Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dog Problem or People Problem?

That's right's time to play the new game that's sweeping the nation:

"Dog Problem or People Problem?!!!"

Ripped from the headlines (or really, case studies) of actual cases we have seen at Front Range K9 Academy...

Here are the scenarios:

Set-up #1: An unsuspecting person purchases a puppy outside a large box store, from the back of someone's car in a parking lot. The seller tells the buyer that the puppies are 8 weeks old. When the buyer takes her new puppy to vet, the vet tells her he is only 5 weeks old, and shouldn't have been separated from his mother and litter mates this young. However, she has no contact information for the seller, and decides to keep the puppy. Her problem, as stated to a trainer is..."The puppy keeps peeing and pooping all over the place. It needs to be potty trained immediately or I will have to give it up ."

YOU DECIDE: Is this a dog problem, or a people problem?

Set-up #2: A young couple adopts a dog from a local shelter. The shelter had no good history to give the new family, as the dog was left in their 'overnight kennels' - a place where people just abandon dogs. This young couple lives in an apartment. They each work 8 to 10 hour days. The dog they just got is a medium-large, high-energy breed mix who is having serious dog aggression issues.

While training may help, with no background on where the dog came from, and close living quarters with other dogs, the situation is very dicey.

YOU DECIDE: Is this a dog problem, or a people problem?

Set-up #3: A well-known, highly respected local dog trainer purchases 3 lbs of raw hot Italian sausage links and 1/2 lb of mozzarella cheese and LEAVES IT IN THE CAR with 5 adult dogs - unsupervised, while taking 2 of her new puppies in for their shots. When she returns...the sausage and cheese have been pretty much completely consumed!

YOU DECIDE: Dog problem, or people problem?

Yes, that last one was on me....

Just to remind you all that there is no such thing as a perfect dog, and no such thing as a perfect dog owner!!!!

However, when I arrived at my car to find a bit of raw sausage still in the casing, and a bunch of plastic and paper all over, I did not say one word of reprimand to my dogs. Why not?

If you can answer THAT one, you get the gold star for the week...ready....set...go!

Jennifer Hime is the owner of Front Range K9 Academy and Horsetooth Whippets. She can be reached