We went away for the long 4th of July weekend and had a blast. When we returned home, unpacked, and sat on the patio to relax in the afternoon sun, I was dismayed to find that the flower garden, that I’d just weeded before we left, was overrun with new weeds!
How could that be? I threw almost as many weeds out of that garden as we had flowers! And now there were more weeds than plants in there.
Dog training is very much like weeding your garden. You can’t get by with weeding the garden just once. It takes weekly maintenance.
Ignore those weeds too long, and the weeding becomes tedious, even discouraging.
Those weeds will steal all the nutrients and your plants will suffer.
Hmm, yes gardening and dog training have a lot in common!
Taking your dog to a training class is definitely a good idea. All dogs need guidance in good doggie manners. But they will likely benefit even more from ongoing training.
Just as you can’t set a tomato plant in the garden, ignore it, and expect to gather a hefty harvest, neither can you give your dog one training class and expect a good dog to grow. Just like the tomato plant, your dog needs weekly work to help him develop into a well-mannered dog who listens to you.
And, just like gardening, the more you put into your dog’s training, the more rewards you’ll reap. I’ve weeded my vegetable garden every week, put some Sevin dust to keep the bugs away, thinned out the carrots so they can grow, put up tomato cages to support the growing plants, put up mesh for the cucumbers to grow, watered and fertilized it regularly.
Some of my neighbors do even more than I do to my garden. And, predictably, their gardens look better and yield even bigger harvests. You get back from your garden what you put into it, plain and simple.
You can’t skimp on dog training for your dog — unless, of course, you don’t expect to have a dog who listens to you and who has good manners. Your dog is very much like a garden. Take the time to give your dog’s education some tender loving care — and you’ll reap great benefits (great behavior) for many years to come!
Yes, yes, YES!!!! Having a well behaved dog is a daily commitment to training and reinforcing and setting your dog up for successes. Thank you for the reminder!
Great article and analogy Laurie-will definitely use it with my clients!