Thursday, February 24, 2005

Dog Training

Few things amuze me like watching others attempt to discipline their animals. There is a basic component to training a dog that 90% of the human population is unwilling to accept, and simply cannot relate to.

Let me give an example...

My dog... Caster... or as we call him... "Caz"... He's about a 95lb (he's lost a lot of weight) chocolate lab. I love this dog... He's the most beautiful lab I've ever seen... and I've been around a LOT of labs. Labs on calendars are not this pretty... nor do they have muscle bulging out like this... I mean it. The dog's a freak.


Today... in a hither-to unheard of display of disobedience... Caz reaches up and takes a cheese stick out of Jeb's hand. I mean... Jeb was in the process of putting it in his mouth! The dog just takes it and tries to slink off!

Think a moment. I'd be very interested in hearing your ideas on how "Nate" would react to this. I'm sure there are those who assume I scolded the dog... took the stick... and got Jeb another one... There are probably a few more who assume I produced a large-bore handgun.. seemingly from thin air... and sumarily executed the dog right there... all over my wife's new rug.

I would like to say I considered the latter... but in fact I didn't.

See.. you don't need to kill the dog. All you have to do is make him believe that you can kill him, and you are perfectly willing to do so. That is the underlying principle I've used to train both Caz and my other lab Dixie... and both are very well behaved critters.

Of course... I didn't think about any of this when I saw Caz commit the heinous act. I simply threw down. I was furious.

I dove onto him, rolling as I wrapped my arms around his chest. This of course flung the dog over me and onto his side. Then leaving one arm wrapped around his neck I grabbed his ass with my right arm.. and stood up.

Now I'm holding a hundred pound dog like a baby. I slammed the dog down onto the floor and fell on top of him... grabbin his mouth and his throat with my hands. I got right in his face... looked him right in the eye... and then... I squeezed.

and I squeezed...

and I squeezed...

I squeezed until the dog made squishy whiny sounds... then I let go off his neck... and reminded him verbally that I was perfectly willing to end his pathetic little life... and would probably consider it sporting.

Jeb of course thought all this was hilarious.

At any rate... I let Caz up... and he quickly slunk off to the back door, hoping I would put him outside were it would be safe.

Dogs are like male humans. A pecking order must be established... and it always is.

Ya know... It's so much fun to watch liberals obey their dogs.

Oh I know.. the squishy among you feel sorry for Caz... I was to mean to him... Maybe I should remind you that the dog is stronger than I am. These extremes are required because... he probably can kill me. Barring that... he can certainly do enormous damage to me. Consequently, I have to make sure he doesn't know that.

Things I do to dogs:

- If the dog bites: First and foremost you never pull your hand away. This just makes things worse. You have two options. You either push your bitten hand deeper into the dog's mouth, gagging him... or you squeeze his lower jaw as hard as you can... I prefer the second choice... and I usually also throw in a twisting motion as I squeeze... sometimes even leading the dog around the room by his own jaw. Both will cause the dog to let go... and after a few repeats of this... he'll be convinced that you're sometype of invulnerable God. The squeezing is particularly effective.. because once the dog stops biting, he realizes that he didn't really have you at all. You had him... and in fact, you still have him. For a dog... this is a very disconcerting feeling.

- if the dog challenges you: By this I mean behavior that the dog knows is wrong, and is done just to spite you. Like climbing up on the couch the he knows he's not allowed on and staring at you. In this case... He's calling you out. Do not spank him. Grab him by the throat with one hand, grab his snout with the other, squeeze... get right in his face, and growl at him. Another good touch.. though sort of nasty... is to bite him on the throat while you're choking him. I haven't done this myself.. but I know a guy who bit his rotty once, and the dog nearly pissed itself.

You have to speak their language. They know the throat is vulnerable. It shocks them that you can grab it so easily and so quickly. Once you've got it, they freeze up... you're God at that point.

I should point out that these same training techniques work on teenaged boys, and liberals of all ages.

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