Your dog is waiting for you…

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Your dog is waiting for you…

Your dog is waiting for you to see him as the unique individual he is, not as a stereotype of a breed (e.g., Lab, Poodle, Yorkie, Corgi, etc) or breed group (e.g., herding, terrier, toy, etc.).

Your dog is waiting for you to recognize who he is rather than viewing him as a label or behavior problem (e.g., stubborn, anxious, hyper, reactive, fearful, digger, jumper), a “rank” in a hierarchy, a teddy bear, a dress up doll, or a lesser version of your previous dog.

Your dog is waiting for you to have him in your life for who he is rather than having him as a status symbol, to be cool, to boost your ego, or because you wanted a cute puppy.

Your dog is waiting for you to learn his language so you can understand what he is trying so desperately to communicate to you each and every day.

Your dog is waiting for you to communicate with him rather than talking over him, about him, yelling at him, complaining about him, making fun of, belittling and teasing him.

Your dog is waiting for you to enjoy your time with him rather than viewing it as a burden or chore you have to endure.

Your dog is waiting for you to connect with him and give him quality time rather than using your phone or multi-tasking while you’re walking him or throwing his ball.

Your dog is waiting for you to appreciate his intelligence and adopt a lifestyle, methods and tools that enhance it, not insult it.

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Your dog is waiting for you to be his teacher, leader and friend, not his intimidator, tormenter, controller and bully.

Your dog is waiting for you to remember you are the source of everything he receives in life, and his well-being is a reflection of your performance.

Your dog is waiting for you to simply acknowledge him when he approaches to say hello rather than viewing the behavior as annoying, needy, or as “unsolicited attention which must be ignored or punished”.

Your dog is waiting for you to be his protector and intervene when he becomes uneasy with a situation, people or other dogs rather than leaving him to deal with things himself (and even worse, getting upset with him for doing so).

Your dog is waiting for you to step up and be a responsible, compassionate care-giver not unreliable, callous, self-absorbed.

Your dog is waiting for you to provide structure and enrichment rather than letting his stimulation level run high and giving him yet another day with nothing to do except bark, dig, destroy, and run off in search of fulfillment the first chance he gets.

Your dog is waiting for you to choose activities that suit him and understand that not all dogs enjoy festivals, crowds, being in stores, being at a dogpark, or wearing costumes.

Your dog is waiting for you to learn the difference between a quiet, calm & relaxed dog and a quiet, stressed & shutdown dog, between enjoying something and tolerating it, and why this knowledge is important.

Your dog is waiting for you to participate in events and dog sports for the joy, learning and bonding they can bring, and to remember your relationship with him is far more valuable than any certificate, title, ribbon or prize.

Your dog is waiting for you to video your interactions with him so you will see yourself as he sees you – hear the harshness in your voice, see the displeasure on your face, see the abrupt and aggressive way you handle him, how you confuse him, smother him, and stress him out.

Your dog is waiting for you to video your training sessions so you will see how hard he tries even though you do not communicate clearly, your expectations are unreasonable, his efforts go unnoticed, and your energy is unpleasant and stressful.

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Your dog is waiting for you to be realistic in your daily expectations of him rather than expecting him to make A+’s all the time, especially since your behavior does not earn A+’s all the time.

Your dog is waiting for you to let him be a family member rather than leaving him isolated and alone.

Your dog is waiting for you to change your behavior so his behavior can change.

Your dog is waiting for you to engage in a healthy relationship with him rather than one-way interactions based only on your desires, or unloading drama and stress onto him, or over-indulging him, or smothering him with emotional baggage.

Your dog is waiting for you to learn self-control, focus and non-aggressive behavior so you can help him learn these things.

Your dog is waiting for you to earn his trust by being his provider, protector and friend rather than dropping the ball, or scaring him, or leaving him to fend for himself.

Your dog is waiting for you to meet his physical, emotional and intellectual needs and help him reach his potential and amaze you with his abilities.

Your dog is waiting for you to recognize that all these things he’s waiting for are for your benefit as much as his, and will help you develop into an improved version of yourself.

Your dog is waiting for you to learn, change and grow into a person worthy of his trust, love and friendship.

Your dog is waiting for you…

4 thoughts on “Your dog is waiting for you…

  1. Kramer

    Without a doubt one of the best things I have ever read. Hit home too, my dogs may have been waiting recently for me to…Well you woke me up,time to show them the wait is over DADDY’S home pups! Thx

    Reply
  2. R Lee

    Excellent essay…..oh, I was smug as I read some of the comments….especially the one about walking your dog and NOT be on your stupid phone…..BE WITH YOUR DOG SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY for those walks!….but there were some points I do need to be aware of and address….I need to emphasize his strengths rather than his perceived shortcomings……and think of all his qualities as facets on the perfect “diamond” of my sweet boy

    Reply
    • smartdogs Post author

      Thank you for commenting R Lee. Glad you enjoyed the post. Indeed, each of us (human, canine, and all other) is a multi-faceted diamond. Even in the unfinished “rough” state, the beauty of the gem shines through if we keep our eyes open to seeing it.

      Reply

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