Loving the (Un)loveable Dog

Every dog that you invite into your family needs to be loved. That love, if the relationship is going to work out, often needs to be unconditional. Some dogs get too excited when you come home and leave a puddle on your brand-new welcome mat, or they have too high of an affinity for shoe chewing, or they may like to tell you all their feelings loudly at 3 a.m. There is no such thing as the perfect dog, but the perfect balance of relationship is easy to achieve. This is a balance that, with training and practice, the two of you can overcome. The catch is that sometimes you’re the one that needs the training and practice. You must learn patience when your dog is still trying to figure their needs out. You must learn to think ahead and hide the shoes when your dog shows they are unable to resist the temptation. You must learn to ignore them when your dog decides to sing you a ballad while you are trying to sleep. This can seem especially hard at times but is extremely important. One easy way to find this state of calm is to remember why you took that pup home in the first place. Was it the sweet look in their eyes? The way they pawed at your hand asking for more attention? Their desire to chase after you in the Meet & Greet yard? Was it your ability to picture them growing old at the foot of your bed? Your dog was definitely special the first time the two of you met and asking “why?” can keep you centered. Then, think of all the great things you have done together. Remember sitting on the sofa drinking a coffee on a lazy Sunday morning with them asleep on your toes. Remember them covering your face with kisses as they wriggle around on your lap. Remember taking them around the block and watching their ears perk up at the sight of a neighborhood squirrel. The two of you have been together for a while now, and plan on being together even longer. There are bound to be great memories that can help calm you down. You are their whole world, and if you lose your cool, they will too. Dogs very easily pick up on the stress of their owners. Instead of lashing out at them try taking a deep breath and remembering why you are committed to your relationship with them. That is the most important thing. If you can transform all your negative feelings towards them in that moment into something positive you will be well on your way to loving the unlovable dog. After all of your hard work, it will definitely be worth it. Your dog still needs to learn the proper behaviors, absolutely, but with your ability to show patience and love, your dog will learn faster. They are family, and you are a team. If you can learn, so can they. #bullyfambam