Monday, December 12, 2011

More about dog training

I'm feeling a bit better today although I still had moments where I felt inadequate and that I couldn't train Gozer right.

Fortunately, we started the behavioural modification program at the vet's today. We were given a number of good tips that will hopefully help us deal with Gozer. For example, because she fixates on me so much, I have to give my bedtime goodnights a half hour before bedtime and then completely ignore her while Ian puts her to bed.

The person also suggested that we take Gozer's crate out of the bedroom so that she can develop some independence from us. Well, from me, anyways. She'd prefer to follow me everywhere, if she could, and to always be at my side, which is where her separation anxiety comes from. At least we caught it early.

I've also sent in a request to join a dog training course that starts in early January. I felt that the only way I could get over my feelings of inadequacy was to take steps to gain more knowledge. Sometimes a whiny pity party is what I need but it's not a long-term solution. I'm learning that it's better to face whatever's bothering me instead of avoiding it; in this case, facing my feelings of inadequacy about training Gozer means to learn how to train her.

You know, I knew that owning dogs and cats were really different and that there were dog people and cat people but I never really understood the differences. Well, now I know. When you own a cat, you basically just accept the cat for what it is and allow it to be itself while you be yourself. You can train it to do things if you want to but training isn't required. Owning a dog means calmly training it and being its pack leader. In fact, you bond while training the dog whereas you bond with the cat when it cuddles.

Owning a dog is rewarding but it's more work than owning a cat would be. I think it's safe to say that I am and always will be a cat person. At the same time, I'm learning to be a dog person, although it will take some time before I'm comfortable in my new role.

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