As I begin to read more and more dog training blogs, I notice myself paying more and more attention to my own dog's behaviors. It's a bit humbling, to say the least.
There was a point in my life, not so long ago, when I believed that I had well behaved, well trained dogs. And while I still think this is mostly accurate, I am also coming to realize that they are well behaved and well trained in our own little world. That is, when it's me and them, all is good. I am the one they look to for direction, I am the one they listen to, I am the one who has become so smotheringly worried about them that I won't let anybody else do anything with them.
Bad dog mama!
My whole adult life, when I needed a dog sitter, I would enlist the help of my vet. Professional dog people, close to my home, kennels where they can't escape, etc. In the past year, I've been working hard to try and get out of my comfort zone and let people watch my dogs.
But as soon as I leave for wherever I am going, I am flooded with these terrible thoughts.
"They are going to run away, I know it"
"This person can't possibly control 4 dogs! I need to turn around and go back!"
"They don't understand how damaging Aussies can be on a house!"
It's never as bad as I think it is, my dogs are actually good dogs and everything is fine upon my return. But I have this keep seated belief that nobody, nobody, can take care of my dogs as well as I can. Plus, knowing an Aussies nature and seeing first hand how they can react when stuck with somebody they don't know, I worry it will turn into a 'Homeward Bound' moment and they will all start talking to each other and determine that they must run away at all cost to track me down.
As I was setting up this blog for launch, even though nobody is going to read it probably, I started paying close attention to my dogs. And I came to one conclusion.
They are just not that well trained!
Going outside to potty them is dangerous if you are in their path as they barrel towards the door. And I realized that's a lot my fault because I make going outside to potty an exciting event. "Should we go outside and go potty?!" I announce with great enthusiasm. Mostly I do this because I love how no matter what they are doing, everybody's ears go up, their heads cock and they all stand at attention. It's kind of a giddy moment for me. I think to myself, look how beautiful and perfect they all are! Then as soon as I make any motion to stand up, it becomes a race to the door. Shoes go flying, dvd stands tumble, rugs are heaved aside, the cat is trampled. If Kirby had to launch himself over a recliner to beat the rest, the chair tips over. There is barking and nails scratching the floor.
It's really chaotic. I had at one point enlisted the help of a fellow disc dogger for advice in remedying this, but I was in a hurry and didn't take the time I should have and soon forgot about it. Now I wish I could find it! I envision 4 dogs lazily walking to the door and through it.
I girl can dream can't she?