Just when you think your dog has a particular skill mastered. . . she gives you a reality check! Just when you think you can relax and let your guard down. . . he reminds you that you should never get TOO comfortable!

dog earning freedoms

Zuzu usually (but not always!) makes good decisions on our off-leash walks

Our dogs are great at keeping us humble. Especially our adolescent dogs. Zuzu, our Greyhound mix is now 14 months old. Still very much an adolescent and likes to demonstrate her juvenile delinquent side whenever we start thinking she’s getting more mature.

We were on one of our twice daily off-leash walks the other day. Zuzu has been doing well the majority of the time, so she has mostly been off-leash for several months. Our dogs are boundary trained since our property is not fully securely fenced in. I can count the number of times Zuzu has made the choice to leave our property on one hand. And it has not happened for several months. Until the other day. I don’t know what she saw, but she made the decision to go and off she went.

She did come back when I called her, though not as quickly as I would have liked. We leashed her back up for a while. Our dogs learn that freedom is not a right, it’s earned. And when you demonstrate that you are not earning it, you lose it. At least temporarily, and then you will get a chance to redeem yourself.

Is your dog earning freedoms and privileges? Are they demonstrating they are capable of making good choices when given more opportunities? If not, they might be getting too much freedom too soon.