The Worst Dog in the Class
*This blog was initially written on our Facebook page in September of 2013. The feelings I expressed when I wrote it still hold true today, and I couldn’t think of a better way to start off this blogging adventure :-).
I want to take a moment to acknowledge the owners of the “worst dog in the class”. You know who you are…and we do too. Not because of how your dog acts, but because of how you look when you leave the class. Our hearts break for you…and I think there’s a few things you should know.
The reality is, all of us have had our own “worst dog in the class”. We know what it feels like, and how stressful it can be. I’ve been in tears over my dogs’ behaviour at various times, and so have the other coaches. You’re not alone – in fact, consider yourself part of an elite club.
Quite honestly, we would be bored if every dog who came in the door was perfect. Your dogs make us better trainers. They challenge us to research, test, discuss, theorize, and improve our techniques so we can meet the needs of every dog – not just the “ideal” dogs.
I want you to know we think you’re amazing. You sometimes face huge challenges when you come to class, but you come anyway…and that says so much about you as a person. Your actions tell us that you are patient, kind, committed…and that you dearly love this dog who you think is the “worst dog in the class.”
So keep coming to class, and hold your head high when you enter and exit those doors. Remember that the dog you leave with loves you just as much as the dog you arrived with. And know that the look in our eyes isn’t judgement – only respect and admiration.