I hear it all the time – from potential clients, people contemplating surrendering their dogs, even in conversations at the local dog park. “My dog would be so much happier living on a farm.” I’ve been around dogs my whole life and I have yet to see this mythical utopia that everyone talks about.
So, to make it very clear, THERE IS NO FARM!
What people are really saying when they express the desire to send their dog to this oh-so-happy place is, “My dog overwhelms me/has too much energy/doesn’t listen to me/always jumps up, eats off the counter, (insert any other unwanted behavior here)/never comes when I call, never sits when I ask him to, never (insert any other desired behavior here)/I didn’t think it would be so much work/I don’t have any idea how to make it better.”
And that’s just the easy stuff! Throw in reactive dogs, shy dogs, fearful dogs, unsocialized dogs, dogs who have suffered abuse, dogs with separation anxiety, and a hundred other challenges and what you end up with are frustrated dogs and frustrated owners.
Fortunately the answer to these problems is fairly simple – TRAIN YOUR DOG!! (Notice I said “simple” not “easy”. Remember, we’re dealing with a relationship between two different species – there are bound to be some speed bumps along the way.)