Training the new dog owner – Part 1
The average American family consists of daddy, mommy, and 2.1 children. The “.1” must, of course, represent Buddy, the family dog.
Buddy may have appeared, complete with a red ribbon, as a furry little bundle of Christmas cheer, nestled underneath a brightly decorated tree. But by the time the ornaments and branches have been ingested by Buddy, daddy begins to have second thoughts about Santa’s sense of humor.
During his first two weeks in the new household, Buddy usually accomplishes one thing: changing the family’s routine! The accidents on the carpet, teething on the sofa cushions, and of course – Buddy’s insomnia at 2:00 A.M., are all contributing factors to his ultimate banishment to the back yard.
To stave off the sheer loneliness of his exile, Buddy will invent toys and games out of whatever is available. One such game that is as popular with dogs as hide-and-seek with children, is called “transplant the shrubbery.”
In this game, Buddy merely selects the plant which he considers to be most out of place. Then, with meticulous care, the plant is exhumed.
Before the plant is relocated to a different part of the yard, there is a certain ritual that Buddy must put the plant through. What the ritual actually accomplishes, only Buddy knows, but it consists (among other things) of throwing the plant into the air, gaining more altitude each time.
When the ritual is concluded, it’s time for the transplant job. Studies show, however, that Buddy is usually so winded and worn out from the tossing job, that the plant lies dormant on the surface of the yard, and the transplanting is actually done by daddy, not Buddy!
The game starts over the next day, and the next, until all the plants have been exhumed, and the dog declares himself the winner. Staring about the yard, Buddy will see nothing else of interest at this point. However… in the next yard… as Buddy jumps the fence into your neighbor’s plants…
After the quarrel with daddy and the neighbors subsides, Buddy’s realm is usually reduced to the circumference provided by a long rope tied to a tree. This is a temporary measure, of course, and Buddy will do all in his power to ensure this. This means barking at everything and everyone.
While daddy mumbles something at Buddy, and returns to the house, the dog returns to his vocal attempts to chase the moon away. Out comes daddy. A few more words are aimed at Buddy, and viola! Buddy has discovered a new game. By barking, he cannot only chase things away, but can summon someone to momentarily keep him company!
Such are the antics of the family dog, whose future usually lies in a classified advertisement declaring… “Free to A Good Home.”
Don’t make that choice
For an investment of a few dollars, coupled with a little imagination, there need be no one-way ride to the pound for your buddy, or no pawning off the lemon to some other unsuspecting family.
A few bucks will buy you a water gun, a quick and easy dog training magazine to train you to deal with your dog’s antics, and an open mind to an understanding of a dog’s point of view.
In just a few days, you can turn frustration and the prospect of sending Buddy to the pound into a well-trained, respectable family pet.