White Dog was not happy when Michael woke her at 6:30am to go for a walk. Not that the hour is too early, she and Steve go to the Park at the time several days a week. No, she complained that a neighborhood walk was not the morning routine and when she walked, she walked with Steve. Steve explained, as I had last night that this pattern was important for Michael both to gain independence and to learn the responsibilities of dog ownership since he desperately wants his own dog when his mom returns home. Walking and exercising a dog before school, after school and in the evening is an important task that has to be done every day and he cannot get distracted by being too tired or by wanting to play on the computer.
White Dog whined about why she had to be the trainer and how she didn't want to go with Michael (he doesn't know the way. He's too slow. He doesn't stop at my favorite places.). She kicked up a fuss, strained against the lead and refused to walk. In general, White Dog made Michael feel very rejected. She came back and laid next to me in the bed expecting sympathy. I gently said to her, "This is something you can do to help (and get some extra walk time) and I am going to insist that you try again tomorrow with a better attitude." At the same time, Steve was encouraging Michael, "Try again tomorrow and just be patient. Her refusal this morning does not mean that White Dog does not like you. A new dog would have to slowly learn a routine as well and our girl is not any different."