Went to the dog park recently and met a hunter exercising his German Shorthaired Pointer, Chaos. His dog was very well-behaved, knowing some really cool commands solid (fetch it up, give, leave it, heel, sit, etc). We talked about training and methods and such. He shared that he sent his dog to a trainer for 4 months where Chaos learned basic commands and field training. His dog is expected to obey immediately, he expects his dog to be a working dog, but he is different than other serious hunter in that he wants Chaos to be a family dog as well. He doesn’t mind if kids give commands to Chaos, or if his girlfriend cuddles him on the couch.

The conversation got me thinking. What are my expectations for my dogs? Are they realistic? Are they attainable?  What am I doing to reach those goals? Are my husband and I on the same page regarding training expectations for our dogs?

Here are some of our expectations for our pups:

  • Not jumping up, unless invited
  • Being calm when guests come over
  • Giving space to and ignoring the quirks of children
  • Obeying our commands the first time we say them
  • Giving space to the trashcan, kitchen, table, and food in general

What are your expectations for your dogs? Make a list, post it in a visible place and work towards making your dream dog a reality! Lead your dog!