A Good Dog…

“Good Dog” by HowtoLoveYourDog.com

How many times have you been told “a tired dog is a good dog”?

I can see why people say this, after all a tired dog is going to lay around resting – or sleeping – most of the day. A tired dog is less likely to get into the trash can, dig the garden up, bark at the mail man, or bother someone for attention.

This all seems like a good dog, as far as many owners are concerned; but not I.

‘Pauli Knows Good Dogs Don’t Get A Lump of Coal’ by sundero

Let’s be realistic: a tired dog is a tired dog, nothing more and nothing less.
On the other hand, it makes much more sense to me that a good dog is one who’s been trained to understand the cues that his family needs him to follow; she loves her family and enjoys spending time with them but doesn’t constantly pester for petting and attention; he gets to indulge in activities that he enjoys doing – whether that’s things like agility, or herding, or through performing “bad” behaviours in more “legal” ways (such as a sandpit in which safe toys are buried for Fido to dig up).

A well-trained, happy pet is a good dog, a tired dog is tired, not to mention more prone to being grumpy and snappy. Grumpy, snappy dogs are not good dogs!

What about you, what’s your definition of a good dog?


6 thoughts on “A Good Dog…

  1. Wow, Sam. I never once thought of this. You are absolutely right. How sad to define “good” as “too tired to do anything.” The wrongness of that sentiment resonates in a lot of other areas of my life as well. (The treatment of children, women, minorities, the disabled….there’s still such a strong cultural tendency to pressure these folks to be “good” as in passive, non entities.) Anyway, not to go all political on you.

    This brings to mind a comment my teacher once made, that dogs who come home from doggie day care may well not be “tired from wholesome play all day” but actually just plain stressed out. So that’s another way that “tired” may not necessarily equal good at all.

    “Good” thinking on your part.

    • Good, but not passive, thinking? Although I must admit I almost was passive about this post and left it, but it makes me so sad to hear people still saying this, and it affects the dog(s) in their life too, from giving a puppy too much exercise, to taking your adult dog running rather than training it.

  2. Oh boy do I ever so agree! A good dog is a dog who knows the rules and knows how to follow them (via training). And also trusts her (or his) person (or people) to always be fair. If more people trained from the beginning and tried to build trust with their dog by being fair there would be so many fewer dogs ever given up to shelters (I believe so anyway).
    BTW I’m honored you used Pauli’s photo. And when she wakes up I know she will be thrilled too. πŸ™‚

    • Imagine how great it would be if everyone trained their dog(s) in the basics! However, if everyone trained their dogs I think it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have Starr in my life, and at least one of the other dogs I’ve rescued, so I’m kind of glad not everyone thinks like you & I!

      Aww, thank you for letting me use your photo πŸ˜€

  3. Okay! I understand where you’re coming from, I do. But I say that all the time but not because my dog is just sleeping, he has toys he chews and hangs out with us after excersize. When my 12 month old dog does not get mental simulation and frequent excessive he becomes rowdy, chews up stuff, and runs around biting at me. This isn’t normal behavior and is never acceptable, but they are common and are called zummies. It’s like he can’t control himself, he needs to burn that energy and get the mental simulation he needs to be a great dog. I think you’re taking that thought the wrong way, I’m sure someone prefers their dog sleeping but for some of us we are just glad to get that energy! I think this article is unproductive because it doesn’t explain the importance of excersize in a dog’s life. A good healthy, well behaved dog has ample excersize and positive reinforcement. They saying only encourages those to choose to excersize their dogs. πŸ™‚

    • Oh, don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying dogs don’t need exercise, I’m simply trying to point out there’s a difference between a dog who is well behaved (whether through training, good genes, or good luck!), and a dog who is asleep/pretty much incapable of moving because the owner takes them on a twenty-mile hike three times a day, every day!

      All dogs need appropriate mental and physical stimulation, but if a dog is asleep he or she is asleep, which is neither good nor bad πŸ™‚

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