Why is my neighbor's dog so good on a leash... he's half the age of my dog?! This is a trap!
And you should avoid getting caught in it as much as you can!
Falling into the comparison trap with our dogs usually just brings about negative feelings and no real help for our dogs. In this episode, I break down a few reasons why you should NOT compare your dog to other dogs.
Reason #1- You Don't Know That Dog
Whenever you look at a dog and how they behave, you might be making some assumptions that are completely untrue.
You typically don't know if that dog is a Hollywood-dog-star with years of dedicated training experience, for example.
You also likely don't know how that dog behaves in all situations. While you might see a dog that's good on leash out on a walk, you don't know if that dog tears up couches when left alone.
Making snap judgments about a dog in comparison to your own isn't fair because you don't truly know that other dog's background. You don't know the experiences the dog and human counterparts have had!
Any comparison is truthfully an apples to oranges type comparison because every dog is SO different and every situation is unique.
Reason #2- You're Only Seeing a Moment in Time
If you make a comparison about your dog to another, you're like only doing that based on a few snap moments or situations.
This is even more so true in the world of social media...
I can almost guarantee you that the pup with 50k followers on Instagram has just as many problem behaviors as you're dealing with for your dog.
Instagram dog accounts are polished and perfected moments that don't reflect reality. If you let that become your benchmark to what your dog should be aspiring to... you're bound for disappointment.
Again, you might see a dog that sits well for pictures on their Instagram posts but is an absolute maniac while on a leash.
So don't be fooled by Instagram dogs! The reality likely isn't what they're willing to actually show you ;)
Reason #3- You Should Compare Your Dog to Their "Past Self"
In my opinion, the only comparison you should make about your dog's behavior is to their previous "self".
Instead of looking at how good your neighbor's dog is at not jumping, look at how much your dog has progressed instead!
If you were to make a record of your dog's skill level with a specific behavior every day, you would likely see HUGE levels of growth over time.
It's so much more important to focus on your dog's progress over time than their "skill level" in comparison to other dogs!