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Dog Training: Training For The Auto
( Originally Published 1943 )
The dog refuses to become old fashioned. He fits himself promptly into man's latest modes of living, he is a facile adaptor. This chiefly explains why he is one of the oldest species of animal life, most widely scattered of all, and giving every promise of surviving to the last human on earth. Perry alone with his dogs first stood at the North Pole. A dog accompanied Colonel Nobile's dirigible expedition over the North Pole. A sealyham named appropriately Tailwind, accompanied the first round-the-earth fliers. Dogs saw the South Pole with its various discoverers. The automobile has been mastered by the dog. A strange fascination possesses him as he rides in an automobile. Constant wonderment shows in his eyes as he moves tho his legs are still; and he never solves the mystery, however often he rides.
Some dogs become auto topers, they jump into any car that has an open door. It is a dangerous habit for not a few dogs have acquired new owners on account of yielding to the temptation. Dog thieves know this well.
The dog should not be permitted to ride too long with the force of the wind in his face. He can not adjust his eyes nor care for them as do humans. The wearing of goggles is harmful to the dog's eyes.
He should not be placed on the running board, the fender or the hood, for he is exposed to wind and dust, a passing machine may brush him off, or a sudden stop or sharp turn throw him on the ground. California. wisely, prohibits this by law.
Do not take an inexperienced dog for auto riding soon after he has eaten. The ride may upset his stomach and cause him to vomit and froth. Allow as much as six hours after feeding. In extreme cases give aspirin or a sodium bromide just before starting. However, all dogs in time overcome the sickness.
Dogs given to sea sickness on land, that is, to auto sickness, dogs which vomit in the automobile, should ride in the front seat at first rather than in the hack seat or on the floor as the "seasick motion" is not so noticeable on the front seat.
Keep him in a position where he can see the ground at all times. And if he keeps his head up, he is not as likely to vomit.
If the dog is nervous and constantly moving about, soon or late he will attempt to leap out of the car. Do not tie the dog or have lead on him, he can strangle himself.
It is best to keep him off the front seat for he may, in a moment of excitement or during a lurch of the car, throw himself against the driver or the steering wheel.
Little training is needed to get the dog into the car. Take him into the car, start the engine, sit down by his side, give him a reassuring patand there is the end of the training lesson.
Do not permit him to leave the car when you are away for just a brief time. He is a reliable auto lock and the dread of car thieves. Throw a garment or other personal article on the seat; he should guard it zealously.
Slowly the dog is mastering the automobile. His strongest ally scent has helped him little in this instance.
I have seen dogs stop at crossings and then move with the traffic as the light changes. I have seen them look up, notice an approaching car and go from the middle of the street back to the curb, and then cross after the car has passed. I have seen dogs look both ways as they crossed the street, and go back when a car was near. I have seen a dog start across the street and when an auto horn was sounded almost a block away, turn about and go back to the curb without raising his head or looking either way.
In time most dogs will be trafficwise. The dog learns to adjust himself and that is why changing conditions and their demands upon him do not find him losing out in the march of humans. A bad habit, a dangerous vice, is for some dogs to chase autos. To them the passing machine and its rubber tires is an animal in the forest. Soon or late, however quick and clever the dog may be, he misses his step and is crushed beneath the wheels.
The greater danger is that a motorist, seeking to avoid hitting the dog, drives into another car or wrecks his own.
The cure for this vice can be had from one or more of the following methods.
Tie him on a long lead, perhaps thirty feet long, and when he is in full run, steady the rope so that be is jerked bead over heels.
Or have a friend to you, a stranger to the dog, drive by. As your dog rushes toward the auto, some one in the car reaches out and strikes him with a whip or dashes a bucket of cold water in his face. A water pistol or in extreme cases, a gas pistol can be used.
The use of the electric shock in training the dog is effective and not harmful. Dogs fear this shock no matter how slight; it has an instant deterring effect on them.
For instance, to teach the dog to step out of the way of passing automobiles, he may receive a slight shock from a battery which his master carries connected with the chain lead to the dog's collar.
He associates the sting with the oncoming automobile and steps off the road as the car passes. If he steps off promptly, the button is not pressed. Soon be connects the pain and the automobile plus the additional fact that when he steps out of the way promptly, he does not feel the electric shock.
The use of the electric shock also tends to stop the dog from leaping upon wire or metal fences, doors and gates. When he steps up, the attendant touches the door with a charged metal cane, and this sends a slight shock thru the door into the dog's paws.
The advice set forth in this chapter in previous editions has brot forth a number of reprimands from persons who emphasize their own humane attainments. The sincerity of these criticis is unquestioned but few if any have attempted to train a perverse, maliciously stubborn, semi-criminal dog, and been checked up on results as is a trainer by the dog's owner.
The same reasoning logically would abolish our jails and police forces in human government. Further, these same critics must assume the responsibility for being the unintentional killers of their own or others' dogs inasmuch as failure to break dogs of certain habits usually writes the final chapter in their death from their own actions. Mistaken kindness can be bitter and unneeded cruelty.