I was spending a couple of nights with Shadow and Sassy over the weekend. I was flipping stations on the tv. I came across a station I do not get at home. I think it was the Animal Planet channel, but I am not sure. There was a show on called Bad Dogs, or something like that. It showed all kinds of things these dogs were doing while their owners are not at home, being bad, of course. Most of these pet owners ended up video taping their pets while they were away to see what was really going on. I saw some dogs doing some really bad things, mostly out of boredom, loneliness, anxiety, and a need to chew and play, and be stimulated. Dogs are smarter than people give them credit for.
I have always said the dogs I have owned were too smart for their own good. I have had poochie woochies all of my life, and I am still learning new things about them every day. I have learned to be a responsible pet owner and make sure my house has been puppy proofed and kitten proofed, and I have learned to respect my pets' needs for companionship, physical exercise, mental stimulation, and training so that they know the rules around the house and when we are out and about. I can always learn something new. I am not perfect.
Here are a few things I have learned over the years:
* Poochie Woochies and Kitty Cats need lots of love and attention.
* You should not take on the responsibility of raising a pet unless you are willing to care for them as you would a child for a very long time.
* Take the trash out after a dinner with good smelling food, or put your trash can in a place where you pets cannot reach it. (Dogs can jump up on kitchen counters and tables.)
* A tired dog is a happy dog, and a tired dog is less likely to get into mischief if left alone.
* Kitties will escape out of a window if it is left open. They just push the screen out.
* Kitties like a clean potty. If they don't have one, they will pee somewhere else to teach you a lesson.
* Dogs love to be part of the pack. You must be the Alpha dog, because your dog is looking for a leader, and wants to please you. They want to know the rules and will obey them when trained properly.
* As part of the pack, your dog wants to join in a game of ball or frisbee. I know one dog who loved to play soccer with her Jolly Ball. She knew how to use her chest and legs to send the ball to you, and could block the ball and stop it when you kicked it back to her.
* Dogs have a sense of humor. I know a dog who loved to steal things just so you would chase her. She also didn't want to have her leash put on, so she ran and ran in circles around the large coffee table, or circled around the kitchen to the hallway, to the living room, and back to the kitchen. She could keep that game up forever, but I learned her weakness. She loved to get on the bed with you, so I would invite her up and then close the bedroom door. Now I could put her leash on. It takes a littlle psychology to outsmart a dog, sometimes.
I am sure you all have your own stories and learning experiences. Our babies teach us so much if we will just listen to them, and watch for the signals they are trying to share with us.
I do not have a bad dog though. I am a responsible pet owner. I just wish landlords would give me a chance to prove that to them.