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Bear - 8.5 mo old male GSD & 5 cats - Benny (6), Nani (6), Kingston (6), Rigby (4) and Hazel (3)
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I'm quickly learning that training Bear reveals MY short comings and not his. If he is weak in areas, then it's because I am weak in those areas. He is just a dog who is curious about his world and more than willing to learn. If a plant does not grow properly we do not blame the plant. We blame the soil from which it was grown.

I owe it to Bear to be at my best, so he can be at his. He has been the best dog I could possibly ask for. Always willing to forgive my mistakes and grow from them together.

For example: Bear pulls on hikes. I made excuses. "He's just excited. He just wants me to walk faster." Ect. But in reality he didn't know what I expected of him. I wasn't properly communicating to him what I needed. As a 5 foot 1, 103 lb woman, this was becoming a problem. (He is off leash at home as we have a few acres for him to run) So today we set out with intention. I'm not going to allow it anymore. I did a very simple technique with Bear that worked in minutes. Literally minutes. And we had a 2.5 hour hike with the leash loose. Unbelievable. Or is it?

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I'm done underestimating my dog and myself. He has shown me time and time again that if I lead, he will follow. It is ME who needs the training. Not him.

End note: This pulling issue is one of very few issues I have to address with Bear. He has learned and grown SO much since the beginning of our journey together. We've had ups and downs but I could not be happier with the place we are at currently. He's an amazing dog for so many reasons and our bond is very strong. Of course we still have so much to learn but I'm truly excited for all that will entail. I love my dog. ♥

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"All the pay I need comes a-shinin' through his eyes
I don't need no cold water to make me realize that
I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through."

 

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Owning up to our own shortcomings and putting in the time to correct both ourselves and our pups creates a better relationship x100. Lots of times people give up on dogs when with a little HUMAN correction their behavior would be way more manageable… but that takes responsibility.. That’s where I am now with my 4mo old, realizing it’s me who lets things go unchecked so its me that needs to get my sh*t together and nip it in the bud!

Great job with Bear!! I can feel y’all’s bond just through this post!
 

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Interesting analogy but not quite 100% "there" imo

There are dogs with shortcomings just like there are plants and trees that need more than just ideal soil to grow tall and straight.

What we can do as the dog's soil is bring them to the highest level of each dog's inherent limitations. Which is very very high with the average GSD and yes, held back by the majority of pet owners.

There are probably far less than 1% of GSD who will be tested beyond their abilities just as there is a tiny fraction of Ferrari's brought close to theirs. Different comparison for you

Most people could be better drivers.;)
 
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