choke chainsThere’s been something Noodle has been nudging me to get off my chest – something that has been bothering me for a long time now.  Noodle is right.  If I talk about it, hopefully people will learn.  So here goes…

Recently I met a dog owner who was not yet a customer.  I was excited to tell him about the business, because he seemed like the perfect customer.  My perfect customer not only owns a dog, but really loves their dog (or really thinks they do, or really wants to).  Sometimes that comes later.  As I was busy assuming he’d be right on target with our line of thinking, I went on and on about how great DogBoy’s is – how we are different from other pet care facilities in town.  I got to the part where I tell people how we don’t use any harsh training methods.  That means no choke chains, no pinch or prong collars, and no shock collars.  (We don’t even use the word “No”!)

He laughed, lowered and shook his head, dismissing me.

“It’s okay.  My dog is a Lab, so she can take it.”

As he went on to tell me what a great hunting dog she was, and how those kinds of corrections don’t bother her at all, mostly I just heard the school teacher in those old Charlie Brown episodes on TV.  “Wa wa wa wa wa…”  After he said she could “take it”, that’s all I heard.  That, and my heart beating out of my chest.  He disappeared into his car, and my head was spinning.  How could he say that to me?  How could he do that to her?  How could he not KNOW?  How could ANYONE not know?  Sometimes I have to remember that so many people just – don’t – know.  Some do.

What I wanted to tell him was that there’s a better way.  Your dog can behave and do what you want because she trusts you, because she respects you, because she is excited to follow you.  You don’t have to choke her, or hurt her, or shock her into “seeing the light.”  Those methods work because she is afraid, and wants to avoid the pain.  Take the collar off, and you have  no control.  No trust.  No respect.  Long term, that doesn’t help either of you.  Wouldn’t it be better if you could earn your dog’s trust?  If you were worthy of it?

Our goal is to create a mutually respectful relationship between you and your dog.  We foster this with everything we do and say, both to you and to your dogs in our care.  We do our best to teach you the same, and to give you that thirst for knowledge.  If you need help, we are absolutely here for you.  We offer group classes, private lessons, Board & Train, and Charm School (day care training) to help you and your dog live a happy life together.

I saw a great quote recently –

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.  You are his life, his love, his leader.  He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.  You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” – Unknown

Go forth and spread the word – and go home, and love your dog.  I would say hug your dog, but dogs don’t really like that.  We’ll save that topic for another day!