Ten Dog-Training Truisms

Train dogs and interact with the people who love them long enough, and you’ll find that certain truths about dog training are almost always accurate. Professional trainers and serious hobbyists are fond of standing around swapping jokes about the peculiar ways dogs continually prove that there’s a lot of truth to Murphy’s Law, or how new dog trainers all make the same mistakes. Here are my favorite ten dog training truisms. I think you’ll find you’ve experienced a few yourself.

  • An owner who says “my dog is fully trained” will soon experience a behavior problem– The pet parent so confident in their dog’s good behavior that they claim its training is complete is sure to soon find a spot on the carpet or come home to a gnawed couch. That’s because there’s no such thing as a fully trained dog. Training is ongoing throughout every dog’s life, and falling down on the job is likely to have some unpleasant consequences.
  • The only thing two dog trainers agree on is that the third one is wrong– Need I elaborate? As in any hobby, there seem to be as many schools of thought as hobbyists.
  • Your dog will perform perfectly 99 times out of 100. The hundredth time is when the person whose opinion you care most about is watching– Agility dogs run off course when the nationally known clinician is observing, the family dog barks and scratches his ear instead of rolling over when your critical mother-in-law is looking, and your foster dog will poop on the carpet when a potential adopter is visiting.
  • Bicolored dogs shed their white hair on your black clothes and their black hair on your white clothes– And if you invest in an all earth-tone wardrobe in hopes of preventing this, they’ll just cover it in both black and white hair.
  • The amount of bragging you do about your dog is inversely proportionate to how well your dog will behave when a demonstration is requested– “Fido gets me a beer from the fridge on command. I bet your dog can’t do that. It’s not his fault he’s not as smart as Fido. Fido, fetch the beer! Hey, no, that’s your rope toy! No, not the smelly dead thing from the back yard, either!”
  • If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, it’ll always be the day after a bath– I swear the smell of shampoo must make skunks angry.
  • Even finicky dogs with no observable prey drive will drag a squirrel carcass inside and eat it on the dining room floor if you invite your boss over for dinner– No further explanation needed.
  • Misbehaving dogs turn into angels when the $200/hour behaviorist shows up– “Ma’am? You said he was a problem barker? Well, I’m not sure what I can do, he’s been silent as a churchmouse since I got here, no matter how many times I ring the doorbell. Perhaps we should schedule a second session.”
  • As soon as you’ve saved enough money for a new bedroom set, your dog will eat a pair of your pantyhose and need a $3,000 surgery– I’m pretty sure my pets log into my bank account online and make sure they take turns getting sick just when I’ve made some headway in my savings account.
  • The more attractive your veterinarian, the more embarrassing and gross your dog’s health problems become– Never flirt with a veterinarian. It guarantees that the next time you see them will have something to do with foul-smelling pus, impacted anal glands, or projectile diarrhea.
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4 Responses

  1. HART (1-800-HART)
    | Reply

    (new PetLvr post ).. Ten Dog-Training Truisms: Train dogs and interact with the people who l.. http://tinyurl.com/ctg9yc

  2. Fun Dogs
    | Reply

    10 Dog Training Truisms http://bit.ly/qSizp -think twice before saying your dog is fully trained.

  3. Fun Dogs
    | Reply

    10 Dog Training Truisms http://bit.ly/qSizp -think twice before saying your dog is fully trained.

  4. Schnauzers Rule
    | Reply

    All true! LOL
    Ain’t dog ownership the best thing ever! Sure makes life interesting.

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