May 22, 2009
Rich: You've seen them all on TV. Cesar, Victoria, and the Monks--rescuing hapless dog owners from the ravages of their savages. Give them 30 minutes, an intractably naughty dog, and, voila!, greater wonders cannot be found on this animal planet. Beastly beasts go bust and domestic tranquility is quickly restored.
But wait: Push the pause button on el Tivo. These are not reality shows. Everyday reality is often far worse than that. Not only is the scourge of doggie disobedience apparently international, but now the ABC News website features a British report concluding that "physical control methods usually shown on TV or touted by celebrity pet trainers like 'The Dog Whisperer' Cesar Millan are 'ridiculous.'" The WoofGang has news for ABC: The alternatives aren't so hot either.
Maybe you don't wear a frock, have whitened teeth, or drive a sporty convertible as these globe-trotting superstar dog trainers do. But believe it or not, living at peace with your handsome hound is within your reach. If you're lucky, it won't require monastic prayer or other pleadings. Just a few easy dog training principles--hidden from you on purpose by these TV dog-training gurus--will set you on the right path.
So, in the interest of bettering the relationship between dog and man, the WoofGang offers their free secrets to dog training that they don't want you to know:
1. They say golf is a good walk spoiled. Experienced dog owners know they don't need to pull a golf cart to spoil a walk when their dog's pulling spoils it with far less exertion.
Unless you and your dog are training for the Human Iditarod, this pulling needs to stop. No one should tolerate being pulled by a leashed dog. Close observation shows that your dog pulls you when he's intensely interested in an invisible something a mere six inches farther than the leash allows. Buy a leash that's six inches longer and the problem's solved. (Handy consumer tip: Save your receipt.)
2. There is a saying that the first dog in the family trains the second. So, getting a second dog is the ticket to speedtraining. Sounds simple and fun, too! Who doesn't love a puppy? But does it really work?
The WoofGang is particularly well-qualified to comment on this particular method. Prior to Daisy, the WoofGang had one dog at a time--Bo, then Buddy, then Boomer. None of them would be called "well-trained" in a conventional sense--unless you make wide allowances for not coming when called, occasional jumping on guests (as in every guest being an occasion for said jumping), and the destruction of personal property. Their other annoying behaviors usually fell within socially acceptable norms.
Needless to say, we were delighted to think that with Boomer's help, it would be s snap to bring Daisy up to the WoofGang's standards of "Excellence" in Dog Obedience. We could not have been more correct.
3. Finally, we've determined that sitting, staying, and fetching aren't all they're cracked up to be. Can someone explain to the WoofGang what purpose it serves to have your dog sit, anyway? If your dog tires of sitting after a few seconds (i.e, the usual time elapsed between the human voicing the verbal command and the dog realizing that no edible reward is forthcoming) and lies down, are you really so concerned about his preferred posture? Staying is fine, but can you explain why the command has to exclude all fidgeting? Fetching is okay, we suppose, if that's how you amuse yourself, but don't you have anything better to do? Are you really sure you're just not dealing with your own authority issues here?
So, you see, successful dog training doesn't need to be reserved for a few residents of a distant continent visited by a celebrity trainer from TV land. The WoofGang's take on all this dog-training stuff is very simple: If you can't do it, eschew it. And if you desire a trouble-free life accompanied at all times by adorable, obedient, loving creatures, have kids. Well-behaved dogs are only seen on TV.
Posted by Rich, Jane, Boomer, and Daisy at 12:01 AM