You can live the good dream with your dog |

You can live the good dream with your dog

Terri Dickerson
The Nevada Appeal

Spring is here, so let’s have some fun in this column and do a bit of dreaming. For many of us our dogs are like our children and just like children if they have manners then everyone is happy. Right?

Fewer dogs in the pound, more smiles on peoples’ faces, less sad stories, more waving tails and wriggling rear ends because everyone is happy. Fewer lawsuits (dog bites, fights), fewer vet bills. Fewer stories about dogs getting hit by cars or grabbed by coyotes because they come when called.

Wow, think about this. Picture it.

Dream here for a bit: It is a beautiful sunny day at a park, blue skies with a few fleecy clouds, spring green grass and brightly colored flowers, their sweet smells wafting on the breeze. People walking everywhere with their dogs. But what is this? No leashes. No head halters, no choke chains or prong collars or people being walked. But people smiling, waving to friends, stopping to talk, their dogs at their sides, tails wagging, sitting and smiling. Oh, and over there is a dad pushing his daughter on the swing and his dog lying down just enjoying the cool grass waiting for his family. A mom, with a stroller and her dogs, walking beside her, stopping when she stops, sitting and waiting while she helps her 2-year-old down the slide.

Couples talking together, their dogs running and playing nearby, and not a fence to be seen. And when called they all come running, sitting quietly until ready to go. No leashes, no yelling, frustrated people.

What am I getting at when I talk about such a world?

Just this: it is possible to have all of the above. Don’t settle for a jumping dog or one that pulls you down the road intent on what he wants. Don’t settle for a dog that only comes when he wants to come. Do you want to be stressed and worried the rest of your dog’s life. Our dogs are meant to be loved and to de-stress us, not cause more stress. This is possible, to have a well-behaved dog, a joy in more ways than one … So don’t give up on teaching your dog to have good manners. You will be happier and so will your dog. Live the good dream.

• Terri Dickerson is a professional dog trainer and owner of Sit Means Sit Dog Training. Contact her with your pet questions by e-mailing