What to listen for:
Living with a powerful, high-drive dog obviously has its set of challenges. That’s even more true when sharing a household with multiple working dogs.
In today’s episode, Stacy, Robin, and Crystal open up about the realities of managing the day-to-day lives of dogs bred for work. They explain that drive expresses itself in dogs in a lot of ways owners don’t expect. But no matter how messy or even violent the expression, we must avoid judging our furry friends by the standards of human morality.
Our hosts share how they’ve been able to maintain a happy household where their dogs feel safe, and how they’ve navigated days in which almost everything seems to be going wrong. A lot of the work, they found, comes down to taking pressure off of yourself and refusing to slap a label on your dog (ex. “She’s an angry dog/He’s a nervous dog, etc.”).
They remind us that the human-dog dynamic is ever-changing by the day, and that we must be aware and adaptable as owners in order to stay in control. Finally, we have to be willing to commit to a regular schedule of care, play, and training, because “it’s not all happiness all the time. It's a daily crate and rotate. It’s a routine and a responsibility.”
Managing the day-to-day life of a dog bred for work (04:28)
Caring for elderly dogs (09:31)
Fulfilling your dog’s needs (15:42)
Seeing fights between dogs as teachable moments (19:44)
Training, not running, your dogs every day (35:27)
Setting boundaries for yourself (37:31)
The importance of rest and having a support system (41:20)
Knowing which combination of dogs don’t work well (45:11)
Acknowledging how a dog feels (49:05)
Our takeaways (51:09)
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