Dog’s Eye View: All the right reasons
We just started a new series of puppy classes. The best thing for me is to meet these bright and hopeful families who are seeking knowledge to set their life on a course of establishing a great relationship with a new family member.
I’m always interested to learn what type or breed of dog each family has chosen and what they have named their new charge. It’s interesting to put these two things together and watch the relationships grow through the course of six weeks.
Some of these puppies were carefully chosen for their breed type and certain behavioral traits that may help them fit into the daily life and goals of the family. Others were brought into the family through unforeseen circumstances.
We have each family fill out a behavior profile for their puppy that gives us pertinent information, such as vaccination history, feeding schedules and previous training experience. One question we ask is, “Why did you get this dog?” The answers to this question are quite varied.
One young dog in this class was found abandoned on the owner’s property. They took him in and brought him to class to learn how to enrich both of their lives.
Some families had specific goals, such as a dog with which to go hunting. One person enjoys some of the myriad opportunities that are available in the dog sports world, such as dog agility and nose work.
A few people said they waited until they were ready to bring another dog into their heart after the loss of a dear one that had passed away. Another person needed an emotional support dog and understood that training and communication was at the heart of this new relationship.
Top on the list of answers to this question was simply, “companion.”
Volumes have been written on the dog/human relationship. When you think about it, why do we bring a living being into our home that requires work, sometimes causes frustration, sometimes damages valuable property, taxes schedules and often requires an outlay of a great deal of money?
The dictionary defines companion as one that accompanies another, one that is closely connected with something similar, that keeps company with another and a comrade. We know these things, but there is something more.
Dogs can have a calming effect on us by just resting near us and by their touch. Even gazing softly into their eyes can cause us to feel a sense of happiness. They are unique in their ability to relate to humans in all types of environments. I might add that, in an increasingly technological world, we just might need that beautiful snuggle of another living being.
When I read the behavior profiles written by our new dog owners, I can only agree that these budding relationships have begun for all the right reasons.
Sandra Kruczek is a certified professional dog trainer at Total Teamwork Training, LLC, with more than 30 years of experience.
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