Dog sociability – 4WDing in my Ferrari

Dog sociability is at the centre of many client concerns here at Kalmpets. Before I tackle this tricky topic indulge me for a while with a little car analogy…..

If I told you that I’d just bought a Ferrari and I was taking it out for a test drive this weekend where would you expect me to take it? Open road somewhere with some nice sweeping corners?

What about if I told you I was taking it 4WDing … What would your response be?

Trying to go off road in a vehicle not designed to do so is quite silly! I wonder why on earth would someone buy such a perfectly designed piece of machinery and try and do something with it that it has never been designed to do?

How about buying a vehicle that is fit for purpose and can do the job I want it to do? Or why not just buy a 4WD in the first place?

Yes, I can spend thousands of dollars trying to modify my Ferrari in an attempt to turn it into a 4WD, however, it will never perform as well a vehicle specifically designed to BE a 4WD.

The same applies to our furry companions … our dogs and dog sociability. Each dog has been specifically designed to DO a certain task; herding, guarding, retrieving, companionship … and they are, or were once upon a time very good at these.

Breed specific behaviours

A common problem I come across as a professional trainer is addressing owners expectations and explaining that their dog simply is not ‘wired’ to be capable of doing some things that the owners would like them to do …

The list goes on …

Exceptions to the rule

Of course, irrelevant of breed some dogs can be taught to cope with environments and tasks that they were not bred specifically for, however others cannot … and just like my Ferrari, they get bogged!

So what is the difference? How come some dogs cope with all other dogs? Also, why can some dogs walk nicely along a street without pulling, lunging or barking? Why can some dogs enjoy affection from every stranger they meet? : Lastly, why can some dogs sleep outside and others not???

Because every dog is an individual, and just like us they have their own individual personality; likes, dislikes and capabilities … and that’s okay!

Helping owners understand their own individual dog, work within their dogs’ capabilities whilst watching the bond between dog and owner grow through mutual understanding is an absolute highlight of my job.


Work with the dog you have, not towards the dog you wish you had.


Happy training!

For Further Reading:

Understand your dog

Dog sports

Dog training basics

What issues are you
having with your pet?

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