The Perfect Dog

I wanted to stop and write a quick article today about something I heard this morning. It was before I’d had my second cup of morning coffee and after the obligatory “post toast” crumb inspection given me by my dogs. I’d like to talk about the perfect dog.

With the TV on for background noise this morning, I listened to a tiny bit of an infomercial telling me how I could have the perfect dog. I listened just long enough to learn that by using this “system”, I would see the change in my dog in just minutes and that by following their system I could train my dog to be the perfect dog.

“F@*! you!” was the resounding response that my dogs and I gave the TV as I switched the channel to something just a tiny bit less offensive like the morning debate about the debt ceiling.

Now to be fair, I have not seen nor used the system that this guy is peddling, but frankly I don’t need to. Anyone trying to tell me that behavioral changes like aggression or fear can be changed in minutes isn’t dealing with reality as far as I am concerned. They are snake oil salesman.

I see systems like this advertised all the time. By giving them money for their system or book, they will reveal to me the “SECRET” to a perfect dog. Well, guess what assholes? I have four perfect dogs.

They bark too much, they beg too much, they don’t listen all the time, and they muck up the house all the time especially after Jackie or I have cleaned it. And to us, they ARE perfect! We know that if our dogs are doing something that we don’t want them to do; the secret is that we haven’t taught them not to do it!

We don’t need some bloody kit with choke chains or prong collars or leash corrections or alpha roll instructions or space claiming methods to create the perfect dog. We need to get off our asses and put in the time, patience, and thought needed to bring about real change using positive rewards based training.

Learning about positive rewards based training doesn’t mean that you will get the perfect dog that these TV and Internet ads promise, especially in the amount of time they promise it in. However, it IS the best way to train your dog and bond with them in a way that will seem perfect to them.

Cheers,

Kevin

11 thoughts on “The Perfect Dog

  1. I don’t see these much on TV, but they are all OVER Twitter and other such spaces. Makes my blood boil too. Hurray for you pointing out the problem with such “systems” and “secrets.”

    Lilly is amazing. Perfect? Nope.

    But, she does really, really well with the tools she has. When people see us in public and comment that they “wish their dog was that ‘good.'”

    I smile and say simply, “It isn’t magic. It’s hard work.”

    • Actually I am really interested in the psychology of this. I know of intelligent people who nonetheless, buy into products or schemes like this be it animal behavior or human enhancement. Well okay, that’s still animal behavior but it fits the same bill. We want to believe that there is a magic potion that will make all our dreams come true and there a millions made on these bullshit products and pipe dreams everyday.

      Or… it could be that I just need another cup of coffee.

  2. People buy this rubbish because they want quick and easy solutions to everything. Magic weight-loss pill, magic get-rich trick, magic train your dog in 5 minutes kit.

    We always shoot ourselves in the foot with these things and we just keep craving them. We are the laziest species out there. If it ain’t quick and easy we don’t want it.

    So selling quick-and-easy solution for anything will always get its buyers.

    Now, how do we fix this quick and easy?

  3. And what is this idea of a ‘perfect’ dog? One that doesn’t bark, or dig, or jump up when you come home, or chew things left lying around, or chase the neighbour’s cat, or roll in poop…basically a dog that isn’t a dog! What on earth is wrong with our modern society that we call our dogs ‘man’s best friend’ and yet we punish him for displaying any behaviour that is remotely dog-like?!

  4. Hey Kevin,
    Did you know that your post doesn’t render correctly in Chrome? It looks fine in FireFox. I can send you a screen shot if you contact me. I have 2 gorgeous Goldendoodles. My husband left a plate of 5 chicken tenders near the edge of the counter this week. I’d asked him to move it to a safer place, but that’s another story.

    When we went to get dinner, there was only one, small, lonely chicken tender left. I hope the 2 dogs shared. Doodles and husband in doghouse.

    These are my perfect dogs. I’m not so sure about the husband. 🙂

    • Thanks Cyndi. Funny that the post is not showing correctly in Chrome because that it what I use most and it is showing fine for me. I will contact you so you can send me a screenshot and see what is up.

      As for the chicken tenders, my Annie would have a very hard time resisting a test such as that. She is a professional Chicken Tender detection dog and would consider it her duty to point out the plate. And if the plate should fall onto the floor? Well then she would employ her skills as a house cleaner. 🙂

  5. A perfect dog is only perfect to the person who owns them. I think if you raise them and train them then they pick up pieces of your personality and become the perfect dog for you. I see similar systems on Twitter by accounts that don’t seem to interact with people, only spam.

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