Some of the dog trainers I know – and you know – would cringe or maybe laugh, but there is value in playing with your bird dog.
I know. Because I do it, regularly and unabashedly.
Okay, many suggest you should “dominate” your dog if you want him to respect you, do your bidding, and perform on command. But why would you want your dog, or a co-worker, or your spouse for that matter, to do something for you out of what amounts to fear?
My morning fitness regimen (such as it is) includes stretching and some ab work on the floor. Once the coffee’s poured and the dogs are fed, it’s time to hit the carpet. The dogs think it’s just one big, two-legged pack mate finally doing what they do all the time – rolling around and sighing with contentment after a meal. Finally, they think, the big dog that gives us food is going to act like a dog should.
And I don’t mind. We tussle, play-growl, throw a few doggy punches and then everyone except me settles for a full-belly snooze.
I maneuver around the sprawled canine carcasses, trying to get the lower back loose and the calves limber. Luckily there’s plenty of floor so I can slowly, carefully, quietly slide to a spot of my own – but not so far from the Corgi (Emmy) or Wirehair (Buddy) that they move and we re-start the whole rodeo.
Does this make Buddy a less-obedient hunting dog? I don’t think so. But even if it did, I wouldn’t care. He hunts with me four, maybe five months of the year. But he hangs with me 24/7/365.