I’ve found that in just about any aspect of life getting more information and knowledge is always a good thing. However, the default of most people is to try to figure things out as you go along and hope for the best. This may seem like a noble thing to do at times but it can sometimes lead to disaster or at the least cause you to waste a lot of valuable time.
When you get a new dog or even when you encounter a new problem with the dog you’ve had for years you may think you know what to do or how to solve the problem even if you have no real experience to justify that belief. You may be tempted to just try to “figure it out on your own” or to just try some stuff and see what happens. Maybe it’s our egos or a bit too much over confidence that makes us think we can tackle something as complex as understanding a different species. Or maybe we just know how to get the guidance that can help us.
I’m just as guilty as everyone else. When my kids were born I didn’t think I needed to read any parenting books are get advice on how to handle raising children. I was confident that I knew what I was doing even though I had absolutely no experience or education in how to do it. I spent many frustrating months fumbling around on my own (luckily my wife was much smarter than me and did seek out guidance and information) with very little success. Finally, I came to the realization that I might need to get educated in how to take care of two highly dependent, little humans (I strongly recommend Screamfree Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel).
Way too many people think they know how to take care of a puppy, live happily with their dog, or address behavior problems with their pooch, when they have no prior experience or education in how to do it. These people waste so much time and energy attempting ineffective or detrimental techniques, while the correct information is waiting nearby.
We currently live in the information age where knowledge is more easily accessible than ever before. It’s easy to order books online or download them onto your iPod, find tons of websites with great info (and some with not-so-great, so be careful) that are only a click away, and locate professionals that are specifically trained in exactly the things you’re going through.
As most of you know, I am a big fan of continual, relentless and never ending learning. And when it comes to your dogs, you should not hesitate to find some new information to help you live better with your furry pal. Trust me living with another species is not easy and takes some knowledge to successfully pull it off. Get out there and read some books, check out some blogs, ask around or hire someone who can help you. Your dog is worth it and the sooner you get on the right track the easier and quicker it is to address.
To help you on your way to becoming more knowledgeable I’ll go over some of my favorite dog books in next week’s blog. See you then.