It’s gorgeous here in Utah—75 degrees, clear sky, no wind—and easily the nicest day we’ve had all year. Up in the Northeast, though, they have a huge storm coming in. Some places are getting upwards of three feet of snow.
This winter, we had several big storms. While we were being pummeled by those, I heard plenty of friends in New York and Boston saying it was such a warm winter. Isn’t it funny how different things can be at the same time for two different people, just depending on where they are?
This made me think about my dogs. So many people come to me saying things like “I’ve had German Shepherds my whole life, but now I’m having a problem with this German Shepherd. Why is he different?” Or: “My neighbor’s puppy is nice and calm, but mine is crazy! Why am I having such a hard time?” Just like the weather, it’s different because it is!
If we want to dig deeply, we can come up with scientific reasons for why Utah has sunshine and the Northeast has snow—but at the end of the day it’s just how the world has shaken out. Wherever you are with your dog’s behavior and training, there isn’t much value in comparing him or her to your last dog, or your friend’s dog, or the dog that you had growing up, or the dog that you see on TV.
As dog trainers, we often try to forget about the breed, age, and whatever the owner told you about the dog, and just train the dog that’s in front of your right now. That’s our job. As an owner, it can be your job too! Don’t worry about comparisons. The dog in front of you is the one you can make a difference with.