Pushover or Reliable?

Only ask when you mean it and mean it when you say it.  

Do you follow through?  Do you mean what you say?

Pushover - an opponent that is easy to defeat; someone who is easy to persuade or influence.

Reliable - able to be trusted to do or provide what is needed: able to be believed, giving the same result on successive trials. 

I have met both types of canines guardians and everything in between.  So where do you stand?  

As humans we tend to want to do what is best for our dogs; but we often fall short of following through with them.  "Awww, look how cute," "he really wants it," "he's sniffing something."  I've heard it all and bucket loads more.  "He doesn't want to," is a big go to excuse for not having our dogs do as we ask.  

I remember working with an owner and her two dogs; we were teaching them not to bolt out of an open door.  When the dogs saw no reason to "not" bolt out the door the owner said to me "they don't want to wait."  My reply?  "Too bad."  

Sometimes it is hard to be tough with our dogs.  After all they are so darned cute and we love them so much that we tend to slide on the things that they really don't want to do.  There are things that can be allowed to slide and others that should never be granted a free pass.

Ah ha!!!!! This is the moment when I get to use a word that many people use incorrectly, SPOILED.

Spoiled - to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of (someone) by unwise treatment, excessive indulgence, etc. 

Lets just put this out there; you are the boss of your domain.  You make the rules, you should follow through and enforce the rules.  If you say one thing and do another, you are not a reliable canine guardian.  Your dog may already knows this and has learned to manipulate you.  By indulging our dog by not following through on rules, we create a spoiled monster. 

I do not expect dogs to be little furry robots with none of their own emotions or ideas.  I love to watch dogs think and do what they love to do; but, it is very important that our dogs have and follow rules.  We humans have to live with rules; if we don't we can end up in a whole lot of trouble.  

Of course there are times when we are going to let little things slide.  But the majority of requests should be responded to positively.  This is where you the canine guardian need to think before asking.  Are you going to follow through if your dog does not comply?  You need to think on it before asking.  If you ask yourself "what if they don't come, sit, retrieve; will I follow through?"  If the answer is no then don't ask.  

This relates to dogs in their day to day.  There are times when I see that Elsa is deep into the throws of lizard hunting so I will not call her away.  If I had to call her I would and I would follow through if she did not come.   

It is extremely important to be a reliable canine guardian.  Ask when you mean it and mean what you say.  Be a straight shooter and follow through with your requests.  Your dog will thank you for it.