Sometimes I think I’m the dog and my dog is Pavlov.
We teach them tricks like bell training so they will tell us when they have to go potty. But most of us who’ve tried this know that they use it for more than just potty. Whenever I hear the bell, I go running to the door to take my dog out. So again I ask, who’s training who?
We started with tapping her paw on the bell every time we’d take her out and then say the word “potty.” But now as soon as I walk out of eye shot, she goes over to the door and starts ringing the bell so I’ll come play with her or take her out to romp in the snow. She’s even started a new game of keep-away when I go to put her silly little jacket on, so I know all she wants to do is play.
People are so particular about how they train their dogs (and they all want to share the best ways to do it). Most of us grew up in a time when we rubbed our dog’s noses in their poop. But things have changed drastically. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dog just as much as anyone but when did we start letting our dogs run the show? We tippy toe around as though they are babies not wanting to wake them up (I do that too), we bring them to doggy day care, we bring them to puppy school, we buy insurance. For many of us our dogs are like our children.
I was astounded the first time I dropped my dog off at doggie daycare—which is akin to watching your child get on the bus for the first time. All the mommies blowing kisses as they walked out the door.
“Have a good day Foo-Foo, Mommy will be back to pick you up later.”
I can barely resist how adorable my little Foo-Foo is. I have no regrets about puppy classes, and I love that I have the option to take her to doggie daycare so she’s not alone all day, but my one and only regret is that I ever thought that getting a puppy during the winter months in New England was a good idea!