Thursday, April 28, 2011

Anonymous dog opinion, two

Round two of anonymous doggie opinions comes from the illustrious Tufts University Press, and is entitled Best Behavior: Unleashing Your Dog's Instinct to Obey.

"Obey" of course is a complicated term to use.

I mean, sure, the AKC has Obedience competitions, and titles. Sure, an Obedience trained dog can be a dream to watch with his or her handler, as the two go through their maneuvers. But does obedience on the field mean obedience at home?  Does obedience at home mean that the dog knows a figure 8 heeling pattern? Which is more important?

If you have a thinking dog (which is a blessing or a curse, depending on the day) the dog may look at you at times and very clearly be communicating "Well, why should I sit? Why do you want me to sit right now?" The human answer is, of course, "because I said so, and I am the human, and you are the dog". But the answer is also "because if you listen to me all the time when I tell you to sit, it might save your life one day, if you're heading for the road, for example."  

I may have mentioned previously that I talk to my dog. 

Elka's dialogue is limited as she is, of course, still a dog. But I do try to be fair.  Because I really do want that sit.

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