In the last week, we have received not one but four daycamp applications that I wanted to share with you all, as there are some very striking similarities....
In each case, the dog is younger than 2 years of age.
In each case, the owner has marked on their application form that the dog cannot be trusted with other dogs.
In each case the owner has marked that their dog will pin down another dog and grab them by the neck during play.
In each case the owner has said that their dog has separation anxiety.
In each case the dog exhibits very destructive behavior.
In each case the owner has said that their dogs are terrible on leash and lunge at other dogs walking past them.
In two of the cases, the owners said that their dogs could not be around other dogs at all, (despite applying for inclusion into an off leash, cage-free, group play experience).
Two of these poor animals are even taking the anti-anxiety drug, Trazadone.
And finally, and the reason behind this being my Dick of the Week... in each case, the owner has said that their dogs are 'lockdown puppies' and that's why they have done ZERO training with their dog!
Ah well, darling prospective customer, now that you explain that there's been a lockdown, I fully understand why you've done no training with your new puppy. Georgia lockdown lasted for 8-9 weeks or so, so OF COURSE you had no choice but to the spend the last 16 months SINCE lockdown lifted last June, doing absolutely nothing with that sweet puppy you brought into your family. You know, that one who was always going to get bigger, who was a natural predator with a busy mind, massive f*cking teeth and fast legs, and who was born to work and run and play? Yeah that one.
I mean, it's not like you could go on some website that delivers books to your door, even during lockdown, and read up on how to train your dog, is it?
It's not even like there are free training resources on line where you can download basic training information to help you navigate the formative months and achieve even some basic training goals, is it?
Great idea to do absolutely bugger all with him for 16-18 months as he brings himself up with zero boundaries and never learns any manners! Even better to let him play unsupervised with other dogs never once correcting him for rough play or pinning another dog to the ground! What could possibly go wrong?
Oh for f*cks sake!
Do you get the impression my blood is somewhat boiling?
Meh...just a tad, maybe.
Whether you got a lockdown puppy or a pre-baby puppy or an 'I'm approaching old age' puppy or an "I just got divorced and I'm lonely" puppy or even a "spite' puppy (you know, the one where you want to piss off someone you live with that hates dogs) they all have one thing in common.
They all need boundaries.
They all need to learn who's in charge in your home and they all need to learn basic obedience so that they will be, you know, somewhat obedient! We aren't all asking for a dog with the intelligence and compliance of a border collie rounding up sheep, but what we do need in our homes, living with our families, is a dog you can trust not to make his own decisions on certain issues. Because trust me, they don't always make the decisions you'd like them to.
That's because they're dogs, not humans and they have different drives.
A dog that has learned some manners and understands, through gentle and consistent training, what his or her owner requires of him, is a dog that isn't constantly wondering what his role is in the family. It's a dog that isn't continually asking if he can get away with chewing the couch, a dog that realizes that your kid's space must be respected, a dog that isn't trying to shag your grandma's leg like Usher on Angel Dust and won't go bananas when walking past the senior Yorkie trying to take a quiet dump in his own yard.
A dog that is supervised and guided during those early play sessions is a dog that won't chase and pin down other dogs, bite them on the neck or back legs (both HUGE red flags to dog behaviorists) or bully other dogs who just want to play nicely.
He will instead learn when to back off, give other dogs space and not scare the $hit out of every dog he comes across, which, if that were allowed, would only leave a trail of MORE anxious dogs in his wake.
I am pretty sure that not one of these folks with small children refrained from teaching their offspring how to wipe their own arses or not pick their nose in public or even poop in the display toilets at Home Depot, just because they are 'lockdown children'.
Lockdown didn't give us the excuse to be lazy with our dogs.
It gave us more time in the company of our dogs which, if you had a new puppy, meant time to concentrate on raising a decent member of the community.
It's been 16 months since it ended and it's not good enough if you sat on your arse and did nothing as that poor, sweet, bewildered animal got on with navigating family life as best he could.
It's also not good enough that you then thought the answer was to bundle your dog up in a car and drop him at the local doggy wonderland so that he could blow off some steam and give you a break, despite knowing he was going to make all of the other dogs there miserable.
Ya know, those dogs whose owners DID take just ten minutes every day to teach their dogs some life skills, or those who did pick up a dog training book and apply some of the things they read and some who even took their dogs to positive dog trainers. We like those people. Their dogs are a joy and safe for other dogs to be around.
Now don't get me wrong, we don't turn away anyone who isn't Lassie...we LOVE us a naughty dog, Aunty Kris in particular swoons over a mischievous canine...
But, your completely un-trained, bolshy bully with no manners and zero boundaries who wants to kill a b*tch just for looking at him because he was never socialized gently and carefully? Ugh, spend some time training him and gain some control before you ask us to include him in off leash play with other dogs, please.
And that, dear reader, is why we have said 'Hell No' to all of these applicants and why they are this week's official, Dicks of the Week.