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There are some perfect dogs out there. You may have seen them. They walk politely on leash, check-in with their handler, stop what they are doing, and immediately come when called. In some cases, genetics may play a role. Lucky owner if that is the case. For the most part, that perfect dog results from an incredible investment in time, effort and dedication in building the relationship and investing in the training to make the perfect seem effortless, just like the smoothness of a duck gliding across the water belies the effort happening below the surface.

So many things go into the ‘Perfect Dog.’ There are no shortcuts. Hard work, training and practice. So much practice in lots of different places. Persistence to work through those inevitable plateaus.

Consistency so that the dog understands that not being allowed to jump on a guest means all the time, not just some of the time. Patience to know that training is not a linear process. There will be ups and downs, and sometimes you will go backward. Understanding that some days are just not good days. It may be too hot, or you have had a bad day at work, or your dog is too distracted. There will be setbacks and failures, and that is all part of the process.

The ‘Perfect Dog’ is not born, but they are nurtured and created through your devotion to them. Investing in them and investing in your own knowledge. Creating the ‘Perfect Dog’ means taking the time and putting in the time. So when you next see a ‘Perfect Dog,’ think about what it took to get there. It was no accident, nor was the person lucky. Think about what is happening below the water line and congratulate the handler on a job well done.

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