Distractions Distraction Distractions

This is my girl Meika.



Hello Everyone, this is a topic I have been wanting to write about for sometime now as I feel it is an important one to think about.

Recently my wife Pam and I along with our dog Cole were at a brew pup in Bend Oregon.  I really love this place not only because they have really good beer, food  they also allow well behaved dogs.  It can get pretty crowded there but it is worth the wait.  Our dog Cole went under the table out of the sun and knowing that sooner or later I would more than likely drop a piece of my food by accident  and he would be able to share my meal with me.  As we were waiting for our drinks and food I noticed a young couple with a child at the table across from us.  The couple were texting on their phones, nothing out of the ordinary here you say until I noticed how really checked out they both were from their daughter who was repeatedly trying to get their attention to no avail.  Then their waitress went to their table and she got the same response.  She waited patiently for at least 20 seconds until they finally realized she was there, she had been put on ignore mode along with their daughter.  I thought how  distracted we have become as human beings by these little powerful devices that seem to hypnotize us in a moments notice, they cause some of us to cause accidents and in some really bad cases kill others becasue of the power these little objects have over us.  We rely on our cell phones for everything from ordering food, keeping in touch with friends and family, business calls,  games, the internet.  It’s no wonder our dogs are feeling left behind in the modern world.  I can remember a time when we were with our dogs we were really with them.  When we were training them we were actually engaged with them.  I remember a time when taking a walk with our dogs was an actual walk.  Today while I was running stairs, one of my favorite stress relievers I noticed a woman and her child walking on a path called the dry canyon trail in Redmond.  The woman pushing a stroller with a baby was texting on her phone while her toddler was at least 300 feet away from her.  How can she have been possibly more disconnected to her own child than that.  So many things might have happened to this your child I don’t even want to think about it.


What does this have to do with dog training you might ask?  Well it has everything to do with dog training and distractions.  We expect our dogs who do not have cell phones to do what we want, when we want it and do it perfectly while in distracting environments they have not been trained in yet but at the same time we do not hold ourselves to the same standards as far as really paying attention to our environment becasue of everything that is demanding our attention, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, linkedin all of these amazing tools at our disposal our slowly conditioning us to check out of the real world for the imaginary one where we can be anything and anyone we want, the more likes we get the more  glued we are to the screen.  My point to all this is that I challenge those of you that have kids and dogs to actually be with them with they are with you.  When it comes to dogs we only have them for a very short amount of time so in my opinion they deserve at least our undivided attention when we are with them especially when training.  How can we expect them to pay attention to us when one second we are teaching a skill then the next a text becomes more important or a world changing even happens on Facebook.  Believe me people it all can wait.  I am also challenging trainers to make it a rule that unless you have an extreme emergency turn off the cell phone and give your dog that hour, you have 23 more hours in the day that you can hit the like button.  I say when we are with our dogs, families, friends, hit the love button and give them your undivided attention as they could be gone tomorrow.


Thanks for taking the time to read.
Dennis Fehling