When I was a little girl, I wanted a dog so badly, but my mom would not budge. I must have been really persistent and during a vacation with my grandparents they helped me convince her and they bought me a Beagle. I named him Sam and could not be happier. With my adorable puppy, I also got this little red book on dog training and care.
On the first page my mother made me sign a “contract” stating that I would be solely responsible for this puppy. Now back in those days there was no positive reinforcement training, and needless to say trying to will a stubborn hound into doing what you wanted was an exercise in pure frustration. My mother enrolled us in a Kindergarten Puppy class and I remember I could hardly wait to come home from school and try to train Sam. His idea of an outing to was to glue his nose to ground and tune out the rest of the world, little girl at the other end on the leash included.
Maybe it was that contract I signed -it was my responsibility to turn him into a well-behaved dog. Maybe I thought that if he misbehaved I would have to give him up. All I know is I tried my best and his nose was still on the ground. At the end of our 10-week KPT course we had to pass a test. I was so nervous and to top it all, the instructor announces the order would be by alphabetical order of the breed! I panicked: BEAGLE.
“Holly c… we are first! Could the earth just open up and swallow me?” Sam performed every exercise flawlessly, he did not even remember he had a nose! We got first place a blue ribbon and a shinny silver-plated trophy. This was total and absolute bliss.
And I was hooked!
Forty some years later and I am still doing what made that little girl so happy. Dogs are my passion and I could not even begin to imagine what life would be without their company. As much as I love dogs, I now know that training dogs is really about helping people. They come to me feeling just like I felt when Sam glued his nose to the ground. When they register to take classed with me, its like I have signed the contract in that little red book all over again. Only this time I am armed with so much more knowledge. Times have changed, thank God! And we no longer have to force our dogs into behaving. Using positive reinforcement and talking the time to learn about dog behavior and how to communicate with them and “speak dog”, there is no limit to what we can teach them. From Therapy Dogs to Search and Rescue and Drug Detection, dogs can do it all.
I know you don’t believe it now, but your dog can do it all too. But he is your dog. My commitment is to help you teach him what is important to you! Like the little girl in the story you have to be passionate, be persistent and be patient and I will help you get the dog you want.