If you’re a DIY dog trainer like me, your dog probably developed a bad habit at one point or another. Yep, like Spock in the photo, your furry buddy may have enjoyed snoozing like a champ on your bed (or in this case, our kids’ beds).
Rest assured, after the photo was taken, he was jostled from his royal slumber and taught a lesson—dogs do not sleep on human beds (at least not this particular time…). But this incident got me thinking about more about some of Spock’s bad habits.
Like most ‘small dogs’, his most annoying behavior is probably his yappiness. Mind you, it is nowhere near as terrible or nonsensical as ankle-biters like my sister’s toy Chihuahua. Typically, there is a rhyme or reason to his barking…or he’s just being an loud grump to other dogs. However, it can still be an annoyance nonetheless.
His worst—and yet fascinating—habit is his tendency to chase and hunt small game. In fact, when we lived in the bluegrass country of Kentucky, his gameness and prey drive was an appealing characteristic in deterring pests like rabbits and birds out of our blueberry bushes and vegetable gardens. Unfortunately, now in the urban city of Minneapolis, this becomes a concerning safety hazard when his instincts kicks in and he tries to bolt off to chase squirrels (some of which runs across streets and parking lots). Hopefully, in a few months, we will secure a smaller fenced-in acreage where he can resume his squirrel treeing adventures.
Other than that, Spock is an outstanding dog. He understands verbal, nonverbal, and visual cues. He minds well and knows how to handle our kids’ vexing behaviors—he tolerates some rough play; but unlike our Boxer who loves the kids no matter what, when things get out of control, Spock will walk off to higher grounds without complaints. These days, when we go out, he is allowed to freely roam the house without any issues. But then again, he’s never been much of a chewer…so destructive chewing has never really been a concern. When allowed to share furniture, my wife’s biggest peeve with Spock is his penchant for laying on your face (often with his now-snipped doggie jewels laying against it)! This has never been issue with me; but she claims that it’s because of the whole alpha-pack thing…who knows. It doesn’t seem to occur that much anymore since the ‘operation’.
Therefore, besides the prey drive, my (lazy) dog training talents is probably the reason for some of his bad habits. Either way, he’s an awesome and well-behaved dog. That’s saying something from someone who previously had no interest in a ‘small dog’!
I know many of you feel the same way about your canine companions. Feel free to share their bad habits with us at BarkThink. Misery loves company, you know!