Dog Training and Pleasing the Master

by: James Ricks

I recently purchased a chocolate lab puppy. The purpose was to find a pup so me and my youngest son could spend some quality time together. After several months of shopping, we purchased a pup from a kennel in Tennessee. We named her Memphis. She had just what I was looking for in a pup. She was a really dark chocolate pup with an unbelievable pedigree. I was excited as we received her at the airport. Gunnar was thrilled when he saw the pup.

Fast forward a few months. The pup was not showing the desire to retrieve. I kept comparing her to my past puppies. I began losing faith in her. My thought was she will never be a good hunting companion. The frustration built every day. All I could do is to compare her to my other dogs.

She did well on her obedience training. She listened to her master and wanted to please me at least in one area. My thought was that at least Memphis will have good manners around people and other dogs. Her personality had everyone in our family head over heels in love with her. Yet she just didn’t show me she had what it takes to make a great retriever. But one day I tried something different. I offered treats every time she retrieved. It was a last-ditch effort and I had very little hope it would work.

WOW! It was like a light switch went on. She finally understood what her master wanted. She is now a retrieving machine. Combine that with her obedience and you have the makings of a great hunting retriever.

Isn’t this just how life works? We almost give up on someone or something we desire because it seems hopeless? Yet we have a master (God) that is patient. He knows our pedigree and he knows our potential. God knows that He first needs us to be obedient before he can really mold us into the servant he desires. He knows exactly what we need and is so willing to give it to us.

Memphis was taught to sit, stay, come and heel. This obedience allows her to go many places with our family. While this is good it is not great. Greatness comes when she does what she was created to do. Memphis is now excited to retrieve. She is happy because she has found out how fun it is do what her master desires. What she doesn’t understand yet is that her entire life journey has also changed. She will now get to experience how much fun it is doing what she was created to do. How about you? Are you looking forward to enjoying all that God has in store for you?

What does your Master (God) need to teach you? Maybe it’s sit (Listen to your Master), stay (be patient and wait on Him), or heel (letting God lead and you follow him. This is for your protection and shows great obedience). Do you get excited about your daily training? Memphis is constantly bringing us her bumper. A bumper is what is used to teach her retrieving. What are you constantly bringing to God to show Him you are excited about your training?

Are you willing to take correction? Are you willing to be obedient? Your Master is patient and wants you to become great at doing what He created you to do. Yet as much as he wants you to be great, it takes your desire and effort to please your master. We all can become a champion yet many settle to be just another dog. We can choose disobedience and get locked up in a cage outside or we can choose to serve our Master and lay by His feet and receive His love all day every day.