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Dogs

I haven’t dog-training-blogged in a while. So, here’s some stuff.

We socialize and train our dogs for certain behaviors. But bear in mind a few notes on dogs that you ought not forget, no matter how much training you’ve done:

Dogs are not people. They are animals. Don’t forget that.

All dogs are killers. More specifically, all dogs have the ability (and even desire) to kill. Even that little yappy dog that some rich lady keeps in her purse is a killer at heart. It’s just a killer in a small package. Killing for dogs is the natural order of things. People often seem shocked or surprised when you remind them that fluffy-pookins has gnarly teeth for a reason.

Dogs are also scavengers. They’ll eat things that the thought of will make a billy goat puke. They’ll eat roadkill, feces, your child’s vomit, their own vomit, and all sorts of other nasty things.

For dogs, there is the dominant dog and all other dogs are subservient. In the dog’s eyes, you as master should be the dominant dog. Dogs are quite content with this as they favor a strong leader. If you are not the dominant dog in your dog’s eyes, you’re in for trouble. For a dominance test, look at these behaviors:

  • When your dog is laying in the hallway that you’re walking down, does the dog get out of your way? Or do you walk around or step over the dog? If the latter, you just affirmed the dog’s dominance. You make the dog move. No need to do so in a manner that is mean or physical, just a snap/clap and point.
  • Has your dog snapped at you? If so, he’s the boss.
  • Can you take food/toys from your dog if he his eating/playing with them? If not, he owns you
  • When you’re playing fetch in the yard and the dog comes running back at high speed causing you to think he might knock you down, do you stand your ground or get out of the way? Always stand your ground, or he’s running the show
  • You’re ready to kick back for the night on your favorite spot on the couch. You get to the couch and your dog is in your spot. Do you find another spot or do you make the dog move? You should make the dog move
  • Has or does your dog try to hump your leg? If so, you’re his bitch.
  • Can you, without physically forcing the dog, get the dog to assume a submissive position (i.e., lying on his back with his eyes averted)? If not, you have problems.
  • Does your dog make eye contact with you? It may look all sweet and loving to you, but dogs make eye contact only to assert dominance or challenge the dominance of another
  • More things about dogs:

    Dogs have no sense of fairness. Dogs don’t understand that it’s not fair for a big dog to attack a little dog. It’s the order of things to determine who is dominant. If you have two dogs and one very clearly is dominant over the other, your intervention in that should be minimal (by that, I mean if they fight you break it up). Do not treat them as though things should be fair or equal. They are not. For example, if one dog hops on the couch to lay at your feet and does not allow the other dog up, you’re doing no one any favors by inviting the other dog up. You have challenged the more dominant dog to re-assert himself over the other. You can control this only when you’re present, when you go to work, they’re going to iron out exactly who the boss is.

    Dogs should be supervised when around children. More to the point, you’re supervising the child. I trust my dogs with my kids. I don’t trust my kids with my dogs. Junior will tug ears, pull tails, swat, and chase the dogs. The dogs will take it and like it. But, I still correct Junior and put the dog outside or in a bedroom. If a child physically hurts a dog, the dog may bite in defense. If I’m cooking dinner or otherwise can’t devote my attention to supervision, the kids and dogs are separated. Always.

    Dogs do not understand sharing. They either have it or they want it. They don’t care if the other dog has it or not.

    Dogs do not understand evil. Whether it’s chasing a field mouse, killing a neighborhood cat, or biting someone, dogs do not see these actions as evil. It’s just how things are. For them, it’s the natural order.

    If your dog attacks someone who is a family member or invited guest, you shoot it. Non-invited folks are excepted because that’s what the dog does.

    If your dog is out in public, it should be restrained. Dogs should be on leashes in public.

    Do not let your dog run wild in the neighborhood. Have a fence. If you don’t, they will go scavenging and killing.

    Dogs are wonderful animals, if properly socialized, trained, and supervised.

    5 Responses to “Dogs”

    1. Guav Says:

      That was very interesting, and useful since my wife wants to get a dog once we move out of the city and get a house. Thank you, I’ve bookmarked it.

    2. Captain Holly Says:

      Dogs are not people. They are animals. Donít forget that.

      That, in a nutshell, is the problem with modern dog owners. They view their dog as their child, instead of as their pet.

    3. straightarrow Says:

      Some of the best information I have ever seen a dog lover impart.

    4. tgirsch Says:

      Agreed, quality stuff. In most of these areas, we’re very good, but in some, we have a lot of room for improvement. But our dogs are almost always among the best-behaved at the dog park (and if they’re not, we leave).

      I cannot underscore enough the importance of socializing your dog(s) around other people and other dogs. And especially children. Further, I cannot overemphasize the fact that this is a job that is never, ever “done.” It must be ongoing. We try to get our dogs out in public (leashed, of course) at least once a week. Fortunately, there are several dog-friendly stores in close proximity to my house, so that makes socialization easier (and those stores benefit from a disproportionate amount of our business).

    5. Swap Blog » Blog Archive » Training Dogs Says:

      […] Say Uncle’s post here . […]