Every single time I begin a new group obedience class I have to kick at least one person right out the door. I always do this the very second they enter the building and before they have a chance to utter a single word to me.

Harsh, I know but it must be done.

I don’t want to do this, it’s just something I have to do each and every class. It’s actually my job to it.

I don’t look forward to it, and every time a new crop of students come in I’m hopeful that this will be the first class that I don’t have to toss someone. Unfortunately time and time again, I find myself yelling at a someone I’ve never met, explaining “that doesn’t fly my class!”

So what’s the big offense you ask? Did they call me a smelly Cuban? No, that wouldn’t bug me. Did they say Pit Bulls are vicious? Nah, for that they would get a lecture but not an eviction. Did they have a wardrobe malfunction? Hell, no – I encourage that.

They did one of the single most damaging things to their dog: they carried him in.

Nothing tells me more about the relationship someone has with their dog than seeing them hold their pooch like a purse.

Uh oh, did I just call you out?

If so, listen up, learn the facts, and be open enough to change your habits (for your dog’s sake).

A fact among dog trainers is that small dogs have many more behavioral problems than their larger brothers and sisters. It’s not because they’re any different than big dogs, it’s because we treat them differently. We baby and coddle them, treating them more like a stuffed animal than a dog – many people even call them their “babies.”

Carrying dogI actually don’t have a problem with calling your pup a “little baby” – as long as you are taking care of their canine needs and treating them like the dog that they are. You may like them to be your baby, but I assure you that your dog is quite happy to be a dog – in fact he needs to be a dog.

I’m very sorry to be so blunt and I know that I may be offending some of you little dog owners, but this if for you and your dog’s own good. Carrying your dog everywhere will create a heaping helping of insecurity, with a nice side of behavioral issues. (And no, strollers aren’t any better)

Let your dog be a dog and experience the world as a dog – on four paws. I assure you he can walk just fine by himself and will learn how to comfortably live in a world filled with tall humans.

All those people I’ve told to get out of my class and come back in with their dog on the floor have eventually thanked me for helping them (although many first muttered some things I won’t repeat under their breath). As for all of you small dog people who will make the mistake in the future, I promise this is for your own good – get out!

photo by: istolethetv

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