Don’t blame your dog – have you given your time to train your dog?
You’re visiting a friend in Wilmette and, when they invite you in the door, their dog starts running toward you, his tail wagging and you have the imminent sense that this 200-pound Great Dane is going to knock you back out the door. Then, just when you think there’s no hope – just when you brace yourself, with visions of the dog launching himself into you, and start looking for a softer place to fall, your friend says one word and you have nothing to worry about. Your friend says, “Ceaser” and that mammoth dog comes to an abrupt stop. Amazing.
Saved from impending canine enthusiasm, you follow your friend into their pristine Wilmette living room. You’ve seen rooms like this but never in a house with a big dog. Homes with big dogs are homes with evidence of big dogs. You know – the spots on the floor where ‘accidents’ were never completely erased; rugs that are bunched up from an excited dog doing a holeshot when running as though outdoors; pillows, cushions and other items showing signs of chewing and digging. But not your friend’s house.
Suddenly, your friend stops talking. With her head tilted slightly to the side, she’s looking at you with a smile wondering. You notice she’s stopped talking and look back at her ceasing your amazed surveillance of her home. You see the way she’s looking at you and say, “What?”
“Well, it’s just that you look a little, I don’t know, confused,” she says.
“Oh,” you say. “It’s just that you’ve got Ceaser – this great big dog – and you’re your house is so clean. I mean, if I didn’t know Ceaser was here, I would guess that you didn’t have a dog. How do you do it?”
“To tell you the truth,” she says, “it took a little work. First and foremost, it took training.
“When Ceaser was a young dog, life was quite different. At one point, we were thinking we’d have to give him up. He was always breaking things, chewing on things, treating our Wilmette home as though it was his private toilet.”
“So, you trained him?” you ask.
“Yes, Jim went online and tried to figure out how to train Ceaser ourselves,” your friend says. “But, the more we learned, the more we realized that it made more sense to look for help from a professional. We needed to see some changes in Ceaser’s behavior now.”
“It seems to have worked,” you say.
“Oh, absolutely,” she replies. “It’s like going from living with a canine sociopath to living with a well-behaved good friend. Ceaser is wonderful. We shudder to think how close we came to getting rid of him, all we would have lost.”