I’m normally not one for spoilers, but there is no such thing as the perfect dog. You can train 8 hours a day 365 days a year, and you will not have the perfect dog. As a dog trainer, that’s a pretty tough thing for me to admit. I like to provide my clients with everything they want and need. I like to have the happiest clients in the world and provide them with the absolute best dog training available.
But at the end of the day, no one can create the perfect dog. It has taken me a long time to be able to admit this, but humans aren’t capable of following training protocols perfectly…not even dog trainers.
I have to admit that sometimes my dog gets on the couch when we’re not home. He sometimes begs for food at the table. Do I know what do to to make these behaviors stop? Of course. The question is, do I really care? The answer to that is no. The problem of the occasional incident of vacuuming dog hair off of the couch is not enough of a motivator for me to put in the effort to fix it. I quite honestly just really don’t care that much. He’s old, if he wants to sneak on the couch every now and then, he’s welcome to.
There are things in dog training that are non-negotiable. Obedience commands, coming when called, heeling, being well behaved with people and other dogs are all things that are absolutely 100% solid. I make sure my dog does these things no matter what. If my dog ever showed an issue with any of these things we would make sure we fixed it asap. But there are some things that we have to look at how much effort is involved in fixing it, and if it really matters to us. If begging really bothered me, I would put in the time to fix it. However, I really don’t mind it so it continues.
We have to look at the issue and decide if it’s really worth our time to fix it. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t put effort into fixing the little things. I’m just saying if your normally well-behaved and well-mannered dog makes an occasional error that doesn’t make you a bad dog owner or a bad dog trainer. The issue really boils down to where you want to put your time and energy.