I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘progress’ in terms of what we want and expect from our dogs. I work with a lot of rescue dogs, and being a rescue mum myself, I think that I personally have quite a different conception of what progression actually looks like.
We have a real problem with patience in our society today. We’re so used to 24-hour news, next day delivery and being able to access instant information online at the click of a button. I’m old enough to remember a time when none of these things existed - if you wanted to know the answer to a question, you had to look it up in a book or - God forbid - ask someone!
The way we live today means that many of us can’t even bear to read a full article or watch a video clip longer than a couple of minutes. The rage I feel when I’m shown a 20-second ad on YouTube! Sadly, I think this has changed the way our brains are wired, and with the additional pressure of judgment online, we can transfer our chronic impatience to the way we interact with our dogs.
Our dogs don’t need to be making constant forward steps in order to be happy. For some, development comes at a snail’s pace, and that’s ok. Your dog might not be ready right away to sit in your lap or go for a walk - for rescue dogs in particular it can take much longer to feel safe and build trust. We must learn to accept that, to take the pressure off and to watch and listen to our dogs instead of giving them constant input and applying pressure.
I promise it’s worth the wait, and your relationship will be strong and full of trust if you give them the time they need ♥️