We all know it, right? That there is no such thing as being perfect? Your kids aren’t perfect (no matter what you think), your in-laws definitely aren’t perfect (no matter what they tell you), and you, well, I hate to say it, you are not perfect either. I don’t mean that you aren’t perfect just the way you are, but rather you aren’t perfect in your behaviour, your habits, your job, life in general … you get the point.
So why is it that so many people expect their dogs to be perfect at 8 weeks of age or as soon as they adopt them? I truly don’t understand this and would love for someone to elaborate. You weren’t perfect when you appeared into this world (through ways of which we will not discuss), so how can we possibly expect our dogs to be … especially when they don’t speak English or get fancy private school educations.
None of this is to say that your dog shouldn’t learn how to be well behaved, or taught right from wrong, but please tell me this, how long did it really take for your child to become perfect? Was it after kindergarten, grade 5, grade 10, university? I’m going to hazard a wild guess and say that they are still working on perfection no matter the age or education level. Once again, there is no such thing as perfect, and I’m glad there is not. It would be a super boring world if everyone and everything was perfect (Remember the Sponge Bob episode? Possibly you are too mature to remember this, unlike myself, but he became “NORMAL” or basically perfect, and he was f%^*ing boring. For your convenience and entertainment I have included the link). NORMAL SPONGE BOB
Sometimes we have to accept our pets, friends, family, bosses, co-workers etc. the way they are, and sometimes we have to offer benefit of the doubt as to why they are not perfect, and why they do some of the things that they do. It’s kinda like puppies bite and chew – that is what they were built for, it’s how they explore the world and learn. Puppies pee and poo on your floor. It’s not because they’re trying to piss you off, get back at you, or enjoy making new patterns in your hardwood. It’s because they don’t know any better and is what animals do. This is an example of the imperfect stuff that doesn’t disappear overnight, it doesn’t melt away, or absorb back into them after a specific period of time. There is no set “perfection schedule”. I don’t care what any other trainer tells you, claims or up-sells you with. There is no guarantees, there is no perfect, there is no schedule to life.
There might be the perfect dog for you, but that dog is not perfect. They all have their good days and bad days, their off days, their sad days (you’re welcome Dr. Seuss), they get tired and get crabby, they get excited and crazy. They make mistakes, they “forget” what you taught them, they get distracted, they get ridiculous. All of these things are not controlled by pushing a button, and poof, it’s gone. Dogs are not robots. Hell, robots aren’t even perfect. My newly adopted robot vacuum ate some of my wires – that’s proof.
Dogs have drives, instincts and hereditarily ingrained behaviours like chasing, killing, fighting, pulling, biting, barking, digging … and the list goes one. Seems people want to somehow magically rid their dogs of these very natural instincts and gain perfection overnight, without thought to the fact that these are drives that many breeds and mixes are specifically created for. As well, there is a current trend towards adding a dog to the family without thinking of the consequences. With the world in a shambles, people are looking for entertainment I guess, but some people are not taking into consideration the type of dog that they are getting, that dogs are actually animals, living breathing creatures, and that they are not programmable, not perfect.
So do me this favour, if you are new to dogs, PLEASE do your research before you adopt one. Learn what they are and what their needs are, what they do as puppies and adults, and all the ways that they are NOT perfect before you add one to your home. Understand that YOU MUST put in work – and that isn’t just 6 weeks of class, that is WORK on a daily basis, throughout your dogs life. Every waking moment of a dog is a learning/teaching moment. Respect the dog for WHO HE IS, not for what you think he should be. And for those who think perfect should be a button push away, you may want to consider a microwave or a toaster instead (steer clear of the robot vacuums). But if you decide to get a dog, then you’d better darn well put in the work, because without the work, you won’t even come close to being less than perfect.