I can't tell you how many times I have heard that from clients. And I get it. 100%.
Because Garmin is that dog.
You see, at home, Garmin is sweet and fairly calm. He has his moments when he paces and is on edge (usually when we haven't had a chance to walk or train), but, for the most part he has settled in nicely here and can find a soft, warm place to sleep or chill and he is content.
But in public, people don't see that. He is a whining, panting, vocal mess. He is still sweet as can be, but he can't be quiet. And he can't stand still. I can get him to focus on commands and perform them, but not with the accuracy he can do them at home. I can't even take my own dog to group classes because it is just too much for him.
I can see people eyeing him and shaking their heads. I can see them whispering to each other about him. And I don't care. Why? Because I know that he is doing the best that he can. Is it perfect? No. Are we working on it? Everytime we go out. Is he making progress? Absolutely. But he is anxious and tries his best. And that is all I can expect of him. It is all anyone can expect of their dog. I tell clients that--don't worry about what others think. Accept what you can do. Accept what your dog can do and work from there. No one else has to like it, understand it or agree with it--you just have to do what is right by your dog. Show them that they world isn't scary. Even if it takes some time.
Garmin, like so many other anxious dogs, is a great dog. He loves to work and train and he wants more than anything to please me. He loves people. The world is just a big scary place to him.
One day he may calmly walk through a store or ride in the car without being upset, but, for now, people will have to take my word for it.