Can We Accept Our Dogs For Who They Are?
Last month we talked about how dogs and people often model their personalities after each other. Although that does happen, what if you get a pet that is entirely different from you? What if you're outgoing and relaxed, and your new dog is shy and anxious?
Many of us, when we dream about a new pet, have some preconceived expectations of how they will act. You hope your dog will be a snuggler, a therapy dog in the local nursing home, or will love to hike with you, but then you get a dog that is a bit aloof, shy, or a couch potato. Can you fully love that dog? We know you can!
You may have to adjust the expectations you have for your pooch. Just like us, our dogs are individuals, and each has a unique personality.
Continue to train your dog, certainly take them out in public, and go for long walks. But you'll have to accept your dog as is, and you may have to alter your original plans for Fido.
So, if your dog is uncomfortable with traffic, walk him in the woods instead of around the neighborhood. If your dog is fearful of other dogs, don't go to the dog park. If you push your dog to do more than they are comfortable with, you'll stress out both you and your dog, and your dog's fears could get worse. Keep in mind that your pup is doing the best he can.
So adjust your goals to make them realistic for your dog. Manage situations as best you can, so no one gets stressed out. With acceptance, patience, love, training, and management, your dog can make some changes.
Accepting your dog means you'll be calmer, and that will make your dog calmer. Your dog knows when you're under stress, and they will react accordingly. Don't spend all your time training them to be different - compromise a bit, find situations that work for your dog. Everyone will be happier if you both chill and enjoy life.
Have some fun, enjoy their many good points, and work on building trust and a strong bond. And your pet will soon be your best friend.