Dog Problems in an Impatient Society

Can Your Busy Lifestyle Accommodate a Dog and Dog Problems?

dog behavior problems houston, Jim Burwell


I got a call the other day from a magazine reporter.

She wanted information on how people could fit a dog into their life and still continue to jam-pack their nights and weekends.

Engage in all their with social activities or go out with their friends, go on extended vacations, and more.

I sat there for 20-30 seconds (which seemed like an eternity) and she finally had to ask if I was still there.

I just said, “Honestly, I don’t think I’m your trainer on this one. Dogs are not a convenience – dogs are a commitment for life just like kids. Except kids move out. Dogs are with you for a lifetime. It could set you up for a lifetime of dog issues.”

Think about it. Put yourself in your dog’s shoes. What kind of life would that be?

Her question did get me to thinking about that kind of mindset.

We are an impatient society almost to a point of expecting everything before we even think we want it.

Maybe we want a dog to enjoy, to fill some void like companionship or love and affection but what’s the point if you’re not there?

Well, I know you’re thinking, “What IS the answer?

Can You Fit a Dog Into Your Already Busy Lifestyle and Avoid the Pitfalls of Dog Behavior Problems?”

The answer is: It depends.

Ask yourself this question: Can you satisfy all of your dog’s needs?

Meaning, to a point that keeps his frustration, stress and anxiety to a minimum?

Your dog has needs too.

He needs to be physically challenged and mentally challenged every day.

He needs to have a sense of purpose. What to do and when to do it, all directed by you.

Take My Acid Test to See If a Dog is a Good Fit for You and Your Lifestyle.

Can you do all of this?

  • Require a sit for everything: food, access to your lap and affections.
  • Love on your dog in moderation as too much free love causes him to miss you when you’re gone. Structure and expectations keep down stress.
  • Do regular daily obedience training.
  • Three, 2 minute daily training sessions keeps you in contact with your dog and gives him a consistent sense of working for you.
  • Keep him entertained.
  • Challenge him mentally.
  • Google search doggie food dispensing toys and puzzles to occupy some his time when you are home AND while you are away.
  • Exercise your dog daily.
  • He needs at least 2 good 30-45 minute walks a day. If your social life is commanding much of your time after work, then find the time to personally walk your dog in the morning. There is no substitute for one-on-one time with your dog. A dog walker can give your dog the much needed extra walk in the evenings and take care of feeding.
  • Take your dog on outings that you know he will enjoy. Be willing to alternate your social weekends to be with your dog. Take him to exciting destinations like the beach, the park, etc. The expectation of occasional trips with you is invaluable – especially if you come through.

If you can do all of this you will find your answer. Yes or no? Will it work for you?

Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog

You got your dog for a reason. You wanted to share your life with a happy and loving dog. But now, your dog has big problems and life is not happy.
I can help you get that happy, well behaved dog back no matter where you live. We’ll do private lesson in your home OR we can do private video lessons where geography is no longer a roadblock

7 replies
  1. Jim
    Jim says:

    Jennifer: well, I sat there for a while, literally biting my tongue. Sometimes it’s just not worth the effort to educate certain mind-sets. Not much I can do with that.

  2. Jennifer Smith
    Jennifer Smith says:

    You were so courteous, I think my response would have been more terse. “Only if it is a stuffed child’s toy!”

  3. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Hi Kathleen. Yes she did. That’s why it took me aback a little and I sat there for a bit

  4. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    CeCe: nicely put and to the point. Good for you on figuring ways to include your dog in many of your activities and also allowing your dog to get you
    to think outside the box as to all the things you can do with your newest member of your family

  5. Kathleen Scarborough
    Kathleen Scarborough says:

    Did she really ask that question?? Dogs are an extension of the family. Would a Mom & Dad leave their kids at home for hours on end while you are out doing the “party scene”. The question makes no sense. Great answer Jim!!!

  6. Cece
    Cece says:

    This is interesting as so many people said to me, “You can’t get a dog, not with your lifestyle.” I thought long and hard about it and fielded a lot of naysayers. I was a busy professional with a busy social life. I was out most nights and would pick up and travel on a whim. So I did a lot of research and talked to a trainer (not Jim) about what all and what exactly is involved in being a good dog owner.

    Here’s my take: sometimes people get a dog because they want a change. They want to slow down and have a reason to be home. When all you have is a houseplant, what fun is being home? I ate out and went out and traveled and socialized because I didn’t have anyone or anything at home. As soon as I got my dog — one of the best decisions of my life — I figured out how to incorporate my life and my pet. I dropped my gym membership and instead I take him on long walks in the morning. I dropped a couple social activities and instead take an evening class with him. I take more local weekend roadtrips rather than fly somewhere and I bring him along. My godchildren love him and I actually see them more often now. I’m renovating my condo because I like being home. And I find I really enjoy the structure and routine he adds to my time there.

    So I agree that you can’t have the “out all the time” social life plus a full-time job and good relationship with your pet. And I agree with Jim that you have to commit to meeting all of your dog’s needs. I would, though, caution those who react with “THESE kinds of folks should be prevented from having ANY companions!!!!” to maybe back down a bit and consider whether the interest in a dog is perhaps an interest in a lifestyle change. Rather than backswinging so hard, maybe take the time to guide the prospective owner to research and resources and to talking realistically about what is involved — both the time commitment and the many rewards.

  7. Jeff Denison
    Jeff Denison says:

    Morning Jim!
    Apparently this writer was looking for an excuse to have a souvenir to show off, yet keep partying on like she’s used to!

    THESE kinds of folks should be prevented from having ANY companions!!!! PUPS DO NOT deserve being subjected like things to collect for fun and profit!

    KEEP telling the truth please!!!!!!!
    Chloe & Scooter say BOL!!!!!

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