Every single dog is born with the TH Gene, better known as the Training Humans gene. In many ways, our survival over thousands of years has depended in part on this particular genetic component.
We canines have become so adept at training humans, that puppy- training classes focus as much on training humans as they do on teaching puppies to sit and lie down.
The Look: I’m talking about that soulful expression that we canines emit in nanoseconds is interpreted by the human as love, adoration, and devotion. Little do the humans know that it is, in reality, a way to get food or treats.
Temporary Loss of Hearing: The best way to get your human to stop nagging is to just tune them out. The human who says ‘SIT’ four times while you are still standing and wagging your tail has to be taught that we canines aren’t stupid, and nagging never works. The human has to learn to ask once, then wait for us to respond. We are the teachers of patience.
Pull Against the Collar and Leash: This is the most effective tool if you want to dislocate your human’s shoulder or help them acquire upper body and core strength. However be advised that some humans get downright cruel about dogs straining against the leash and will wrap pieces of torture around your neck to stop you from pulling against them. Just remember these wise words: forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Refuse Food: Sometimes we have to resort to extremes to get the humans to stop feeding us the same stuff every day. The humans call this picky eater syndrome. Variety is the spice of life, as well as being important for the diversity of the microbiota in our GI tract. Warning: it may take a day or two of refusing food for the human to get the message. Unfortunately, jumping on the counter, pawing the steak or chicken that the humans are eating, or dragging leftovers out of the garbage seldom is translated by human beings as “we need to feed our dog different foods.” Just repeat the Canine Chant: woowoowoowawoooo…
The Tail Wag: We canines understand the complexity of language that our tails communicate…humans aren’t that smart. Notice they don’t use their tails to communicate anything other than mooning. We Aussies have nubs for tails like bears, so sometimes we have to wiggle our hind ends to help the human understand if we are saying “hi there” or “I’m pleased”. Humans, on average, think a wagging tail says one thing: I am happy. Of course we know better. When we feel positive about something or someone we wag our tails more to the right; when we have negative feelings our tails wag more to the left.
Voice: Our barks, yips, and howls can be very effective in getting humans to do our bidding. Take for instance the dog that is being crate trained: dog barks wanting to get out, human is upset by barking, responds with either a Kong full of peanut butter, or releasing dog from prison. Viola: reward! Which is what we wanted in the first place.
Always Remember: We canines are important teachers for humans. Unfortunately we cannot really teach cats. We are the embodiment and practitioners of unconditional love; of being in the moment. We are the Comfort Beings to our human companions, and this we give freely, without expectations.
Just don’t tell the squirrels….