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The Perfect Dog

Can you train the “Perfect Dog”?

What is a “Perfect Dog”?



As a dog trainer behaviourist it’s a common question I get asked, I also have the spotlight shone on my dogs all the time who are expected to be “Perfect” as they are trained by me, a professional.


So can a dog be trained to be “Perfect” unfloored, great in all situations….?

In my opinion dogs can be trained to a high standard, but I ask you what is “Perfect?


Dog’s are sentient, emotional creatures just like us, they are not robots, they think, they feel and they react differently to situations.


One dog might love being in busy places, another might just accept it, another might hate it.

One dog might love chasing and returning a ball, another might prefer to carry it in their mouth (or destroying it), and another might not have any interest in a ball at all.

One dog might love the company of other dogs, one might tolerate other dogs and another might prefer to be around humans more than dogs.

One dog might love loads of cuddles and actively seek you out to lie on your lap, one dog might like affection and put their head on your knee but then go to their bed, another might like casual affection and push into you but then return to their bed.

One dog might have a super food drive and therefore do everything you ask in a heart beat a million times in hope of a bit of food, one dog might not be as driven but will do as you ask but not seek you out to do it, another may not be food driven and so will only do what is needed, and you may have to find another way of rewarding and keeping them focused.

One dog may not be affected by any noise, one might react badly to fireworks, another may jump at the slightest sound.


Which of these is the defected dog, the “Not Perfect” one?


Perhaps you have the food driven one, he’s great at tricks and behaviours, he doesn’t bring back the ball but gives you loads of affection. To you thats great. To your neighbour, John, playing fetch in the park but returning home and the dog goes off to bed works well. John down the street comments that your dog doesn’t drop the Ball and scoffs “Oh can’t you train him to do that”?! To you it’s fine, and you love all the affection you get from your dog and how well behaved he is, but now you question, why can’t my dog learn that….?


Does that mean we can’t work on areas we would like our dogs to improve on?

Ofcourse not.

Understanding what you, your family and your dog needs is key to a happy household. What works for you might not work for another family etc.


Again I ask, What is “Perfect” all dogs are all individual. Some areas we can train them to accept and perhaps ignore or enjoy something, other times like with fireworks it could be that we need to use control management.


For example the doorbell, when the doorbell rings it is completely acceptable to me for my dogs to bark, I allow around 5 warning barks to tell me there’s someone there and tell that person that my dogs are there!

Then I thank my dogs and they stop while I open the door, they know not to go past the mat unless I call them to my side as an extra protection.

John down the street says “oh but your dog barks at the door”!

You have a choice, people with babies may not want this at all and will actively look to reward their dogs for not making a noise.

Through repetition and hard work this type of behaviour is trainable, if effort is made to reward the behaviour you do want.

This is also a controlled environment, easy area to create repetition.

However, a dog constantly barking at any movement and standing on the window sill might need control management by blocking access to the window while trying to train the dog to be less stimulated by movements.


It’s easy to get upset when people criticise you, or you feel you’re failing cause something isn’t working as well as other areas.

What I recommend is that you first look at all the wonderful things your dog does do.

What they do that makes you really happy and proud.

What you might be doing to cause both good and unwanted behaviour.

Then you can see how you can fix those areas, if you want them fixed and if it’s fixable or whether we use controlled management.


Don’t expect too much from your dog, or from yourself.

Work on what is needed for you, your dog, and your family to be happy.


So what do I think makes a “Perfect dog”?

A Happy, Healthy, Well behaved and Mentally balanced dog!




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