This video is a couple of years old; but to me it shows the best in owners who compete in events like obedience and agility.
In this obedience test, the dogs run a gauntlet of diversions including treats and toys. Their goal is to focus on their handler and reach the end – quickly.
You will see that the first two dogs manage this test fairly successfully. And then it is the Golden Retriever’s turn…
What I like is that the owner doesn’t yell or visually get upset or angry. She encourages her dog to reach the end of the competition.
And then everyone celebrates!
It breaks my heart to attend competitive events when the owners/handlers are angry or upset with their dogs when they don’t perform. Dogs, like us, have bad days. I have even met owners who say they know their dog doesn’t like competitions, but he/she does it because that’s what the owner wants.
My recommendation is that you and your dog take part in things that give you joy – and in this Golden Retriever’s case – he clearly shows he’s enjoying life and having fun.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand