My years of dog training
My years of dog training
One interest I have always had was training dogs with or without behavioral problems. When I was a baby, my family always had a relatively large dog. Maybe it just looked that way because I was so young back then. Sometimes our dogs had behavioral problems such as excessive barking, jumping and running wild. The first one I remember was Floss, a shepherd dog who was a really exciting person. It was mostly white with some black and brown highlights added for distraction.
Anyway, when I was eleven years old and on summer break from school, the whole family went to my mother’s place in rural Ireland for the summer months. One day, while on a regular tour of the local town visiting cousins, friends and acquaintances, I did not hear the barking of what I discovered to be a wonderful dog. He was an Irish Red Setter. Wow, I thought, I’m going to like this good looking dog. His name was Bruno and he was owned by the local police sergeant. To my utter surprise Sergeant Lowery was willing to sell the barking dog, and within thirty minutes of spotting the lovely dog I had arranged to buy it for six pounds. My first serious purchase. Wow, I was glad.
Now I had to run home to tell my parents, who, to my dismay, seemed to take the news as if I always had the right to negotiate like this without question. I was concerned that they would be concerned about the behavioral problems of a strange dog. But no, there was no such concern. I seem to remember having to arrange an advance for my pocket money or something. But it was certainly worth it to have such a nice dog and the whole family seemed very happy with the new addition to the household. I remember wondering how the dog knew it was mine. He received me as well as I received him. I was the master and he was my new companion. I was certainly proud.
I remember even my dad decided it was better to bring the dog home to Dublin before the others, just to get him home before we all returned for the new term. Of course, it’s just that Dad wanted to be the first to sport the new cool dog in the parish, in view of all the jealous locals. Dad was also proud of the new addition. That was easy to say. By the time I got home to Dublin in September, Dad had changed the dogs name from Bruno to Bran, saying it was a more appropriate name for a mature looking dog. I think my father didn’t like that the dog’s name reminded him of the pipe tobacco of the same name that was regularly advertised on television. He was always very against smoking.
Anyway, it wasn’t until I returned to city life that I started training Bran to my liking. Sit, lie down, stay, fetch, heel and sit were the commands I focused on. Bran was more than happy to comply. He was so happy to be told what I wanted him to do and was also happier to understand each different order. After all, he literally kept jumping through the hoola hoola. I know the inventor didn’t intend this for his new product, but I found a new purpose for it.
Of course I took to training my dogs like a duck to water. Since those days I have always had one or more dogs. Since then I can list an Irish Red Setter, a Doberman, an Afghan Hound and also, what is now my favorite breed of all, a number of German Shepherd dogs. German Shepherds are so eager to learn to please their master by obeying their every command. In fact, almost any breed of dog is prone to this if treated well by responsible owners.
Dogs can start with behavioral problems. But if such behavior problems are caught early by savvy farmers and owners, then there is no problem in the long run. I have really enjoyed training my dogs to behave in an ideal manner and advice on such matters is always an asset. A properly trained and responsive dog is worth its weight in gold. A properly trained dog is a great personal asset in terms of company and security. And remember that owning a dog is a very real responsibility.
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