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This dog is driving me crazy

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Dogs can test our patience.

I’m thinking of the Lab mix that settles onto the floor, positions his paws as if preparing for a salon manicure, and methodically, maddeningly,

licks his forearm over and over and over again. “Stop! Enough already!”

Or the Bichon that you know has to go outside for a potty break, but upends to expose her belly when it is suggested that she head for the back door to transact her business. “Get up! Get up! No, I’m not picking you up. Use your four little legs to MOVE!”

Or maybe the Golden Retriever that pulls ahead of you on a walk, so you stop and call him back and tell him what a fabulous boy he is. Then you take one step, and voila! he’s in front again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Every day. Twice a day.

And speaking of every day, the postal delivery person is pretty reliable that way. And just as reliably, your dog barks when the mail is deposited. “What the  ____!? Excuse me? Must we alert the immediate hemisphere that my issue of Country Living has arrived?”

As John Irving so succinctly put it “So it goes.” Or was it “Sorrow floats?”

Keep this in mind the next time you are about to scream in frustration when your dog does something incredibly A. stupid, B. annoying, or C. both:

1. I, personally, do stupid and annoying things practically daily. Ask my children. Humans, like dogs, are not exempt from making questionable decisions. Early and often.

2. Repetition is soothing. Imagine that licking your paws, if you had them, was as calming to you as smoking a cigarette, biting your nails, swinging your leg, jangling the coins in your pocket, or any other unconscious habit we humans have.

3. Every day chores are so much more entertaining if someone else gets involved. For dogs, doing one’s duty is just another task on their daily agenda. Being carried is kind of like getting a lift to work from a friend. “Free ride! Company! Let’s meet up later and do it again!”

Dogs get bored. Dogs can be anxious. Dogs are lonely sometimes.

Are these behavioral problems that should cause concern?


But before you tear your hair out, try this first:

Take your dog for a long walk…or toss a ball for him for a half hour…or let him run with a dog friend in a fenced area.

In other words, exercise your dog and see if those frustrating/annoying/stupid issues magically disappear.

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