A herd of daycare kids walks by our back patio every morning if it’s warm. The kids walk within 15 feet of our door, linked together in a line. My dog is often napping in the morning sunlight as they pass.
Ace likes to growl quietly from the window, or he’ll announce two, little “woofs.” It’s natural for any dog to do this, but I don’t tolerate barking or growling. One growl or one woof to alert me is fine, but no more. This is the agreement between Ace and I.
Today I was reading as the kids went by. My dog watched them, thumped his tail, and let out one soft growl. Almost like silent growling.
“What a good boy you are, Ace,” I said. He looked at me, calm and cool, like it was no big deal. But his tail thumped and thumped. I think he was proud of himself.
We have to remember to reward our good dogs. Some of us have these easy, non-reactive dogs like Ace. Sometimes we expect too much from them. Sometimes they are so good, we don’t even notice unless they screw up.
You’re a good boy, Ace.