Updated: Jul 17, 2021
A few months ago, I was out having lunch with two dogs I had in my Board & Train program. I had a one-year old standard poodle and a 15 week old great dane. I had them lying underneath my table, and they were just chillin’ being really good and relaxed. We had another young puppy, barking and excited, get seated with its owners at the table beside us. It wouldn’t settle down. The dogs I had were not even reacting to the puppy because I had them in a Down command under the table and had been working on properly socializing them. They were watching the puppy, but not reacting to it. A lady at the table ahead of us was watching, and she started talking to me about how good my dogs were being. I said, “Thank you. They are in training with me. I have had them for about 2 weeks.” She got the most surprised look on her face and said, “BUT THEY LOOK SO HAPPY!” Yes she said it with emphasis and shock in her voice! It kind of caught me off guard. She was so surprised they looked happy AND were in training. It was as if you couldn’t have one with the other. Like they were mutually exclusive.
I’m not really sure what most people believe training is, but done correctly, a trained dog is happier than an untrained dog. A trained dog is calm and confident because they, for the most part, know exactly what is expected of them and exactly what their boundaries are. They are not, typically, confused or unsure of what to do, and if a situation does arise where the trained dog is unsure what to do, the owner can give a command to follow and the dog is now at ease because it knows what is being expected. I don't know about you, but I prefer my dog not to be stressed. Having boundaries and rules for them to follow is exactly what dogs need.
Trainers, who love and adore dogs, are not the stealers of joy! Our goal is to create and mold happy, well-balanced dogs. We work with them and make training fun! Trained happy dogs are pictured below!