Dogs can do no wrong

This month’s Positive Pet Training theme is Mantras.

Here’s mine: My dogs can do no wrong.

Last night, Leo countersurfed a steak off a grill at the GrandPawrents’ house. We all laughed about it, because who leaves an entire steak on the counter in Leo’s presence? The only reason to be upset would be if he had burned himself on the grill, but it had cooled.

Then he climbed up into Grandma’s recliner like it wasn’t no thing.

I’ve had dogs who destroyed doors, ate parking brakes, eviscerated car seats (these dogs still live in my house), pulled the stuffing out of couches, bitten people, fought with each other, embarrassed me in public, chased after a deer or another dog with enough power to pull me off my feet and drag me through the mud or gravel, forced a bedroom remodel by tearing up the carpet…



I don’t recall ever being mad at them.

They didn’t ask to live in this world with weird rules about chewing some stuffed objects but not others, requiring them to be tethered by leashes so that they don’t run into traffic, where people mounted to wheeled contraptions whiz directly toward them. We domesticated them and forced them into a lifestyle they don’t understand.

It’s never their fault. Keeping them safe from the latter and teaching them about the former is my job, and if they get confused or make a mistake, that’s on me. (or Grandma.)

Join Wag ‘n Woof PetsTenacious Little Terrier, and Travels with Barley each month for the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop, where we share positive training posts, starting on the first Monday of the month and lasting all week.

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

6 thoughts on “Dogs can do no wrong

  1. It’s so easy to forget that it’s our job to teach them the behaviors we want from them–especially when Barley is diving face first into the bowl of expensive prescription cat food for the third time in one day! That’s why I’ve embraced a gate as a part of my permanent kitchen decor 😉 Thanks for such an important reminder!

    1. Between Leo’s surgery and Mia’s old bones, our house is covered in yoga mats to prevent slipping. Add to that the chewed door frames and dog hair covering everything… well, I’ve embraced Dog Decor as well.

  2. You are so right!! I often have to remind my husband about this. He might get mad if the dogs destroy or break something, or if they’re digging holes where we don’t want them in the yard. I am always reminding him that those are just things and not important. “Why do they have to dig?”, he always asks. My answer is “probably because it’s fun!!!” We have to just let dogs be dogs as much as we can, as long as whatever they’re doing can’t bring any harm to them or others.

  3. I agree that we shouldn’t set up dogs to do wrong things! We’re pretty lax because Mr. N is non-destructive and doesn’t really steal things. I have to run around proofing the house when dogs come to visit.

  4. Absolutely! I wish more people adopted this mantra.

    And once you realize how much we expect from dogs to live in our world, aren’t they even more amazing for how well they succeed?

  5. Sometimes when I’m training someone’s dog, it’s clear that what they really expect is robotic behavior from their dogs. That’s NOT how I roll, and it’s NOT how I train! I’m never trying to create a robot for a pet! I’m hoping to communicate to my dog owners that their dogs are living, breathing, THINKING creatures! They can make choices! In my training, I just hope to teach dogs to make the consistent good, safe choices that I want, and produce the calm and chill behavior that I’m looking for when it’s called upon.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: