This is one of my favourite subjects: The perfect dog ... Is there such a thing? Should there be such thing?
My way of looking at it is simple. I am not perfect, my children and grandchildren, and my 5 Border Collies are not perfect. Thank goodness I have to say !
Why do so many look for perfection in everything they do and expect the same from others. Why is it so important to have a perfect dog, a dog who does not think for himself, and obeys every command without question.
We make choices every day without thinking about it , and so it should be. We chose our partners for their unique thinking, for their great sense of humour, for their quirks etc. that is what attracts us to them.
Allowing our dogs to develope their own character is to me the only way to reach a sustainable, intimate, lasting unconditional relationship.
Rules and boundaries are important and of great value, and must be a staple at all times. A happy and contented dog who has been allowed to display his uniqueness , will be happy to follow those rules.
All my dogs have their own weird and wonderful behaviours and no matter how often I try to correct them I will be on the losing end. I could force the issue and end up with a Stepford Dog, but the matter of fact is , I like their spank. (most of the time anyway).
Rocky for instance, insists on sitting on my feet when I am in the middle of putting my shoes on. Yes it is a nuisance, but all I need to do is put my foot on a stool. Yes I could scare the living day lights out of him, and he would nevr do it again, but to what end..
Also the command 'to heel' can become a huge problem if we expect our dogs to be right beside us. Not every dog is comfortable walking in that position., they might walk in front, they might walk a bit behind, or even a couple of feet away at the side, but that is where they are comfortable. Why try pushing them a few inches here and a few inches there , stressing them at the same time.
For Jessie, my 4 year old collie, to heel means walking as close as possible behind me, and standing every 4 or 5 steps on my heel . She is trying so hard to do what I ask of her, and she is trying to adjust, but she always ends up at the same place, so how can I punish her.
As I keep saying, every dog is different and learns in a different way, forcing the issue and looking for perfection does not make for a happy dog.
It is a bit like forcing a left handed child to write with their right hand and expect it to be happy about it and excel at the task. So just enjoy your dogs quirks and develope a sense of humour, after all your dog has to accept you the way you are without question, as long your dog is balanced, well mannered and happy and you have a good relationship that is all that matters.