Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pooches: The Never-Final Product

Sometimes it's so easy to get frustrated with our pups, we forget how far we've come.
When Miss M first came to live with me, she acted like she was raised by wolves.
She didn't know how to sit still in our apartment and she would only move by leaping like a puma.
Any attempts at bathing turned into an episode of the roadrunner and coyote.
She thought the leash was just there for her chewing pleasure to enjoy while walking.
I remember the huge sense of accomplishment I felt when she was just able to walk straight on a leash--without chewing it.
Through time and training, Miss M became a type of debutante accustomed to all types of occasions in the city.
She didn't need to be entertained every moment in the home and she would walk like a normal dog rather than a large hunting cat.
She would stand nicely in the bathtub even taking joint baths with Mr. B and standing under cold water if the hot water ran out.
Our nice leash walking turned into sitting at corner walking which turned into sitting at a corner and waving walking.
I could even set a steak dinner on the coffee table and leave her alone in the room with it for 10 minutes knowing it would be there when I returned.
Though it's amazing to think how far she's come, I always feel like there is still so much more to do.
Do you think there is ever a time when we have worked enough? Or will our pups always be a work-in-progress?

The command that changed our lives.
When they show off


Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

If there is, we're no where near it! This is the way we feel with Ed, but after a year and a half, when we think back to how we was when we first brought him home...we just laugh! He's come SO far.

With Tess it's more like a wave pool - she has highs and then she has lows. Since her issues are less behavioral and more psychological, we're ALWAYS doing work with her!

SherBear said...

Always a work in progress - that's what makes the relationship with your dog exciting :) Anything that needs "work" or fine tuning is a chance to do something new with your pup and give them an opportunity to earn some tasty treats! I was actually just thinking about the same thing on my walk this morning with Nala - I need to step up MY game to make her want to work harder at being a good doggie on leash, which will involve me getting some higher valued treats (string cheese perhaps). Even now she is really only a pulling pain the first few minutes or if she sees something like a squirrel, by the middle/end of our walk she was trotting next to me and occasionally even looking up to check in with me - a small thing but a big sign of progress!

Anonymous said...


I think they are always a work in progress, however I think it gets to a point where, your mostly reinforcing the good behavior, which sounds like where you are! And where we are no where even close...sigh!

Katie said...

I think pups, just like people, are always a work in progress. And ditto the people who are jealous of the awesome progress you've made with Miss M!

Anonymous said...

My opinion is that we are all works of progress! That way, there is always room for improvement tomorrow but also, no one has to be perfect for today!

Anonymous said...

I think our pups are always going to be a work in progress. You can't teach a dog something and expect them to remember it forever if you don't practice it plus you never know when a new situation will come up.

Right now we are working to correct some behaviors that we've let slide in due to us being lazy, so it's our fault not the pups.

jet said...

it's a never ending project I think - even Barbie, who I think can read my mind sometimes, can learn more :)

Pocket Pittie in the City said...

Totally agree. The pooches are always learning and gaining better understanding about what we want them to do. Thank goodness they're as forgiving with us as we think we are with them!!

My Two Pitties said...

Good point! With a new dog around, I am really aware of how much we have accomplished but I always think there is more to work on. They are definitely at a stage that I am really happy with, but there are little things like waiting on their beds when someone comes to the door that I would like to work on!

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