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Dog Training: Personality Of The Dog
( Originally Published 1943 )
Dogs are dogs and yet each dog even tho of the same breed and the same litter, is different from any other dog in the world. He differs in temperament, in intelligence and above all in that general term, his reaction to the external world, his personality.
THERE IS THE MOODY DOG. He may be selfish, may be stubborn, at another time he may show ill temper, show fear, he may resent your presence, or appear to be utterly unconcerned. Perhaps there is some cause for this and if so, finding the cause and removing it, you strengthen your hold upon the dog's confidence and respect, and, of course, have a more obedient and responsive dog.
THERE IS THE SENSITIVE DOG. He is not the cowardly dog, not necessarily the timid dog or even the nervous dog. He is the dog who is quick to understand your moods and to adjust himself to them. Too often you may not consider him and you may lead him to expect certain things and then, busy with your affairs, your mind on something else, you go on, utterly disregarding him. Just a kindly spoken word, a pat on the head tell him that you have changed your mind and that he is not to be disappointed.
THERE IS THE TIMID DOG. He is not cowardly, not selfish, but just timid. Do not confuse him with the hereditarily shy dog. Gain his confidence, do not deceive him, do not frighten him, show him every respect, and he will become a friend of strong nerves and never-failing devotion.
THERE IS THE STUBBORN DOG. He may be stubborn by nature; he may be stubborn by desire. Oftentimes he is the spoiled dog, who is taking advantage of his owner. Give him time to obey; do not. pay too much attention to him; lead him into doing things without letting Lim know you want him to do them. Do not overpunish him but when you do punish him, do so firmly and clearly; but rewarding him when he does well has a greater effect upon him than punishing him when he does wrong.
THERE IS THE SULKY DOG. He is somewhat akin to the stubborn dog. His feelings have been ruffled, and his sensibilities have been offended. Give a kind word to him but do not go out of your way to be friendly to him at the moment. Let him understand that you do not deceive him. Perhaps you have punished him and he is sulky; leave him alone for a time; do not make up with him and do not coddle him, otherwise you spoil all the effect of your punishment.
THERE IS THE SPOILED DOG. He should be punished not so much as his owner who has spoiled him. You must use some of his own medicine, that is, humor him a little until you can gradually get him away from being spoiled. Let him beg for his food, let him go a bit hungry, let him know that he cannot have everything he wants. A dog can be spoiled in a few weeks; it requires months to bring him out of it. But he can be brot out of it without injuring his confidence in you.
THERE IS THE NERVOUS DOG. This nervousness may he caused by overpampering, by being coddled, by being disobedient, by wrong environment and by lack of reprimand. A case of nerves can be treated by kindness and yet firm kindness, by constant supervision, by full assurance to the dog that he can trust you. Usually the nervous dog is the spoiled dog, the barking dog, the unrestrained dog. Nerves or the nervous dog is a case of mentality, of wrong training rather than something actually being wrong with the nerves or the health of the dog.
THERE IS THE ACTOR DOG. He is to be loved rather than punished. He pretends not to hear you; he looks the other way when you call; when your back is turned he jumps on your best sofa; he pretends to be hungry tho his paunch is full. He is just a mischievous lad, to be caught in his tricks now and then, to be punished lightly, and above all, to have his vitality and cleverness directed into right ways rather than squelched.
AND THEN THERE IS THE PERFECT DOG. He obeys promptly, keeps out of mischief, does everything you tell him to do, is always alert, always attentive, always faithful and watchful. He is the dog that understands you and gives his full confidence to you. He will obey any of your commands even tho to obey is to rush into certain danger and death.
He is the dog that knows when you are sad and acts accordingly, knows when you are glad and barks with delight. He knows when you want to be left alone, knows when you want to play. He is the dog that knows when to bark as a warning to protect you and when to keep quiet; he discerns warily between the stranger who is an enemy and the stranger who is merely a caller. He is the ideal dog, the perfect dog, all dog-he is the best dog in the world-he is your dog.