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The Number One Reason People Are Afraid to Train Their Dogs

November 18, 2011

The Number One Reason People Are Afraid to Train Their Dogs

So, if you’ve been following our Facebook page, you know I recently adopted an 8 year old Golden Retriever. He’s a handsome boy with a delightful personality, but he has little to no training. I picked him up on Monday, and took him to a pet store Thursday to practice and gather up supplies. He gets overly excited when he sees people and turns into a bucking bronco to be petted. People think he is very cute (which he is), but he’s spoiled and thinks everyone should be his friend. I’m actually having to tell people more than anything to NOT pet him because they give in to his cuteness before he is calm.

Here’s what happened:

#Incident Number 1: We walk into the pet store and an elderly woman with her small dog quickly spot us. She immediately gave us a dirty look and said, “Well, that’s a rambuctious dog you have there.” She then tried to avoid us at all costs. Rocky hadn’t even done anything except walk through the door with me.

#Incident Number 2: I overheard a woman checking out with a store worker that she hopes her Golden puppy does not behave that way in the future because my dog had “ much energy.” Quick Lesson: Dogs are not robots. You purchased a working breed, who tends to have energy. Good luck!

Rocky was nervous and excited. He began to calm down after a few minutes of practicing commands and walking through the store. I was really pleased with how he did overall. However, here was something that kept going through my brain, how is one supposed to practice when they feel that much judgement from others in public? No wonder people isolate dogs that need work and training! People think their dog’s behavior reflects on who they are. That’s enough pressure to make some people not even try, don’t you think?

So, this post is for any of you who have felt this way. This applies to those of you who own breeds who are automatically discriminated against because of breed stereotypes too. Please don’t let it discourage you from continuing to train your dog. Training takes a lot of practice and hard work. You’re going to have rough days, embarrassing moments, and also moments of success! Those victories make it worth it.

Know this, when you are working with us, our job is to not judge you because of your dog’s behavior. Our job is to help. I think judgement may be the number one reason people are afraid to train their dogs. What do you think?

Post By: Laura Neiheisel

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About Austin Dog Zone

Austin Dog Zone formed in 2011. We offer dog training for all breeds and temperaments. We are committed to staying up-to-date on the most current scientific research available for dogs regarding both behavior and wellness. Our methods are effective, dog-friendly and family friendly.

4 Comments to “The Number One Reason People Are Afraid to Train Their Dogs”

  1. sandy says:

    This is great. I also think some people don’t think their dogs behavior is “thatbad” or its “cute”. I find those to be the same ppl lining up to trade their dog in when behavior gets so bad and their basic needs aren’t met. Great post!

  2. As the owner of a dog who sometimes bounces on all fours and barks loudly at other dogs when he’s on leash, I complete agree with you. We’ve gotten some awful looks from people when Buster has an outburst – but if we don’t take him out and continue to practice, how will he ever learn? The other thing that makes it hard is that some days are better than others. One day Buster may be fine seeing a dog across the street without barking – the next day he may bark at one two football fields away. And there’s no way to tell what kind of day he’s having until he makes it known!

    But I won’t give up! I owe it to Buster and working through our issues has been good for both of us. He’s obviously improving, and I’m learning to be less sensitive about what others think of me. It’s also taught me to be more compassionate. When I see people struggling with their dog’s (or kid’s) behavior, I remember that “I want to crawl in a hole and die” feeling. It’s hard to be judge them when you know what they’re going through.

  3. April says:

    Oh, wow, this is a great post! It’s interesting, sad, & frustrating to experience discrimination & ignorance when out with a dog. It’s especially interesting to me with Golden Retrievers, Labs, & mixes of the two. As Americans, we love these breeds….when they are perfect. I’ve yet to meet a Golden Retriever who isn’t bouncy, friendly and often ridden with anxieties (many of them related to separation anxiety). That said, they are beautiful, lovely, loving dogs, but not as easy or simple as many presume.
    I’d like to say I’ve found a perfect resonse or way to handle those who discrimate or just don’t know. I’m human, so sometimes I’ve responded poorly too. Now, I try to ignore negative comments/people and especially try to not “show” those feelings to the dog. My goal is to give the dog a good/positive experience even if other people are not helping. I’ve had some great successes in pet stores as well as set backs. I’d say, keep trying and try to go at times when they might be less busy where the staff can interact with your dog. Generally, staff in pet stores are pretty good about helping with training and positive experiences – at least for me. I hope you will continue to keep us posted! I look forward to learning more from you in these experiences! Good luck!

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