A Small Dose of Favoritism

I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect – J.D. Salinger

Take a minute and think about your dog’s favorite person that doesn’t live in your immediate home. Really think about it. Just because they jump and whine doesn’t mean that person is their favorite. Think about the person that your dog is excited to see and then is comfortable enough to lay beside for the rest of the night and couldn’t care less if you walked out the door for the night.

Brittany Graham Photography

Brittany Graham Photography

Porter’s favorite person is someone who has been around dogs all of his life. We’ll call him Ryan. Ryan always has a calm demeanor about him and when he walks in our front door he’s comfortable and goes straight to the fridge on his own. He ignores Porter at first and then will give him a quick pat and move on with whatever conversation we’ve started.

Porter’s first move is the big old wiggle butt. His tail goes a mile a minute and he may try to jump, but the minute he does our friend takes care of it instinctually. He moves his body forward into Porter’s personal space without acknowledging him and without realizing he’s doing it. Porter will then have to show him each one of his toys. He’ll sit by him for the rest of the night chewing his favorite toy and getting some pets, happy as can be.

There are plenty of other visitors and friends that Porter likes. There are the ones that want to give him treats and make him fat, the ones that rough house with him, those that play mentally exhausting games with him and those that will pet and pet and pet him until their hands hurt. He likes all of those people. They’re all the greatest in his mind. However, the difference is Porter respects Ryan.

Sure they also rough house, and he gets lots of attention from Ryan, but he also gets Piloting from Ryan. Ryan’s never been through a training session and I’m sure doesn’t even know what our definition of Piloting is. But he is one. And he’s very good at it.

So, think about your dog’s favorite person now. Do they have tendencies of a natural Pilot? Now, think about how you treat other individual’s dogs. Do you naturally Pilot them without even thinking? If you do, you may have a lot of dogs that respect you along the way.

Brittany Graham Photography

Brittany Graham Photography

When we go to a session, the dogs we work with respect us, but they don’t necessarily love us. It takes time to build a bond to build up to respect and love. However, that’s the ultimate goal and the ultimate reward. Love without respect is not a good relationship, between any species. But if you combine that love with a respect then you’ve got a great thing going on.

Porter loves and respects Ryan. Just like he does with us. Keep an eye out for who your dog loves and respects as well.

Keep calm and pilot on

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

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