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Dog training: I’m not perfect, and neither is my dog

I am not perfect.

I have no sense of style. I eat lots of Girl Scout cookies. I can never get up on time. I avoid people so I don’t have to think of things to say.

And my mutt Ace?

Not perfect either.

I think some people expect my dog to be perfect because I write about dog training. He’s not.

When we had our dog at our wedding, some of our friends seemed shocked that Ace acted like a dog.

He whined. Drooled on nice clothes. Got hair on my dress. Pulled on the leash and made gagging sounds.

My dog Ace at our wedding

I’m not sure what they were expecting. Lassie?

Dogs are dogs!

My favorite dogs at Westminster were the ones that grabbed treats off the floor and bounced up on two legs. They knew what was up.

And so, I’m here to share with you some of my dog’s flaws, and I hope you’ll share your own examples in the comments.

My imperfect dog Ace

My dog whines. A lot.

If you ride in our car, he might hyperventilate and cry and fling drool onto your clothes.

If I forget to put the toilet lid down, my dog will drink the entire bowl. Then throw up on the rug.

My dog walks in a circle while he shits, which means if he’s on a leash I’m left standing in a ring of poop.

My dog peed on my parents’ indoor plant. He tries to mark potted flowers and people’s trash cans. It drives me nuts.

One time, he took a dump right on the dog agility course.

When I’m on the phone, he licks his penis really, really loudly.

If he’s off leash, he will absolutely dive headfirst into the nearest source of open water.

Before people visit our apartment, I have to set aside time to wipe drool off our walls, refrigerator and doors. Sometimes the drool is above my head. Once, it was on the ceiling.

My dog pulls on the leash when he sees other dogs. He will not come when called if someone is holding a tennis ball. If we don’t include him in any type of game that involves any type of ball, he will whine and squeal like a drunken piglet.

These are the reasons my dog is not perfect. There are many other reasons, but this gives you an idea.

I do not try to train my dog to stop these behaviors. These are just the things he does.

These are the things you learn to put up with when the dog you love is Ace.

What makes your dog imperfect?

Lab mix Ace sitting by the flowers on a trail

Kimberly Gauthier

Monday 24th of February 2014

Rodrigo sometimes doesn't listen to me. If I need him to come, I sometimes have to walk towards him to show him that I'm serious. He's waiting to see - I don't know what.

I used to get so frustrated with the fact that he didn't always listen until a professional dog trainer told me that sometimes her dog doesn't listen either. It lifted a weight off my shoulder and that little admission improved how I interacted with Rodrigo.

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 24th of February 2014

I'm thinking all dogs choose not to listen at one point or another, don't you think? If someone says their dog always comes when called, they're probably lying. :)


Thursday 20th of February 2014

I live in Europe and when I told our wonderful vet I was looking for a dog in an animal shelter, her response was 'Oh no, you don't want to do that' as pure breads are more desirable here. When I found Simon at an animal shelter, I was a bit nervous taking him in having a tendency to be a people-pleaser. When she met him she said 'you got a good dog', and said 'I prayed for him for a year'. She then asked me 'how long did you pray for your husband?' My answer: 'longer'! Truly, they both have been answers to prayer! This is all in spite of the fact that my Simon still pulls on the leash, thought I continue to work with him. He barks at strangers passing our house probably terrorizing children. He rolls his ears in nasty stuff in the woods. He too can do the loud licking. So glad Lindsay that your Ace is not perfect as it makes the rest of us feel so much better!


Thursday 20th of February 2014

OMG! I lost it when I read about the "ring of poop". Both my dogs are perfect! ;-) On second thought, only one of them is. Linus barks too much when he gets excited.

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 24th of February 2014

So glad I made you laugh! :)


Wednesday 19th of February 2014

The licking...our mutt will take it upon herself to clean when it's time to go to bed and the lights are turned off. The slurping lick is deafening in the dark. *gag*

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 19th of February 2014

Haha! I know! So gross.


Tuesday 18th of February 2014

Oh, I love this! Makes me feel better! I laughed out loud more than once while reading this.

PS-Love the pic of you two, with you in your wedding gown!

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 19th of February 2014

Haha! So glad you liked it.