The Perfect Dog Redux

Doggone it, people like me.

Many of the comments I received on yesterday’s rant, The Perfect Dog, dealt with two areas of concern that I think bear repeating, letting dogs be dogs, and instant gratification.

Firmer skin, tighter abs, buns of steel, bigger this, better that, and of course the perfect dog are all (it would seem) just a mouse click away. Time it seems is a huge commodity that is hawked and lauded as the greatest thing since, well, bread you didn’t have to take the time to slice yourself.

I’m sure that we’ve all bought a product that is kind of like our dirty little secret, we keep it hidden from our friends lest they discover we purchased something that has “As Seen On TV” on the box. In rare cases the product may have even been useful and dare I say, worth the money? However, as I so subtlety put yesterday, the best results are achieved we get off our buns of steel and put in the time and effort that have produced fantastic results since time immemorial.

Someone a hell of a lot smarter than me once said “It’s not the destination that counts, it’s how you get there.” I think our dogs would agree that taking the time to work and bond with them, rather than choking them into submission, is a fine idea indeed.

The other frequent response I got was on the idea of the perfect dog. What does that mean exactly? A dog that never barks, never farts, never sniffs, never sheds, and always picks up after themselves? Dog lovers know that dogs are dogs and they are going to do dog-like things. They are not programmable and there is no software upgrade we can install to make them stop behaving like a dog.

They will seek out the foulest smelling thing they can find and bathe in it. They will sniff each other asses’ at the most inappropriate time. If they see a fire hydrant they’re going to want to piss on it. And if they see a mud puddle, they’re going to play in it. No matter how well-mannered we teach them to be, they are still dogs and will act accordingly. And you know what? That’s okay! As Stuart Smalley might have said, “They’re good enough, they’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like them.

I know I do.



7 thoughts on “The Perfect Dog Redux

  1. In a lot less time than it will take to figure out why the one seriously flawed species is in charge of all the others, I can teach my dolt of a rescue dog not to crush my foot as he dashes out the open door. Using only positive reinforcement. Right after another cup of coffee.

  2. Well said, Kevin. Dogs will be dogs, and that’s how it should be. “Perfecting” them would ruin them. Someone a lot smarter than me once said, “That which you resist persists.” The wonderful thing about a family is that each individual’s crazy fits together – and you love each other for who they are.

  3. They are not people (thank God) and they are not robots. Being able to enjoy them for what they are is the beauty of it. Even though I hate it when they roll in deer poop! LOL

  4. The notion of “the perfect dog” is ridiculous and brings to mind more questions than answers. How does one define “the perfect dog”? Who claims to have the astuteness and authority to coin such a definition?

    Furthermore, why would anyone even want “the perfect dog”? It seems that they’d be no fun at all.

    And lastly, I’d like to meet those who aspire to perfect dogs and check to see if they are perfect people.

    Me? I want a happy and healthy dog. Not a perfect one!

  5. Yesterday when I was walking a dog one of my neighbors was leaving his yard to take his dog for a walk – his dog barked at mine, my dog barked at his and he choked his dog to get him to stop. Then he dragged him back into the backyard and kept watching till we got to the end of the street before he brought him back out to walk. I was so infuriated. Dogs bark – they are dogs. I don’t know what kind of “training system” he is using, but I wanted to choke him.

    I feel badly for dogs under the care of people that fall for these ridiculous training systems. I wish more people understood what “normal” dog behavior is. I want a happy and healthy dog too – thanks for the post!

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