|Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 11:40pm PST |
|I find it sort of strange how in the general community, the focus is on going to obedience classes rather than just general common sense. I think what people really need to know when they bring a dog home is "when the dog does something you like, he gets something he likes. When he does something you don't like, he doesn't get what he wants." That basic philosophy could save tons of dogs from euthanasia. Mostly it seems like people just don't have the discipline to do it. It's inconvenient to listen to the dog whine and wait for quiet before giving affection, so they give in to shut the dog up, or, horror of horrors, ignore him for awhile, then yell at him, then give in, so that he learns to be incredibly persistent. It's too much work to pick up the plates when the puppy sniffs around the dinner table to see what will happen, so he gets shut away in the bedroom during meals instead of learning not to do it. The barking during walks is annoying, but it's too much effort to go home when the dog acts up, so people keep walking while shushing the dog, yelling at him, or asking him why he's barking, all of which are totally ineffective. Same thing with pulling- for dogs who don't have fear issues, all it really takes is standing still when the dog pulls and moving forward when the leash is loose. But people do all sorts of ridiculous things to avoid the week or two of effort it would take to leash train the dog through that method- choke chains, shock collars, leash checks and other dominance-based nonsense that's really just abuse, etc (oh, and forget tiring out the dog at an off-leash park before leash training sessions- he should behave perfectly on leash after being cooped up in the house for 9 hours, or else he's just IMPOSSIBLE and it's not my fault!!) As far as I'm concerned, knowing tricks has exactly nothing to do with how polite or well trained a dog is. Not to say they can't be helpful, but my dog can know that trying to grab food off my plate never succeeds but lying politely next to my chair sometimes earns tidbits, that we don't go outside until he's calm and quiet, that nosing my hand is the best way to get attention, that humping and nipping make playtime stop, that going potty in the corner of the yard earns a treat and lying on his bed earns a belly rub, without ever even knowing how to sit on cue. Teaching manners requires the human to have foresight, impulse control, patience, and a backbone ("sorry, she can't say hi until she stops jumping," "sorry, we need to leave now") while trick training doesn't.
Anyway, the purpose of that rant was that I think lack of loose leash walking is one symptom of an epidemic of dog-related stupidity.
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