Dogs, like people are individuals. No two are exactly alike. They each have their own personalities, things they enjoy or don’t enjoy. They all learn at their own speed and they all have their own quirks, just like us. Each dog in a given liter has his own personality.
People will often tell us about a previous dog they had. Most of the time when they do they say something like, “Spot never had accidents in the house, he knew the rules from day one.” Or, “Fluffy never left the yard, I could walk her without a leash and she never left my side.”
I adopted Philip and Charlie from the SPCA in Briarcliff. They had previous homes that didn’t work out. We had to work with them before they knew our rules and fit in to our lives.
When we adopted Philip and Charlie they were 7 months old. They had no manners, and they were nothing like our previous dogs. Philip is more outgoing and Charlie is more timid. They are brothers from the same liter.
We had to work on housebreaking first. Our previous rescued dogs were all housebroken when we got them. We also had to work on behavior, obedience and walking.
Young puppies and adolescent dogs can be a lot of work. Even older dogs joining a new family must to be taught how to fit in. They don’t come knowing the rules. Some might be better then others, but most need an education. We aren’t being fair to them when we compare them to our previous dog(s).
Celebrate the uniqueness of your dog(s). He’s not Spot, Fluffy or Buster. He will be good at some things, not so good at others, but he’ll become a wonderful member of your family if you remain calm, patient and teach him how to fit in. Try not to get mad at him because it might take him longer to master something. There will be some things he just never learns or is never really good at that your previous dog got right away. Look for those things he does that make you smile and that you can enjoy together.
Philip and Charlie are special, they are not like our previous dogs and we’ve had to work with them, in fact we still do. We work on things or reinforce what they know every day. We both enjoy the interactions. When you spend time teaching your dog something it’s a time to be together, to praise your dog for a good job and a time for your dog to use his intelligence.
Philip and Charlie learn in their own ways and at their own rate of speed. It’s up to me to figure out how to teach him and to be consistent so they get it. In your home it’s up to you. Try to resist the urge to compare your dog to your previous dog(s). Enjoy him for who he is and take the time to teach him how to fit into your life. You know what happens when you do.
Happy Dogs = Happy Families