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Dog Training: The Dog Give Training Advice To His Master
( Originally Published 1943 )
Now, look here, human; I realize you've got to know more than the dog before you can teach him, but please mix common sense and good judgment with your knowledge.
I can't talk with words. You can teach me to lie down with the command "up." The big job you have in this training work with me as your pupil is to get your ideas across to me. Don't worry about my end of it, if I know what you want.
And incidentally, nine times of ten a dog disobeys, he isn't actually doing that-he just didn't get what you had in mind. Believe me, we dogs have only one big act on our program to win your approval in everything we do. I know it's misplaced devotion at times but we'll skip that. Just remember, Mr. Master, that we are dogs-and glad of it too. We aren't humans. To us this is a dog's world, mostly of smells and sounds. We don't want to be called humans that's unfair to us. But when you map out a training course look at it from the dog's viewpoint. Does the act appeal to our love of play, our desire to please, our interest in getting something to eat, our curiosity in seeing what's happening on the other side of the fence? Put a canine angle on your training efforts-and we'll respond if you do.
I might bark in passing that we laugh in our paw when you humans, our assumed gods, lose your temper over us, shout commands excitedly, are inconsistent in not sticking to the same command for the same obedience or in letting us get away with pretended deafness when you speak to us. At any rate, just look at things thru our eyes and minds and make yourself one of us for the time being when you are training us-you don't really train us we can do all this sort of stuff naturally; you're just kind of dumb in getting it out of us.
Signed: Fido K. Nine