I get comments like this:
“Oh, you’re so lucky. Labs are so easy to train.”
“Ace is so easy. My dog won’t do that.”
These comments don’t piss me off, but they make me feel like all my hours of work (like, literally thousands of hours) with Ace mean nothing.
These comments imply my dog is obedient simply because he’s a Lab mix or an “easy” dog.
Have any of you experienced anything like this with the kind of dog you own?
For example, maybe you have a border collie, and someone said something like, “Oh, agility must be really easy for you.”
Ugh, frustrating, right?
How to Piss Off A Golden Retriever Owner
The blog Something Wagging This Way Comes, written by Pamela and her dog Honey, had such an interesting post on this topic. You can read the whole post here.
From Something Wagging:
It happened again.
With a hand signal, I asked Honey to lie down on the ground quietly. The person I was talking to said the one thing guaranteed to piss off a golden retriever owner: “Aww, aren’t goldens great? My dog would never do that.”
Have any of you experienced anything like this?
As a Labrador owner, I am actually concerned for all the Labradors and golden retrievers out there faced with such high expectations. I’ve written about this here.
These breeds are spoken so highly of that people actually believe retrievers are automatically friendly, sociable, obedient and gentle.
They’re often recommended as first dogs or as good dogs for families with children because they’re “so great.”
But, as you all know, retrievers are far from perfect!
Retrievers are often high energy. They’re usually strong and exuberant.
They often like to jump on people, and to grab or carry things in their mouths.
They typically like to dive head first into open water.
They’re known as chewers, especially as puppies.
Ever had a golden jump up and slam into your chest? I have. It’s not fun.
My Lab mix knocked me flat on my back one time in pursuit of his ball. I think I even cried. My dog didn’t even notice he hit me!
And automatically friendly? Not necessarily so.
There’s this golden in our apartment complex, and for a lack of a better term, that dog is real A-hole! He’s walked on a retractable leash, and whenever he sees us, he lunges and growls at Ace. We actually joke about him sometimes, like, “Oh, God, here comes that asshole again.”
I’m sure he’s really sweet when he’s not around other pets, as most reactive dogs are. But the point is – gasp! – golden retrievers can be reactive too, just like any breed.
And one more thing … my dog IS easy!
In all honesty, my dog IS easy.
He IS easy to train. He picks up on new concepts almost immediately.
He’s treat, praise and toy motivated, almost in equal amounts.
If I ask him to sit, it doesn’t even cross his mind to ignore me. He sits, and then gazes up at me, like, “I’m a good boy, right?”
But Ace doesn’t act this way because he’s a Lab. He acts this way for all sorts of reasons like his individual personality, a good upbringing, lots of love and exercise and socialization and of course hours of training over many years.
He’s 9 years old now, and we still train every single day because it helps my dog and I be the best team we can be.
We communicate. We trust one another. We have fun!
That’s what dog training is all about for me. That’s what owning and loving any type of dog means to me. Breed has very little to do with anything.
How about you guys?
Have any of you ever received similar comments about your dog’s breed? What does training and working with your dog mean to you?
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