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September 24, 2014

Every Dog Has Its Day. And Doesn’t.

Some days the dogs and I wake up and we just have “it.” I don’t know what “it” is or where “it” comes from, but I know there’s nothing like “it.” The pups and I are on the same page, have the same energy and everything about the day clicks perfectly.
Some days the dogs and I wake up and we just have “it.” I don’t know what “it” is or where “it” comes from, but I know there’s nothing like “it.” The pups and I are on the same page, have the same energy and everything about the day clicks perfectly. Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, training, adventure, chicago, marking our territory

When we have “it,” training is a breeze, walks a joy, and problems nonexistent

Ah, “it” days, there’s nothing better. Of course, for every “it” day we also have what I call “definitely-the-opposite-of-‘it'” days. On these days it seems the pups decide to completely empty out their brains and my own noggin feels the same way. Yesterday was one of those not so glorious days.


All of our loose-leash progress? Gone.

On these types of days it’s not that my dogs don’t hear me, it’s more that they just don’t care what I have to say.


“What’s that, Will? You want me to perform a basic command I know perfectly?”


“Yeah, I could do that, but instead I’m just going to completely ignore you. Cool?”

These types of “not-it” days are not confined to puppies either. Eko (aka Mr. Reliable) has his fair share of days when he decides to act like a complete punk.


The master of insolence

On these types of days, Eko will look at me with those deep eyes to make sure I get the message loud and clear, “I know exactly what you want me to do, but I’m not going to do it.”

The exuberance of “it” days is nearly matched by the frustration of “not-it” days. But you can’t win them all, so I’ve found the best policy is to know when to fold ’em and call it a day. I’m not at my best every day, so the I think the dogs are entitled to have an off day when it comes to training/attitude.


Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum with their heads stuck in Wonderland 

Today is not an “it” day but I’m also happy to report it’s not a “definitely-the-opposite-of-‘it'” day either.

Yesterday got me thinking – what do you do when your pet is having an “off” day? I generally disengage and find a good night’s sleep cures all, but I’m interested to hear how other people help their pets get out of a funk.

Comments for Every Dog Has Its Day. And Doesn’t.

  1. I know the it- days and sadly the “not a bit it days” too… maybe our pups have “it’s not my day”-days too and we have to accept that? maybe Grumpy Cat is not the only one who gets out of the wrong side of the bed sometimes?

  2. Victoria says:

    we either switch modes – from training to play and then back again or if its real obvious that they aren’t going to listen at all we know when to “fold em” too – a nice nap on the couch seems to improve the day

  3. My gang has those kind of days too. Last weekend I hunted gambler and I did more screaming at him than hunting. Then I thought what the hell is this upcoming trip going to be like and I hope he got it out of his system! See ya in 10 days.

  4. Robyn says:

    We refer to those as Penny’s intellectual days–She looks at the ball/treat/toy roll by and then looks back at you like, “Why? Why would I go do X when I can just sit here? What is the meaning of it? What is the meaning of life? Why am I a dog?”

  5. Elyse says:

    Chicken. A little smidge changes Duncan’s whole outlook on life.

  6. Kyla says:

    Don’t worry about them. They’re doing homework for the terrier lessons I’m giving them. Next, they’ll be digging.

  7. I agree that pets have their “off” days too, and like you said, so do we!! We just have to go with the flow and not force things.

  8. raisingdaisy says:

    We just hang tight and wait for the next day to come. There’s no getting Daisy out of a “not-it” day, but the next day is always better. For ourselves, we can have some good dark chocolate, and all’s right with the world again. 😉

    I love that last photo of Ridgeback Bookends. 🙂

  9. First off, I think you should publish your own calendar called “Sleeping Ridgebacks” You’ve amassed an incredible collection of photos and great captions to go with them. You could offer them for sale to your fans, or at the very least, give them as Christmas gifts to your family and friends. A-dorable!

    One of our kitties followed me around like a two year old yesterday. He insisted on being held like a baby, would finally fall asleep, but then as soon as I moved, he was at it again. Honestly, it reminded me of the days when my teenagers were young and cranky and you just couldn’t get it right. I think sleep is the great healer. It might be the change in the weather. Animals are always sensitive to things in the environment that we may not notice at the same level.

    Today is a better day. I hope you get a string of happy it days in a row soon.

  10. Your subject for this post couldn’t be more coincidental. Yesterday Khoi had the biggest “not-it” day of this 16 week life. I was mentally exhausted. After being outside in the heat with all three dogs for hours, I needed to get inside. Two wanted to find an air conditioner vent, but Khoi would just sit in the tall soft grass with his ” aren’t I adorable”-look. Completely exasperated, I decided to join him in the grass. He licked every inch of my face and then plopped himself down with his head resting across my neck. It was as if he was telling me “Isn’t this so much better than being inside?” I think “not-it” days are their way of forcing us to think like them.

  11. I’m with you…….we humans certainly have OUR off days so why not our pets too once in a while? They keep us entertained almost non-stop so if they’re OFF, they’re OFF…..there’s always tomorrow!

    Hugs, Pam

  12. Emmadog says:

    Mom tries to just laugh it off and try again the next day. We are most frustrated with Bailie’s staying home alone regression. After 4 months of no kennel, she had to return to her kennel when Mom is gone during the day as she always ruins stuff. Later in the day she is (paws crossed) still well behaved but in the mornings, no way. This morning in just 40 minutes she moved the chairs around in the kitchen, took two large dog pillows from their usual spot in the informal dining room by the windows to the living room and stacked them, and then took her bed (what is left of it after eating the memory foam mattress over the past weeks) to the living room as well and ripped the stuffing out of one side. We just don’t get it. That was all after completing a 4 mile run and having nose work class last night. How can she be so destructive with all her activities???

  13. Marcela says:

    Lol. I couldn’t stop laughing.

  14. OH my goodness, the chin wrinkles! What a doll.

  15. fozziemum says:

    Oh dear those off days really do happen to us all peeps and pets..when the boys get into their own head space I just wait for them to return to mine..it can be a long and lonely wait hahaaaahhah…great pics 🙂 hugs Fozziemum

  16. Ralphie surprisingly is my trouble child. He gets in these “moods” where he picks on the Girls mercilessly. I actually have had to take the Girls for a drive to get away from him, and during the winter have resorted to putting him out on the sunporch for half an hour to “cool down”. Then he is sweet as peas…No idea what gets into him.
    Marty’s Mom

  17. Jack is usually pretty reliable unless he is sick. Maggie on the other hand is as stubborn as stubborn can be sometimes. I disengage…I just let her be. No sense in forcing anything – only leads to frustration for everyone!

  18. Cathy & Banjo says:

    I was chuckling in commiseration the whole way through your post. Some days my dog Banjo (who looks not entirely unlike a small, beige Ridgeback) gives me the same look the Eko has in one of your photos. ‘Hmmm, you want me to get up off the couch? Go ahead. Make me. I think you are not very compelling. I think I will stay right here.’

  19. Boomdeeadda says:

    Geez Will, Penny is so pretty. I’m sure you hear lots of great compliments about your training and how well mannered Eko and Penny ‘usually’ are. That’s a really great photo of them both on the sofa. What great pals they’ve turned out to be. Petals is the Queen of ‘not it days’. She has a terrible habit of howling from the living room as soon as we go to bed. She knows where we are and is welcome to join us but she prefers to demand our attention in this way. So I generally shut to door to my room and she immediately quietens down. I give her 3 minutes or so and open the door. She usually hops up on the bed, gets a couple of snuggles and curls up with Blossum. So I guess my technique is to ignore here bad behaviour, LOL

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