"The art of training a dog owner.
Dog owner tells me: Hi, my dog barks alot and runs after cars & chases the kids, sometimes even nips them.
Me: Okay. What's the breed?
Owner: A Shetland Sheepdog
Me: Okay, so you have
a small herding dog that is chase driven.
Me: ok, what is this breed bred to do?
Owner: well, run all day & herd sheep.
Me: Yes. And your problem was?
Owner: it barks alot, chases cars & runs after the
Me: yea, it appears that you have a dog meant for running after fast moving objects & barking to get their attention.
Owner: yes, that's correct. Can you train it out of the dog?
Me: Do you have any interests?
Eh, yea sure I do. I like to paint and watch movies.
Me: can you consider quitting doing that?
Owner: no, I don't think I can. But what does this have to do with dog training?
Me: would you consider doing something else that gives you
the same pleasure you get from painting and watching movies?
Owner: I mean, sure I can do other things but it's not as fun.
Me: ok. And what can you offer a herding dog that is more fun than barking and that is more fun than chasing?
dog owner is silent for a while.
Owner: That's a good question. I don't know.
Me: neither do I.
Owner: perhaps I should had gotten myself a PlayStation?
Me: haha, yea if you dont like barking or being a lot outdoors training perhaps
this dog isn't for you.
Owner: yea, one should perhaps read up more before getting a dog. But it's awfully cute!
Me: yes, I understand that.
Owner : it sheds a lot too. My husband goes crazy of all the fur everywhere. Should I shave it
or cut its hair real short?
Me: mmm, that's something you have to deal with.
Owner : yes, it was even hairs in the stew last night & little fur balls around the chair legs.
Me: yea that's not uncommon.
Owner : but you know what?
I met a Sheltie when I was 12. It was so beautiful. Ever since then I've always wanted one.
Me: too bad you didn't meet a PlayStation instead.
Owner laughs: alright, I think I'm starting to understand that it's not the dog that has problems but
Me: haha, not much of a "problem". What you are saying is very common. People with guarding dogs gets angry when their dog growls at strangers. People with sighthounds gets frustrated when their dog comes home with a baby rabbit. People often know
too little when they get a dog.
Owner : thanks for the chat. I have learned a lot in 10 minutes.
Me: good luck in the future. There's a lot we can do to help you in your training with the dog. But The dog will always have a need and joy to bark
Owner: yes, I can understand that now."