Rescuing a dog is rewarding – especially when you know you’re changing their life for the better.
But one new dog owner has been left frustrated after rehoming an ex-racing greyhound after moving to Australia.
The English-speaking woman claims her rescue dog cannot understand her accent, making training extremely difficult.
Admitting to putting on a fake Ozzy accent in front of her dog, she joked she can’t keep ‘living this lie’.
Speaking to Reddit, the woman said: “I’m pretty sure he can’t understand my accent. He wasn’t coming to me when I called his name for the first few days, but would respond to my Australian housemates when they called him.
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“The main thing I’m struggling with is training him to lay down. I think he already knows the words, but can’t understand me so I feel like I’m starting from square one.
“He isn’t food motivated or maybe I just haven’t found a food that he loves yet. It’s really confusing for me because I grew up raising beagles.
“The whole thing is really stressing me out because even though he’s the most gentle and well-behaved dog I’ve ever had, people are afraid of him out in public, especially kids.
“It’s really important to me that he learns this as soon as possible.”
Suspecting her rescue dog has been picking up on how stressed she is, she has turned to Reddit to seek advice on what to do.
She added: “I don’t want to put on a fake accent for the rest of his life.
“I hope this doesn’t sound crazy – a few of my friends’ dogs here will only respond to commands from me if I put on a bad, fake accent.”
While most users laughed at her predicament, others suggested using hand signals as she eases back into her natural accent.
One user said: “You aren’t crazy, but you also seem too caught up with the accent thing.
“While I can see this being a funny thing with your friend’s dog it’s not something to get caught up on with your own.
“You just treat this as you adopted a dog that was trained with different commands to what you want to use and retrain.
“I’ve even heard decent arguments for changing your adopted dog’s name.
“It’s not really starting from square one as they know the desired behavior.”
Another user added: “Nothing wrong with taking some steps back and starting from the beginning with this dog. Start with hand signals instead of verbal cues.
“When he is consistent with the hand signals you can start transferring them to a verbal cue.”
Sharing a similar experience, a third user said: “We are native English speakers and bought our dog while living in a Spanish-speaking country.
“Even now, after four years with us, she perks up when we speak Spanish at home or if she hears it on the TV. I have no idea how she tells the difference.”
Do you have an unusual dog story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.