A No Good, Very Bad Day

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

Some days are just bad days, that’s all. You have to experience sadness to know happiness, and I remind myself that not every day is going to be a good day, that’s just the way it is! – Dita Von Teese

Friday was a rough day for Porter and me. It wasn’t our best start to the day to say the least.

During meal time, I pushed the boundaries a little with Porter’s food aggression and it ended up with some snarling and some rebooting. We both did what we’re expected to do. He growled, showed his teeth and tried to back me off of his food. I did not even maybe take his hints to heart, and handled the situation calmly until it was over.

Then, during some play time, I threw his rope bone high for him. He loves catching it mid air. He thinks he’s pretty cool when he does it. However, I threw it a little too close to my suitcase that was out (which normally isn’t) and he ended up coming down on top of the suitcase awkwardly. He still caught the rope, though! I made him run a few laps and moved his legs around to make sure nothing was hurt. We seemed to be okay, but still. I just basically ran my dog into a standing object. Good job, Danika.

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

Lastly, as I was taking him outside to do his morning business, his leash became tangled underneath his legs. No big deal, we’ve all seen it happen. So I went to left his leg up to untangle him. Now, I don’t know if I moved his leg a way it didn’t want to go or if he was just being a baby (the latter option is most likely the right answer) but a yip came out and the death stare for a few seconds.

Alright, so three strikes for us that morning. Just not the most stellar morning. However, the best part about all three of those moments? Porter didn’t hold one grudge. Dogs are amazing.

Now, if I thought someone was trying to take my breakfast away, I would not be pleasant.

And then let’s imagine that same person had me run into a chair. That person is really not making a case for themselves that day.

Finally, the same person is trying to help, but hurts me by trying to untangle my scarf around my neck. Let’s be honest, I’m probably not talking to that person for the rest of the day.

But the wonderful thing about dogs is they don’t hold any grudges. They just move on! Porter didn’t hate me after any of those instances. In fact, it just took a quick shake and he was back to giving kisses and asking for some affection. It was as if nothing had ever happened.

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

And the best way to act as an owner when these bad days happen? Just like your dog. After each event, shake it off and move on. I didn’t hold on to any anger after the food aggression incident. Just moved on to the next thing. Hence, we were still having some play time.

I didn’t baby Porter after the following two incidents either. Nope, we just moved on like it was no big deal. I didn’t add any unnecessary energy or anxiety to the situations. Everyone okay? Everyone have all their limbs? Great! Moving on!

It’s okay to just move on from a situation. Whether it’s a bad walk, someone got into the trash or an awkward fall after your dog was pretending to be Air Jordan and catch the highest throw you’ve ever had. There’s no need to harp on the situation. They’ll get better with time and you can’t expect perfection every moment of every day. Just move on and experience the next moment. Your dog does it. So you should, too!

Keep calm and pilot on
Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH

Tips for Successful New Adventures

 

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered – Gilbert K. Chesterton

This weekend we met with potential landlords. And, as can be expected, they asked to meet Porter as well. Now, Porter is a great dog. I will not deny that, but he’s also still a dog. Which means I can’t expect him to act perfectly in every situation, especially when new locations and people are involved. Which means I have to set him up for as much success as possible. When we put our dogs into new situations and are hoping for the best behavior from our dogs, it’s our responsibility to put them into a position that makes it possible. Here are some steps I took to ensure Porter was able to show off his best self.

1. Getting Used to the New Location

If you’re going to be somewhere new, this automatically means that it will be more exciting for your dog. New smells and new areas to check out. If you can get to the new location a little early and let your dog settle in you’ll be amazed at the difference. It’s unrealistic to expect your dog to act the same in a new place as he would at home. He’s used to home. He knows the rules and what to expect there. New locations have a lot of unknowns attached to them. If you’re able to get their earlier to let your dog settle in the better. Bring an item or two that would be at their favorite familiar location as well. A toy or a blanket. Bringing something that smells familiar will make them more comfortable.

2. Pilot Right Away

When you get to the new location, don’t short on your Piloting. Just because it’s a new location doesn’t mean your dog should have no guidance on what is acceptable or not. The faster you can start Piloting in a new location the sooner your dog will settle in. He’ll realize that not everything in this marvelous new place is a threat and that you have everything under control so he can settle in. And maybe sniff a few more new things.

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

3. Activity

Make sure your dog can get out some excess energy with some activity. It can be a walk with you and if you’re in a place where your dog can run safely, let him go get some energy out after a walk without you. Play some fetch or let them run. Anything to get out some of that anxious energy. If you’re going to let your dog get some energy out on his own though, make sure that once they’re done, you go back into a short walk. Something to let them regroup into a calm state and finish up with some Piloting.

4. Expect the Unexpected

No situation is going to go as exactly as planned. Our little curve ball was that there would be a 2 year old meeting Porter as well. Porter does not have much contact with children. I can count on one hand how many times he’s met a kid. But, there was no point in panicking. That was the situation, so we could only react to it and answer Porter’s questions: Is this small little being that’s my size a threat? Nope, not at all. There’s no reason to worry about why they asked the question as long as you answer it!

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

5. Trust Your Skills

You know how to Pilot your dog and you’ve done a lot of work so far. So, trust your skills. If you start to get nervous, realize that your dog will pick up on the energy that you are exuding. Remember: Fake it until you make it. If you’re not feeling confident, take some deep breaths and think about all of the times you’ve Piloted your dog through new situations before. Making sure your energy is confident and calm is key. If you don’t seem concerned or worried your dog won’t either. I know, it’s hard. There may be times where your dog doesn’t act perfect, but don’t get frustrated. Just deal with the situation at hand. Don’t worry about what anyone else is thinking. Quite honestly, if you’re able to handle a situation quickly and calmly everyone will be impressed.

If you keep this tips in mind you’ll set you and your dog up for a great new adventure. Don’t stress new situations because you have the tools to make them successful! And just to let you know, Porter did great and made a new friend that’s about his height.

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH