Your Superhero Powers – Why Piloting Your Dog Matters

- Brittany Graham Photography

– Brittany Graham Photography

With great power, comes great responsibility – Uncle Ben

We talk about Piloting a lot here at Darwin Dogs. It’s so important. It’s necessary to make sure you have as much money in your Piloting bank as you can. You can earn Piloting money by going on walks and showing your dog that you can make sure you both stay alive, by teaching your pup new commands, working on agility and answering your dog’s questions. Each time you do one of these items, you add to your Piloting Bank. This is an awesome power you have. You’re gaining your dog’s trust. But like with all powers, Piloting powers comes with great responsibility.

Last weekend, Porter joined us for a hike. He loves hiking and seeing as it was the first hike of the season he was extra excited. There was a lot of pent up energy and I needed to exhaust him of it quickly. The easiest way to do that with Porter is to find some fallen logs and make him jump over and climb up them. (This is where working with your dog on agility and the “over” and “up” commands comes in handy! Remember: you don’t need an official agility course. Use what’s around you!) I found a large tree that had succumbed to the harsh winter we had and had Porter jump over the lower part of the log a few times. He still had a lot of energy so I figured I would have him jump to the part of the log that was off the ground.

Brittany Graham Photography

Brittany Graham Photography

My thought process was, if I give him the command he’ll adjust his position to where he could jump safely to the top of the tree. Well, yes that was my assumption but we all know what you turn into when you assume.

Porter jumped immediately. He heard me say the command “up” and he went “Whatever you say Mom” and jumped right away hitting his head on the bottom of the trunk causing himself to fall and have to shake off the minor concussion. (No dogs were harmed in the making of this blog post)

Now, this was my fault. I forgot that with the amount of Piloting money I have in my bank, Porter will listen to me know matter what, even if it might seem a little against his self-preservation instincts. Porter shook it off like a champ though and we tried one more time, from a place that I knew would be a little bit safer for him to jump on to.

Brittany Graham Photography

Brittany Graham Photography

It was a good lesson for me to remember. Once you get enough money in your Piloting bank, you have to be cognizant of the fact that your dog trusts you implicitly. A lot of responsibility comes with that power. And if you forget that every once in a while, and maybe your dog hits his head on a tree, just laugh it off. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We’re only human! Our dogs know that. And they’re okay with that.

Keep calm and pilot on

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

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