Often we hear someone throw a compliment our way. Something like, “What a well-behaved dog.” Or, “Wow, wish my do were that chill.”
Steve usually responds with, “I’m lucky. Roxie has a calm temperament. You know, economy of motion.”
Well, that is correct. I’d rather lie in the sand then run down the beach. (Of course, you-know-who never takes me off the leash when we are on the beach. Something about a law. He can be a bit of rule stickler at times. But I digress….).
So, I guess that is part of my disposition. But it got me thinking. What came first? The temperament or the training? Kind of like, what came first, the dog or the biscuit?
I hear I was born with a certain type of personality. Same with Steve. But I have to think the training we both went through helped us along as a team. We both have learned to read one another. (Though, he can be a little slow picking up cues from me at times. Don’t mention it to him. He does try hard.) But there are things I would never do without the signals he sends to me with his voice, eyes, or direction of the leash. Certain words catch my attention. Like leave it and watch me and sit and come and kong and biscuit. I don’t care how chill I might have been born, without the training those cues would mean less to me than manners matter to a squirrel. (Twerking squirrels!)
And there is one more piece to the training: Practice. You see, it is one thing to learn how to sit, stay, and come. But if both of us did not practice that each day, we might forget what to do. Or at the least, might be a little slow on the uptake. Each test and re-test keeps both of us sharp and working as a team.
Can you think of a time when you learned a new skill and then had to constantly practice it to remain good at it? Have you ever become, ah, how do the humans say it? Rusty. That’s it! Have you ever become rusty because you haven’t practiced?
I could have wonderful temperament and superb training but without constant reminders and little tests who knows what I’d remember.
I continue to be a lucky pup. WOOF!
Thanks for coming back to my blog. You make me happier than biscuits!
My book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, is still available. I share stories and lessons about friends, family, and fun. And I speak about purpose as well. (Steve says for dogs we might just want to call it “furpose.” He makes words up, I think.) Perhaps the book holds a biscuit or two for you or for a friend!
The Growth and Resilience Network®
Steve Piscitelli. 2021©