Friends, roamers and country dogs, lend me your floppy ears…
DOGS! We’ve seen too much dog training advice by the Dogfather on this site and precious little for us dogs, so let’s put that right. If you’ve every wondered how to get the best out of your human, here are a few tips just for you:
- Always behave best when there’s NO ONE else to see. Just for a laugh. Come back to your human on command perfectly every time only in empty parks and do Crufts-style obedience in the kitchen when no one else is home – just resist the temptation to show off when others (especially other dogs) are around to witness it. This way, you’ll drive your human round the bend and they’ll try harder to please you. Humans are very affectionate, but they’re not very clever, bless them…
- Bark at the window occasionally as though there’s someone there – You’re bound to get attention as they jump to their feet and appear at your side, perhaps giving you a pat on the head. Humans are convinced we can hear things they can’t – so use that to your advantage. If you’re a guarding breed dog, they may even say “Thank you” in the belief that will stop you barking because you’ve done your job. If someone thanks me for barking and pats me on the head, I thank THEM – by barking a bit more. As yer do, like.
- Remember that the object of taking your human for a walk is for both of you to get as dirty, wet and smelly as possible. You will invariably be more successful than them, but don’t let this stop you trying to show them where best to roll around to achieve this aim – pull on the lead and drag them there! (It’s not called a ‘lead’ for no reason, is it?). Humans usually resist – you’d be forgiven for thinking they don’t like it – and they have poor memories too. Incredibly, they even ignore the good places you showed them just yesterday. Humans live in the now, you see…
- Remember that humans learn by repetition. For example, if you’re having trouble getting them to understand that they must stop at each lamppost (and ideally sit nicely until you tell them to walk on), keep at it. It’s worth it in the end – There’s a great sense of satisfaction in having a human who dutifully waits at every lamppost without even being commanded. The golden rule is: Persistence pays!
- Reward your human occasionally by helping with the gardening, pulling out weeds and suggesting new planting spots by initiating the digging of holes. (Flowers look great in the middle of the lawn, right..?). Incidentally, you may notice that your human’s idea of what constitutes a weed differs from yours. Don’t worry, they’ll get there and the garden will start to look differently as your months of hard work pay off. There are recurring themes here: “Humans are not very clever, bless them” and “Persistence pays”.
- As we all know, humans just aren’t very good with language and they frequently get confused. Here’s a brief guide to what a few of their words really mean:
“NO!”: Means “YES”
“YES!”: Means “YES”. (However this suggests you’ve accidentally done something they wanted you to do. Don’t beat yourself up too much about it because it sometimes happens to the best of us. Do your best to avoid it in future. Practice makes perfect.)
“DOWN!”: Means either “Lie down!” or “Get off the sofa!” If you ARE on the sofa, lie down immediately and snuggle up, ignoring further calls of “Down!” (Why on earth do they repeat themselves..?) If you’re NOT on the sofa, then do nothing – You’re not up there, so why do you need to listen? Simple!
Incidentally, on the subject of lying down commands, you may have seen the TV programme “One man And His Dog” Very impressive stuff! It’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to train your human to such a high standard, but it’s something we should all perhaps aspire to.
“SIT!”: Means there’s a treat to be had. If you can’t see or smell one, they’re just trying it on and pushing the boundaries. If you ignore this bad behaviour, it will go away. Meanwhile whatever you do, don’t reward the bad behaviour accidentally by sitting.
“COME!”, “HERE!” etc: Means “Someone or something interesting has entered the park”. Before you do anything else, look up and have a scan around so you know where to run off to. Alternatively, if your human has just dragged the lead out of his pocket, it means he wants to be led home now. If you’re not ready, lead him a merry dance around the park instead. He probably needs a good run-around off lead anyway – that’s what they were bred for.
Well that’s about it for now boys and girls. Just one last thing: Now you’ve read the article, maybe it's best to click off this site and clear your browser’s history. We don’t want all of this info getting into the wrong hands – like your owner's. If they find it, they'll be joining his Facebook page before you can say Jack Russell
The Dogfather is nothing but trouble – He knows far too many of our little secrets. If your humans contact The Dogfather, you’ll have to start behaving nicely. ‘Dog forbid’ you might even end up liking it. That would be just awful, wouldn’t it..?
Would you like to see more info like this? Check out the Dog Blog here!
Graeme Hall MGoDT, 'The Dogfather' is one of the UK's leading dog trainers. Based in Northamptonshire, covering all of the UK. I'm a Master Dog Trainer with the Guild Of Dog Trainers. I've trained over 1,900 dogs. I'm recommended by vets. I'm one of the few dog trainers chosen by the Hollywood film industry and have been featured on BBC Radio.
If you're looking for a dog trainer or dog behaviourist I can come to you wherever you are – and wherever there is a dog behaviour problem to fix or dog expert advice needed. Contact me today!