Nobody sets out to create a monster. Zelda is a twenty pound Scottie who develops Herculean strength the minute a leash is clipped on her collar. Holden hasn’t met a bicycle he doesn’t want to chase. Mia barks non-stop. Buster lunges at every animal in his path. We’ve all seen it. Some of us have even lived it. It’s common enough. So common in fact that an entire industry has been built around it.
The problem is, most people have only the vaguest idea of how quickly a puppy will grow and how much work it takes to make sure that sweet puppy grows into a sweet, obedient adult. The dog you want, the Rin Tin Tin or Lassie of your dreams, doesn’t just happen. It takes work and commitment and time and energy.
According to a study by the National Council on Pet Population, Study, and Policy (NCPPSP) published in the July 2012 issue of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 96% of dogs being given up for adoption had not received any obedience training. It’s scary to suddenly be dealing with an out-of-control big dog. It’s exhausting to live with an energetic small dog who never “hears” you. A visit to the local animal shelter can be a real eye-opener – there are dogs of every shape and size available for adoption.
Obviously, we at Abby Kennels in Chelmsford want you to train with us. But more importantly, we want you to train. Search for someone you trust. Observe a couple of classes without your dog. Watch the trainer interact with his/her own dogs. Find a method that works for you. Ask questions. Practice, practice, practice. Have fun while you celebrate your progress. If you do only one thing this year for your dog, train it! Everyone will thank you.