Dear Dog Whisperer,

It pains me to admit it, but my dog isn’t perfect. She talks a good game, sometimes, like Monday morning when she followed my treat lures right into the house and into her crate. Monday night, we went to an obedience class and she was on point. I didn’t have to deliver a single stern correction and she didn’t have any breakdowns. Didn’t jump on a soul. (There were some problem pit bully dogs in the class and I remember feeling so grateful that my dog is never snarly.)

Yesterday, I took her to the vet instead of playing soccer with her, and you can imagine this was a confusing change of routine. I had a hard time getting her to come inside the house from the dog run. We were late.

Today I actually wanted to kill her. I had a 10 a.m. appointment, so I took her out at 8:20, so she’d have plenty of time to play before I had to leave at 9. But I couldn’t get her in the house. I couldn’t even get her in the dog run. She knew that following the treat lures would lead to incarceration, so she nibbled them as far as the door of the run, and then dashed back up the hill to the yard. If I made a move like I was going to grab her, she’d race away from me.

Oh, the chase game, I love this one.

I tried reverse psychology, and shut the dog run door and the sliding glass door and went inside. She tiptoed down to the dog run, stepped inside, and then turned around to race back up to the yard.

When I came back outside, she walked toward me, and I said, “Good girl. Good puppy,” but when I reached for her, she ran away. The girl’s like a cheetah. Am I supposed to shriek “No” at her when she does that?

I should add, by the way, that although she is stronger than me (and weighs 65 pounds), that once I do get a hold of her collar, she doesn’t struggle to get away from me and will come willingly inside. It’s the getting a hold of the collar that is the struggle.

At 9:30 I called to cancel my appointment. I was tied up, I said. No way I’m telling work people that I’m late because I can’t get my dog in the house. Who has such little control over their dog?

She chased her tail. She started a couple of excavations, for which she was sharply reprimanded.

I don’t know whether to show no emotion at all (as some trainers advise) or to yell at her so she knows that I don’t think we’re playing anymore.

At about 10:15, she finally slowed down enough to let me catch her. I’m not even angry at this point. She’s just a puppy who needs a lot of exercise.

Still…guess who’s not getting to play outside anymore without wearing a leash?

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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