A Good Dog
Many people say that getting a puppy is a “crap shoot”…meaning of course, that when choosing a puppy you are taking a big chance on whether the puppy will develop into an adult dog with a nice temperament, good health, sound structure, work ethic, etc. Then others say that getting a puppy gives us an opportunity to shape the puppy into our dream dog through our nurture and education. I guess the reality is somewhere in between.
But a couple of weeks ago…just before I started a crazy (but good) 2 weeks of travel, it just came to me out of the blue and with total certainty. Without a doubt Tai – who is now 16 weeks old – will be a “good” dog. Using the term “good” in my mind is in no way limiting – substitute “great”, “super”, “fantastic”, “phenomenal”. To me those descriptors are synomous with “a good dog”.
It happened during a trip to our local rehab facility – TheraVet – where Breeze was working out in the underwater treadmill. Tai came along for some socialization. He gave his usual friendly greeting to the staff – but this time with some self-control, waiting to be asked before giving his “bear hug”. He sat on the scale nicely to be weighed. He cracked us up with his antics while Breeze was working out – testing out all the toys in the box and darting from one end of the room to another, occasionally poking his head between the technician’s knees to get a look at Breeze . He checked in with me every few minutes. He walked nicely into and out of the facility. And I thought watching him – here is “a good dog”.
You could explain this away with the fact his behavior is the result of relationship building and training over the last 9 weeks. But does it matter why I believe that he is a good dog? The fact that I do believe it is what really matters. It opens up the potential for greatness by eliminating any restrictions on my belief in what he will become as an adult. That belief is all up side as it provides self direction for achieving my goals with Tai – that belief enables hope, commitment, motivation, confidence and excitement for what will come.
As for training…we are working on the basics – relationship, motivation, self-control and socialization…with a sprinkling of agility based training too. I spent a great two days at Susan Garrett’s Say Yes training facility this past weekend at a phenomenal workshop called “Critical Elements for Sport and Life”. Check out some of the pictures at Susan’s blog: http://susangarrettdogagility.com/2010/04/a-pictorial-glimpse-at-the-critical-elements-of-say-yes.html