Thursday, June 18, 2009

Do We Expect Too Much from our Shibas/Dogs?

I'll be the first to admit that I have probably overdone the obedience training with Sushi. I think the last advanced class we did was when he was 3 yrs old. My intention was to have a refresher. Sushi was bored out of his mind. Why? He knew all this stuff, so why do it again? So, I promised him that would be the last one. Since then, we have done a bit of agiity, which has helped to boost his confidence, and once he got the hang of it, look out, he loved it! (Going head first into the floor off the a-frame is not always a good thing, Sushi!).

Do we expect too much of our dogs? There are so many fun things to do with dogs - agility, rally-o, or even helpful things such as therapy or other things like just taking your dog with you everywhere you go.

Not all dogs enjoy this. Gasp! Did I just say that? But these are fun things, they are good things. Aren't they? Well, not always.

I think it is healthy to try new things with our dogs, because hey, they might enjoy it. But, I think as responsible dog owners, we need to recognize when the dog really doesn't enjoy something, and decide if it needs to be worked through, or to just let things be.

Sushi will be 6 yrs old this fall. I have officially retired him from Shiba Inu Meetups. He no longer enjoys them. Why? I don't know. But, he doesn't. As much as I would love to have him there, I have had to accept this, and now that I finally have (it took time!) I enjoy spoiling all the other Shibas, and realize I don't have to be looking out for Sushi.

What does Sushi enjoy these days? Walks, he loves his walks. Loves his Green Bear and playing with it. Loves his flying fox. So basically, walks & short playtimes. And, bellyrubs are a bonus.

We may still try rally-o at some point, but if Sushi doesn't have fun, then we won't continue.

I wonder if dog owners have it in the back of their minds what they expect from their dog, and think that dogs will just automatically do it or enjoy it. There are many things I would love to be able to do with Sushi, but he just isn't "that" dog. I'm not disappointed, I love Sushi with all my heart, he is a fantastic dog.

I just hope other owners don't feel disappointed by their dogs if they don't live up to their expectations of them.

Bonnie & Sushi