Ways to love, train, educate, share information, and revel in being a Pitbull Parent.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Failing the Well Behaved Dog Guidelines and Why it Doesn't Matter

I have heard from many different experts that dog owners should not treat their dogs like children. That seems like sound advice, and relatively easy to follow, as well. And It makes sense, your dog is your pet, not your flesh and blood, right?

However, if any of you lovely readers are like me, your dog is kind of like your baby. You're bonded to him/her almost as intimately as you are to your own children. Your dogs mood affects you; if your dog is happy, playful, and smiley, you become happy, playful, and smiley. And your moods seem to be reflected in your canine buddy. I know when I'm sad and weepy, Con comes to me and snuggles, and it makes me feel better.

So in the opinion of many dog experts, some famous, some not, my pittie fails, in an extraordinary way, their well behaved dog guidelines.

Those guidelines include things like:

  • Not allowing the dog onto the living room furniture
Con loves, loves, loves laying on the couches! She's so spoiled about comfort that she, literally, will not lay on the floor without some sort of cushion. She's been known to drag a blanket off the couch, and work it with her paws until she's satisfied with the comfy lump she's formed on the floor. Then she lays on it and takes a nap. 
Con sleeping on top of pillows on the couch
Con, the Queen of Comfort, sleeping on top of pillows on the couch. 
  • Not allowing the dog to sleep in the bed with you
Again, the Queen of Comfort, as I affectionately call Con, loves her soft and comfy bed, A.K.A. my bed. While she usually won't go lay on the bed until I call it a night, she races me up the stairs and is waiting, not so patiently, for me when I reach my bedroom. Her favorite place is underneath the covers, so I spend a portion of my night  holding the covers up as she goes back and forth between going under the blankets, and laying on top of the blankets. I think she gets a little toasty under there after a while and needs to come up for air!
  • Not allowing the dog to play tug-of-war
Yeah, tug is the only game Con really likes to play, and during the winter months it can be the only exercise she gets. Without regular exercise my pitbull turns into an explosive bundle of energy that drives me crazy. So I think tug stays.
  • Not allowing the dog to lay on your lap
This no-no actually makes sense to me. The theory is that your dog is claiming ownership of you when he/she lays on top of you, therefore stopping anyone else from getting too close. Since Concobar gets a tiny bit jealous when anyone, and I do mean anyone, tries to hug or kiss me, I can see the truth in this theory.

That being said, I still let Con lay on my lap. We have cuddle time. I like it. Sue me!
  • No "baby talk" allowed when interacting with the dog
While I don't really use the cutesy baby talk tone when I talk to my pittie, I do find myself saying, "Who's my good girl? Con's my good girl! Yes she is!" I think she likes it, I think it makes her feel special. Okay, maybe that's me projecting on my dog, but does it hurt her? No, then baby talk continues! 

The point of all this is simple. My co-worker and friend, Cheryl, really put this into words for me one day while we were discussing this topic. Her comment was, "It's all about what YOU find acceptable. If it doesn't bother you, then what your dog is doing is just fine." 

Wow. Imagine that! All those experts, and it comes down to what I want? Now there's a new concept! 

But Cheryl was right. If you don't mind your dog being on the furniture, then let him/her on the furniture! If your dog is as well behaved as you want, then you've done a good job. If he/she listens to you when you order them off the couch, then all is well in doggie/pitbull parent land. Being happy with your dog is what matters. That's the beauty of being the owner, you get to decide what you're going to train your dog to do. If you don't want your dog sleeping in your bed, then don't let him/her in the bed. Done deal. 


  1. Dogs are family members and we should treat them like this!!!

    1. Hi Suse,
      I agree! Our dogs are a vital part of our households, and families. My Con keeps me company, makes me happy when I'm sad, and entertains me when I'm bored. I think it's only fair to let her sleep on the couch!
      Thanks for reading!