Nothing hard won is ever undervalued. We come to appreciate the process as a whole when diligent work and thought are required to get the results that we want. Respect is born of sweat, both physical and mental. Yet, we seem to always look for convenient solutions to problems in our lives.
I’m beginning to hate the word convenient in all its forms. It’s been perverted into a trigger word by the mad marketing monks with PhDs in psychology. When we hear it, we lose self-volition. With Zombie like determination, we head to the nearest point of sale for the item of convenience; which is more than likely another item of convenience like a computer or smart phone.
To me convenience has come to be synonymous with excuse and sloth. Take this pill, by this item, take this shortcut, and presto… your life will be that much easier. Bullshit! More than likely, all we’ve done is bury the problem deeper and deeper until, at some point, it explodes and we have no choice but to deal with it on a first hand basis.
So WTF has this got to do with dogs? Everything! Dogs are no different than anything else in our lives. People market products and techniques that seem to require little to no effort on our part to produce perfect Stepford Dogs.
Collars that promise magical transformation just by placing them on your dog; and oh by the way the electrical current or prongs employed by the collar, they’re just a gentle and humane reminder to behave. Television shows that show dog with serious behavioral problems being cured, seemingly overnight with a few well-placed hissing noises and, “ahem,” corrections.
While I may be oversimplifying a bit, I think I have a valid point. The best way to train your dog and develop a good solid relationship doesn’t involve convenience or shortcuts. It doesn’t seek to assign dogs as status seeking dominance missiles intent on household domination. It simply requires that we eschew convenience for conscious effort.
It takes time and effort to understand dog behavior as it is, not as it is spun by marketing geniuses. It takes time and effort to learn how to train our dogs without relying on gimmick or hyperbole. It takes time and effort to teach our dogs how we want them to behave in our shared homes. But the end result of all this time and effort will be one of mutual respect and understanding that will not blow up in our face when tested.