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"The art of training a dog owner.

Dog owner tells me: Hi, my dog barks alot and runs after cars & chases the kids, sometimes even nips them.

Me: Okay. What's the breed?

Owner: A Shetland Sheepdog

Me: Okay, so you have a small herding dog that is chase driven.

Owner: yes.

Me: ok, what is this breed bred to do?

Owner: well, run all day & herd sheep.

Me: Yes. And your problem was?

Owner: it barks alot, chases cars & runs after the children.

Me: yea, it appears that you have a dog meant for running after fast moving objects & barking to get their attention.

Owner: yes, that's correct. Can you train it out of the dog?

Me: Do you have any interests?

Owner: Eh, yea sure I do. I like to paint and watch movies.

Me: can you consider quitting doing that?

Owner: no, I don't think I can. But what does this have to do with dog training?

Me: would you consider doing something else that gives you the same pleasure you get from painting and watching movies?

Owner: I mean, sure I can do other things but it's not as fun.

Me: ok. And what can you offer a herding dog that is more fun than barking and that is more fun than chasing?

The dog owner is silent for a while.

Owner: That's a good question. I don't know.

Me: neither do I.

Owner: perhaps I should had gotten myself a PlayStation?

Me: haha, yea if you dont like barking or being a lot outdoors training perhaps this dog isn't for you.

Owner: yea, one should perhaps read up more before getting a dog. But it's awfully cute!

Me: yes, I understand that.

Owner : it sheds a lot too. My husband goes crazy of all the fur everywhere. Should I shave it or cut its hair real short?

Me: mmm, that's something you have to deal with.

Owner : yes, it was even hairs in the stew last night & little fur balls around the chair legs.

Me: yea that's not uncommon.

Owner : but you know what? I met a Sheltie when I was 12. It was so beautiful. Ever since then I've always wanted one.

Me: too bad you didn't meet a PlayStation instead.

Owner laughs: alright, I think I'm starting to understand that it's not the dog that has problems but me.

Me: haha, not much of a "problem". What you are saying is very common. People with guarding dogs gets angry when their dog growls at strangers. People with sighthounds gets frustrated when their dog comes home with a baby rabbit. People often know too little when they get a dog.

Owner : thanks for the chat. I have learned a lot in 10 minutes.

Me: good luck in the future. There's a lot we can do to help you in your training with the dog. But The dog will always have a need and joy to bark and herd.

Owner: yes, I can understand that now."

Author unknown.

15. Aug, 2022