While I help run this adorable blog, The Puppy Places, I’m also a photographer over at Jill Kingsbury Photography and love taking cute photographs of dogs. I’ve recently been using those skills at our local humane society and just yesterday taught a class to several kids about how to take great pet photos. We went over the basics of taking a good picture, and then discussed how to get a dog’s attention and keep it. At the end of the class, one little girl mentioned that she just couldn’t get the dog to look at her. When I asked her if she tried getting down to his level, using treats, and moving around, she answered yes to all of the above. However, when I asked her if she did the most embarrassing thing that most of the kids DIDN’T want to do (making loud, crazy noises and acting like a complete fool), her answer was a very sheepish “noooo”. It’s understandable for a 10 year old, but something I think we can all learn from.
The problem wasn’t that she can’t handle working with a dog, the problem is that she didn’t fully commit to it. Fully committing to working with your dog means that sometimes… you’re going to look silly. Sometimes… people will laugh at you. But the reason you’re training your dog is to create a better life for him or her. Is your dog worth it? ABSOLUTELY.
So leverage the tools you have, the tricks you can, but most importantly, leverage yourself. Be committed to training your dog, and just as important, be who your dog needs you to be. <3