Dog Tricks

I consider myself a fairly disciplined person. I go to work every day. I read everything I can about my industry. I cook dinner for my daughter 3-4 times a week (yes, we have a lot of leftovers). I work out every day. I even meditate. So why can’t I successfully train an 11 pound Shih Tzu?

Maybe I’m just spent from doing all the other things I have to do. Or maybe I fight it because this is supposed to be my daughter’s job. Oliver is, after all, HER dog. But, for the life of me, I can’t seem to manage to train him. I realize this is not his problem – it’s my responsibility to be consistent. I’m supposed to crate him, to take him out to the same place each time to do his business, to take him on a walk every morning and every evening. I’ve read “Caesar’s Way.” The problem is, I can’t seem to bring myself to do it.

I don’t want to get up early to walk a dog. I want to sleep as long as I possibly can. I fenced in my backyard so I didn’t have to go out with him when he needs to “go.” (Unfortunately, he would go out but still preferred to use the bathroom indoors.) I even take him with me to work most days because I can’t bear to leave him in a crate for 10 hours. Again, my problem, not his.

At work, I’m self-motivated. I want to do a good job for my clients. I want to stay in business and earn a good living. I make “things to do” lists every day. And I do the most dreaded thing first so I KNOW I’ll get it done. Enter, my new hardwood floors in the bonus room where Oliver has traditionally had most of his “accidents.” Helloooooo, motivation.

I’ve decided, come hell or high water, I’m going to whip this dog into shape. I’m getting up early to take him for a morning walk. I’m taking him out on a leash to make sure he uses the bathroom where he’s supposed to. I’m crating him every time I go out. It’s only been a week, but he’s responding very well. Not one accident so far.

Seems I’m learning how to be consistent in training my dog. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.