Do They Always Have To Like It?

My dogs Gavin and Annie

Annie and Gavin taking a break

With temperatures in the high 40s and sunshine– today was a welcome respite from the near 3 months of rain, sleet, gloom, and snow that has been our constant companion here in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.  The sacred doggy pool has been one solid chunk of ice & muck for months and it finally thawed out enough so I could pump it out and clean it.

As you can see from the pictures, everyone had a great time and was really enjoying the extended romp today. Playing with the dogs I was reminded of how individualistic they are and that each one has their own peculiarities.

Physically handling our dogs is something that is both necessary and even pleasurable for us, but our dogs may not be so inclined. One of the first things that we try to work on with our dogs (especially when they are puppies and it’s much easier and safer to train) is that it is okay to be handled. Touching and holding every part of their body, as well as hugs and pats are all things that should be worked on. Some may disagree with the hugging and patting part but I’ve found that other people and especially children tend not to hear anything you tell them about a dog, they just dive right in. So it’s best to be prepared.

But just because we teach them to tolerate it doesn’t mean that they have to like it. Annie (above practicing her Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon moves) likes to be held and petted. Gavin (my blue eyed blue merle) absolutely does not like being held or petted, although he sings a different tune when it comes to a TTouch or massage session. Tosha (my red Aussie) is our new girl and although she like to be pet and scratched, the mood must strike her just right.

Remember that teaching our dogs to be handled doesn’t mean they have to like it, just that they will tolerate it. Dogs like humans are individuals and we all have our own comfort zones.

We hope that you are able to get out and enjoy your weekend just like we are.


Kevin Jackie Gavin Annie Tosha