Dogs are not humans - they're too smart.

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who don't know how to control their dogs.  My biggest pet peeve of all, are people who won't listen, yet wonder why their dog still acts retarded.

My boyfriend's sister in law is one of these people.   A few years ago they got a Boston Terrier that they named Milo.   Although small, boston terriers have a lot of energy, and are very strong for their size (especially their bite).   I feel very sorry for this dog.

As a puppy, he would chew, pee everywhere, pull on his leash, bark, jump everywhere... you know puppy stuff.  At first, they thought most of that was cute, and they didn't do much about it.  Unfortunately, the dog didn't "grow up" like it was "supposed to" and his behavior didn't improve (what a surprise).    They tried to train him, but they were far from consistent, and in a lot of cases they would reward bad behavior.

One day, the bf and I went to their house to visit.  Of course we were greeted by Milo, who was more than happy to see us (he told us all about it).  Instead of calming down after a couple minutes like most dogs do, this dog wouldn't stop.  We couldn't sit down without this dog trying to get on our lap, or jump up and lick our faces.    We both tried to be polite, and pretended that it wasn't a problem.  So, they didn't see a need to do anything about it.  Actually they acted as if this was normal, and they had gotten used to it a long time ago.   Since they didn't do anything about it, the bf and I both tried to get the dog to stop, without looking too annoyed.  Eventually, my bf's brother decided to step in, and called the dog over to him.   As if that wasn't reward enough, he looked at the dog and said  "Stop jumping ok?" in a little baby voice, as if he was trying to reason with the animal that obviously had no idea what he wanted him to do.   Of course, as soon as he was finished getting affection from his owner, he came back and started jumping on us.

This time, he got so excited he peed on my leg.   Annoyed, I explained, "He just pissed on me".  The bf's sister in law said "Sorry about that, he does that when he gets too excited".   Well no shit...
I guess this happens all the time too, because they didn't even bother to get me a paper towel to wipe it off with.  I had to get one myself...  After I did that, and the dog still wasn't calm, the bf's sister in law decided to try a new tactic - distraction.  Every time the dog tried to jump on us, she called the dog over and GAVE IT A TREAT, to distract it.    I'm pretty sure my jaw literally dropped.  She was literally rewarding, and thus training her dog to do this... and she didn't see it.   When that obviously didn't work... I suggested that maybe the dog just had too much energy and needed to go for a walk.  Tire him out, worth a shot right?   So my bf's brother took him for a "walk" that lasted all of 2 minutes... he took the dog to the corner, let him piss on a pole, and came back.    The dog got more exercise trying to lick my face, than it did pulling his owner down the street.  Of course, since that didn't work, I was basically to blame, and any advice I gave after that held no creditability.   I didn't want to call my future family a bunch of tards, so I just sat back and watched the failure.

Since nothing else worked, they decided to try something new.  I finally thought they were on the right track, but of course, I got my hopes up for nothing.   They decided to threaten the dog, by telling him that if he was bad, he was going to go in his crate.  It might have helped, IF they put the dog in the crate.   Instead they just kept threatening him in a baby voice that, to the dog, meant praise. 

A few weeks later I found out that they enlisted the help of a professional dog trainer.  I thought that maybe if a professional taught them what to do, they would listen to them, and I wouldn't feel the need to speak up.   Curious, I asked them how it went.  Her exact words were "I didn't like how the trainer treated the dogs... she was too aggressive".   I could have slapped her. But instead I said this "I think she was just trying to show dominance, so the dog understands who's the boss".   And she said "I know, but whenever I do that to my dog, he looks sad".   Not wanting to yell at her, I said "oh, I see", and left the conversation at that.

Now, I have to say the following.

Dogs do not understand human ethics, and especially reasoning.  They are pack animals, where the leader of the pack is always obeyed.  It's their instinct, and the main reason we have been able to domesticate them.    The most dominant member of the pack is always the leader... and every pack must have a leader.   If you are not the leader, your dog will try and fill that position (he'll try to pull you on walks, won't come when called, bark at people who come on his territory, etc.).   Unless you are the leader your dog will not see the need to listen to you, let alone pay attention to you.  He might like the food you provide, but that does not mean that your dog feels the need to obey you.
Dogs do not understand English, they do however understand the tone of our voice and our body language, because that's what dogs use to communicate with each other.   Dogs, also don't feel sorry for themselves.  They actually enjoy the structure a pack leader provides, because if they do not know who the leader is, or understand what you want from them, they get confused and stressed out (they become aggressive, compulsive, etc).   Most dogs have more energy than most humans, so they need more exercise than most humans.  Dogs do get bored, and thats why they can sometimes dig, chew on stuff that aren't toys, are too hyper, etc. 
Dogs simply do not understand the difference between wrong and right until you properly show that to them in Dog Language.  Which means, an untrained dog is very much capable of harming someone... they do not think it's wrong to kill... they are predatory carnivores after all.   If you think a dog is like a person, and should be treated like one, you should have kids instead.....

All four of my cats sit on command, come when called (even the deaf one), and know what they are and are not allowed to do.  My deaf cat even fetches (  so there's really no reason why anyone shouldn't be able to train their dog.   Dog's don't need to be trained, they all come equipped with the instinct that owners can use to train them with... you just have to know what you're doing.  If what you're doing isn't working, what you're doing is wrong - not the dog.

Uploaded 09/14/2011
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