This week I am in Bologna, Italy attending Zoomark, the only international pet industry trade show in Europe taking place in person. It's exciting for all the participants as the last time this show was held in person was in 2019.
I am always energized and inspired by all the people in our industry who create products for pets and the people who love them. It’s great to be surrounded by so many pet people from so many different countries all unified by the love of and dedication to the service of animals.
It is simply a wonderful opportunity to connect with other leaders in the industry to discuss animal behavior and product trends.
At dinner last night with several of my colleagues, we discussed some of the fundamental cornerstones of successful pet ownership and how we could improve the lives of pet owners across the globe.
It’s funny, in general, Europeans are even more accepting of pets than Americans. And Americans are pretty dog gone accepting. But throughout Europe you can see dogs everywhere: cafes, restaurants, buses, theaters, and countless more places.
It’s quite amazing.
The other notable difference is how well behaved these dogs are. These dogs, large and small, act well around and surrounded by people. Dogs are dogs no matter where they are born, and the differences in behavior often come down to the socialization and training received as a puppy.
Dogs don’t act well because they are accepted everywhere, they act well SO they are accepted everywhere.
Good training begets good behavior which begets more acceptance in more places.
All of us at dinner agreed that educating more pet owners about the vital importance of having a well-trained dog was a mission worth focusing on.
Dogs do not know what we want unless we teach them the rules and the behaviors desirable in our homes and in our communities.
Then we all started singing the tune “Teach…Your Children Well” but replaced “children” with “dogs”.
♫ … Don't you ever ask them, "Why?"
If they told you, you would cry
So, just look at them and sigh
And know they love you… ♬
We even sang a chorus in Italian. Maybe that was the Pignoletto wine that is a specialty of the region.
But seriously, it’s an interesting perspective. The more we teach our dogs to behave well, they more they will be accepted and welcomed in our communities.
Dogs in workspaces is a trend I love to see and hope it grows. But imagine commuting with dogs. Eating lunch with dogs. Browsing books at the library with a dog.
A society that is more accepting of our canine companions.
I ask you to join me on this worthy mission. Do you do your part in teaching your dog well?
You may ask yourself, it’s so much work, really, what’s in it for me beyond this crazy canine utopia dream?
Having a well-trained dog will improve the quality of life for both you and your dog. A well-trained dog is a joy to be around and can go anywhere with you without you being nervous or embarrassed by his behavior.
A well-trained dog will lead a happier and healthier life and help you enjoy the same.
In spite of our busy lives, hectic schedules, and technology-fueled itineraries, I encourage and challenge you to get out and spend more time teaching your dog.
Working with them.
Being their teacher will bring about a stronger bond and better behavior. It will be worth it.
The best news is, we can do it together as a team!
Please help me by being a voice in this process. Let me know what do you wish you could teach your dog? Maybe it's something basic like a solid sit-stay, or maybe something more complex like off-leash recalls.
I want to know how I can help more people teach their dogs well. If you give me your feedback about what you want, it will enable us to work hard and incorporate it into our upcoming blog posts and podcasts.
I am committed to teaching you how to Master the Relationship with your Dog!
Let's do this!
Your dog is worth it.
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