I’m preparing for an Orientation for a new set of classes tonight. I bring a dog or two of my own to use as demonstration dogs. No other dogs come to class that night. So which dogs should I bring? Nemo? Tango? Lily? A combination?
There isn’t a simple answer – Lily’s a bit reactive around other dogs. Tango can be grumpy if there are puppies around. Nemo’s great, but he’s a drool machine.
And here’s the interesting part:
Lily is without question the smartest dog of the three. I can teach her just about anything. She’s a fast learner, too. And eager! Sometimes she’s too fast! And go figure – she’s also the one who needs the most "management" when we’re out and about. She’s not aggressive, just really noisy when she sees another dog. Not happy, not mad, just really excited.
Nemo’s probably the slowest dog of the three. He’s much more interested in socializing with people and other dogs, than he is in actually learning something. He’s not a dummy, don’t get me wrong, he just has his own priorities… (And as I mentioned earlier, he’s got the drool-thing going on in a big way!)
Tango is a certified therapy dog – you’d think he’d be the easiest, best, fastest, etc. Strangely enough, he’s not! He’s earned his Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog titles, yes, but he’s not nearly as easy to take out and about as Nemo. He’s great with people, but doesn’t care for other dogs who rush up to him or who are over-enthusiastic greeters. I’m not worried about him starting trouble, but he will let that other dog know he doesn’t appreciate their invading his space.
So…which one to take with me tonight to Orientation? Probably Tango and drooley Nemo. I’ll just bring a dish towel to clean his jowls…