Seventeen months and three days ago, through a series of unexpected events, I ended up with a puppy. A squirmy, adorable, stinky puppy. His name is Zero, and was named after a character from the video game Mega Man, not, as most people think, from The Nightmare before Christmas.
I got Zero in June and was thankfully able to take off the entire summer to bond with and train him. If I’m honest with you, I was lazy. I am lazy. I taught Zero some important things, but I now realize I should teach him more. I am going to get over this whole “Lazy Dog Owner” thing, and I am going to do that while still being a little lazy. Let’s face it, it’s nice to be lazy once in a while. And, to be fair, I do take him for at least one to two hours of walks a day. If I don’t do this he’s a menace and will eat oven mitts, get into garbage, bark at the neighbours, and do whatever else he pleases. If he’s tired though, he’ll mostly just sleep.
Zero knows a few simple tricks such as sit, stay, lay down, high five, shake paw, and sometimes, leave it. He’s great at cuddling, eating his food, and taking up 1/3 of the queen sized bed. His hobbies include finding and eating trash, licking faces, playing with his friends, barking at neighbours, and laying down as if he’s a crouching tiger when dogs are walking by.
From this point forward I am dedicated to training myself to be a better, but still a bit lazy, dog owner. I will base my training from world renowned dog trainers Victoria Stillwell and Emily Larlham’s methods who train using positive reinforcement and clicker training. Though many people believe Cesar Millan is the best "dog whisperer" in the world, his method of dominance training has essentially been disproved. If you are invested in dominance theory please look into these resources.
Training tip: Keep treats everywhere! Then you can praise at all times!
Kimberly Ward is an aspiring Young Adult author. When she’s not playing with her dog, she is usually reading YA novels (for research and obviously not pleasure), playing video games, browsing social media, and photographing the world around her. If she cannot be found she is most likely in her meticulously placed hammock on her balcony.