with the cookie. Boy, did it teach me something. Train my dog!
A dog should sit, stay and walk nice. A well behaved dog is welcome by most people and places. A well behaved dog is a happy dog and a safe dog.
Take the time to train your dog.