"Opinion" When your dog plays all-in

Jennifer Bonn

Jen Bonn

I am sure that everyone who saw the news piece with the dog that ran into the gorilla’s cage was on the edge of their chair praying that the dog made it to safety. My second thought was my dog Bandit could have been the dog in there. His attitude is, “Oh look, an opening! I’m going in!” The dog in the gorilla cage is proof of how dangerous that can be. When I let him out in the morning, Bandit doesn’t calmly go down the stairs. He takes them five at a time, and sprints into the woods, unless an unsuspecting neighbor is out enjoying the morning calm. Then he tears over to them, leaping on them and trying to lick them into submission. I follow in his wake, apologizing to anyone he has encountered. Have you seen the ad where the woman is using her visa card to buy things to replace because her dog has destroyed them, and she is constantly saying I’m sorry? That’s me without the visa card. Anyways, rushing head-on into the unknown territory can be dangerous for a dog, so my dog trainer friend, Lynn came to my rescue again. It is fairly easy to teach your dog to stay near you when you are concerned about safety. Put some treats in your pocket and say the command, “Stay with me., or “With me.” Praise the dog when he does it and keep working on it until you know he has learned the trick. Bandit forgets sometimes, but seriously, there are so many things to sniff and people to meet. I just want him to do it safely.

The second situation when playing all in, and by that I mean you are willing to risk life or limb for something, is when we play Frisbee. It is very cool to see how high he can go to catch the frisbee. He stays suspended in the air for a minute, and then lands lightly on the ground, except when he doesn’t. He is determined to catch the frisbee, and he will contort his body to do it. This morning, he twisted and caught it, but landed with a smack on his side. I stood there for a minute and prayed he was ok. He must have known I was scared, (this dog’s ability to read your emotions is amazing.) Because he came over with that look that says you may pet me and adore me now, and then he ran off to conquer a stick. My friend Lynn's dog also plays all in. He has broken two teeth because he is going to retrieve an object at all costs. Lynn will not let him play in a small area because she says there is more potential for injury.

If you have a dog that plays all in, just find ways to ensure his safety, and don’t attempt to see how far he can push that all-in mentality because it can end badly. If you haven’t figured out from my other articles about my dog, I love him, I laugh at the crazy and the non-stop energy, I only want to make sure he will be safe.

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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