Dog Trainer & People Educator

"Dogs are meant to compliment our lives, not complicate them."

having a dog for a pet

Having a dog as a pet: Introduction to Dog Ownership

Having a dog as a pet can be incredibly rewarding. We seek a companion, a best bud, a family member to share activities like walking, hiking, and exercising. Dogs are seen as partners that join in on adventures and provide unconditional love. The idea is appealing: “My children need to learn about dogs, and they should grow up together.” With dogs, there’s no judgment, just unconditional love that’s always there for you, making for the perfect family photos and social media moments because he’s so cute.


The Reality of Dog Training

When thinking about acquiring a puppy or an older dog, we often envision the perfect picture. However, the reality is that we need to teach the dog how to live with humans. This includes manners and some basic obedience because, in the dog world, these things are not the same. Many jump in with both feet, not really knowing what to expect and thinking, “How hard could it be?” Whether it’s starting with a puppy, which seems like it will be so much fun, or acquiring an older dog who “just needs love and attention,” the challenges are often underestimated.


Common Challenges in Dog Training

Training a dog comes with several challenges that might not be immediately apparent:

  • House training is often thought to be easy, but it can take more than just a few weeks.
  • Managing a dog’s excitability, which can sometimes border on hyperactivity, might seem daunting as they often appear as though they can’t control themselves.
  • Issues like nipping, biting, and resistance to crate training are common, with many believing that crate training is cruel or that a dog will naturally outgrow these behaviors.

Dogs can also exhibit other problematic behaviors such as jumping, pulling on the leash, barking, lunging, and even ignoring commands. It’s not uncommon for a dog to seem indifferent to attempts to get his attention, even with treats, or to consistently run away. Owners might face destructiveness not only from puppies getting new teeth but also from older dogs, contrary to the expectation that they would have outgrown such behavior.


Behavioral and Social Issues

Understanding why a dog growls in certain situations or appears aggressive can be confusing. An owner might think, “He looks kind of scary, but he’s just sensitive,” or “My dog loves me too much; he wouldn’t bite me or anybody else.” However, these issues can escalate, leading to situations where a dog doesn’t get along with a spouse or children, or worse, attacks another dog or even bites a person.


Navigating Dog Behavior and Training Resources

Knowing how to handle these issues and where to go for help can be mesmerizing due to the vast amounts of information, differing opinions, and judgment from others. It can be challenging to sift through all the advice to find what truly works.


The Role of Dogs in Our Lives

Having a dog as a pet should enhance our experiences and bring joy, not become a source of constant stress or difficulty. This philosophy underscores the importance of proper training and understanding of our canine companions to truly integrate them into our lives as beloved family members.

“Dogs are meant to complement our lives, not complicate them.”

Angie Saunders

Contact me for more information or an evaluation!