Following on from my recent blog about being ‘over dogged’, (here is the link to that blog…. https://kamalfernandez.blog/2018/04/10/all-your-options/ ) it raises the question about what type of dog is most suitable for dog sports, or indeed life in general… and it prompted me to ponder the question that I am sure I will be asking my daughter in about 18yrs…. ‘what’s wrong with the nice guy?’
You can imagine my angst as I ponder the day, Neave walks in introducing her latest ‘acquisition’…. he walks into our front door, entering it like he owns it, chewing gum loudly referring to me as ‘pops’…. This little ‘treasure’ is wearing sunglasses inside! And has a car that is the colour of Kermit the frog, and has an engine that clearly screams ‘insecure’ and ‘compensating’!!! I resist the temptation to whisper to my malinois his cue to go into a hold and bark, exclaiming ‘he’s never done that before… but I would suggest you don’t make any sudden moves’…. all the time thinking, we have a large garden… and where can I acquire some patio slabs quickly!! You get the feeling I have pondered this position once or twice….
Everyone girl has to have her fair share of ‘bad boys’ in order to find her prince…. I get that, but what is it about overlooking the ‘Nice guy’…. the guy that treats you nicely, he’s polite… he’s kind, he’s patient, he’s easy going…. I can hear you scream ‘boring’ at the screen as you read this…. but hear me out!!
I get the need for excitement and that little adrenaline rush, but overlooking ‘the nice guy’ or even discarding him, is not only a ‘fathers worst nightmare’ but a oversight on so many levels…
I get appeal of the ‘bad boy’, I really do… but lets have some ‘real talk’… after that initial rush of excitement and flurry of fun, the realisation that ‘the bad boy’ comes with a price. See the thing is, those same attributes that make them ‘fun and exciting’, and give you that huge buzz, comes with a downside. The price being, they are what they are. So when the things that drew you to them in the first place are now apparent when you don’t necessarily want them to be, what can you do? Nothing. This is what you signed up for. You can try and reason with them and ask them to turn up on time, or answer their phone when you ring, or stop texting those other girls inappropriate messages… and maybe they’ll stop… or maybe they’ll just get better at controlling themselves. And that might be the compromise you reach… but is that what you really want?
Or do you need the nice guy, who doesn’t have the flash car or huge ego, or OTT personality, or arrogant swagger… but is loyal, trustworthy, hardworking and kind. Who gets on with everyone but isn’t necessarily the life and soul of the party. Who just wants to make you happy.
Now I understand that some people are addicted to bad boys … we only need to glance over our Facebook feeds with those ambiguous statuses to know, some people just love themselves some drama 😉
So lets step aside from my parenting whoa’s and look at the parallel with dogs.
Often ‘the nice guy’ is the option that will suit the most people, and often is seen as a ‘compromise’. But why? So this dog will allow you the time and patience to learn your craft, make mistakes and forgive you for them.
They can be the type of dog that you can build up and have loads of fun with, without the power struggles or reactivity issues you may get with a bit ‘more’ dog.
They are generally easy going with life, so you don’t have to worry about all the additional training to deal with temperaments, or environments.
Now the trade off of the ‘nice guy’ is that he may not come be naturally talented or insanely driven and it may take a bit more effort on your part to get the best out of him, but thats part of the ‘journey’… the reality is that the short term gain of having a dog with Natural flair and desire isn’t always ‘easy’, and the nice guy who has learnt to love his job but is equally happy cuddling on the sofa watching Netflix. But here’s the catch… the ‘nice guy’ will probably be the dog that gets you exactly where you wanted to go…. and the reason being, you just might be a ‘nice person’ to 😉
Dogs with extremes, need handlers and trainers with the same extremes… extreme attention to detail… extreme commitment, extreme awareness…. there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that’s not who you are, and gravitating to a dog of the same ilk.
What we want, isn’t always what we need… being aware the ‘more’ isn’t always better, and the grass isn’t always greener…. the grass underfoot is green if you water it!