(Blaming dogs for things they do that we don’t like)
Oops. I made a HUGE mistake. It's a mistake I NEVER make. Shocked myself, in fact. I blamed Jetta for something she did.
Blamed Jetta for something SHE did.
She did it. And I blamed HER.
That was wrong.
I had her at the park. It was raining (Yes... in July - It's Oregon) and her feet were muddy. When leaving, I put her in the car - the backseat, which had a protective cover - and she did something she rarely - but sometimes - did. While I packed my things, she jumped over the console between the two front seats and onto my seat.
Muddy paw prints on my seat!!!___________________________________________________________
Click here to read more on blaming dogs...
Big mistake. Why did I blame her? It was TOTALLY my fault. I am the trainer, I am the manager, I am the one who could have anticipated that she MIGHT do that and could have said, "Stay back." (Prevention is better than correction.)
That's all it would have taken.
"Stay back." And she WOULD HAVE.
Or, I could have seat-belted her right away instead of waiting 'til the car was packed.
As a dog, Jetta needed guidance. If I didn't give it to her, I couldn't blame her for doing something I prefer she not do. It was my job, as her mom, to manage her behavior.
An alternative would have been to TRAIN her to ALWAYS stay out of my seat, but that is not something I desired. I thought it was cute when she got into my seat when I left her alone in the car - it looked like was the driver.
So if I was not going to train her to stay out of my seat, and she had muddy paws and I knew she MAY jump into my seat, it was incumbent upon me to manage her or supervise her or guide her in such a way that she didn't dirty my seat.
And to not blame her when she did something normal and natural and perfectly ok when she DIDN'T have muddy paws. It was totally my fault for not anticipating and preventing her undesirable behavior.
Jetta and her clean feet.
When I used to teach classes, the first night of each class I would tell my students that I was going to show them what to do when the dog does something they don't like. Now, I must confess, I got this, with permission, from a non-competing trainer. It wasn't my idea, but I thought it was an effective way to make my point.
I would tell the class that I was going to demonstrate what to do when the dog does something you don't like. And I'd call Dancer (who attended all my classes with me) over to sit in front of me and I would pull a newspaper out of my bag.
I took the paper apart, explaining you don't want the WHOLE paper - that's too heavy. You want a middle section, like the sports section. I rolled the paper up into a tube, explaining that you don't want it to be too tight... but not too loose either. A medium-roll was best. I'd slap it against my hand a couple times to test it, then position it over Dancer's head... touching it to her head, then up... then touching her head again... then I'd raise it up and announce that I was ready and I'd caution them to not do it too hard... then I'd look at Dancer and say "BAD DOG TRAINER!" and I'd whack myself on the shoulder with the paper.
If Jetta did something I didn't like, it was MY fault, because I was in charge of the training and the supervision and the guidance and the management and because I owned all the tools... everything Jetta did was my fault. It really was. Because somehow I failed her. Possibly in her training. Or the management and guidance. So it was a huge mistake to lose my patience and blame her for something I coulda, shoulda, woulda either trained against or used MANAGEMENT techniques to prevent.
"Dammit Jetta.... I erred. Sorry My Love."
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