Many of you have met Lana, my 7 year old Miniature Dachshund I bring in a lot during training sessions. In honor of her birthday this month, I am going to talk about my relationship with her. What most people don’t know is how Lana changed my outlook on training when I had just started my training journey about a year prior.
I was convinced that I would be able to have Lana become a perfectly trained Dachshund. I was becoming a trainer… this is totally going to happen. Nope, I was very wrong. Any method I had been taught up to that point did not help me with Lana at all. For example, Lana was not food motivated at all. It was hard enough getting her to eat her meals and treats were ignored. I had never had a dog let food sit in a bowl for more than two minutes.
While food wasn’t a motivator, I did find that she loved to play. Through play I was able to get her to stop being fearful of the world around her. Through play I was able to get her comfortable with people coming into our home. My dog, to this day, just wants to have fun. I was trying so hard to be a serious trainer and have the perfect obedience trained dog. Once I accepted her for who she was it became much easier for the both of us. To be frank, it helped me realize how to not be so serious when working with dogs.
My struggles with Lana are very similar to what most of you experience. So many of us want our dogs to fit into a mold that they don’t belong in. Once I accepted Lana for who she was, and trained her based on her personality, our relationship flourished and she began to thrive. That, at the end of the day, is what I wish for all of you. Need help understanding your dog and their needs? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org