Worthy to Print Column | Dog Gone It

do you have a dog You know, a puppy to make you smile or a dog that was bred for a reason other than just to be your pet. I’m not talking about the wonderful people who have spent a lot of their money and time to make sure the animal has a decent life.

I have a couple of dogs. These are what you might call big dogs. That is, I am not a Boston terrier like my son or an English bulldog, which seems to be the dog of the day in my neighborhood. My dogs are a mix between the border collie and the Australian shepherd. My dogs, who are far superior to your dogs, have enough of the good things of their breeds to make them almost perfect.

They are excellent watchdogs and will let you know if a stranger steps onto our driveway and especially when he comes to the door. The mailman and UPS carriers know our dogs and understand that they bark. That doesn’t mean you bend over and pet them. In fact, we don’t encourage our dogs to make friends with everyone who comes to the door.

We have them inside the house while we are at home because they are part of our family. They go out to the backyard when someone is visiting. We don’t have to do this. They wouldn’t do anything to a visitor, but they are so sweet that they can interrupt a conversation. They are very obedient and if you ask my girlfriend, she can say that they are more obedient than me. Of course that’s not true. Ask me so much and I will do whatever I want so that I can receive a gift.

I just wanted to tell you that our dogs will bark if there is a stranger. They know what our car sounds like, so they don’t get upset if they know we’re home. I say this because I’m about to go dog crazy. I think every person in our subdivision should have one and very few know how to train their dogs.

Dogs are special, they are the most docile of all the animals that have descended from the days of the cavemen. You had to deal with packs of wolves as they were almost the fastest animals then alive. Those wolves were taller than a man and they competed for food in those days. It’s kind of amazing that the dogs descended from those wolves can do all kinds of tricks and still fit in your pocket.

Dogs are incredibly loyal and will stay with a person even if they are treated harshly. They love their masters as much as anyone could. However, they get bored easily unless you exercise and play with them. When dogs get bored, they will tell you in the loudest way, they do it by barking. They bark if you leave them and they bark when you come home unless you recognize them. They know what your car sounds like and they can tell what you had for breakfast. His senses are so acute that it is difficult to understand.

They simply ask for a little attention. Again, they will bark for any good reason. Like a stranger in the yard or another dog that cries because not even their owners play with them. Dogs love to walk or chase a ball, thrown by their master. They will do practically anything to get their master’s attention. Once one of your dogs hears others barking, they want to let everyone know they live where their master lives, more barking.

Sometimes I wonder how some people do it. I have a neighbor who lives near me who will be home while his dogs howl to let everyone know where they are. This can be fixed if the master only spends a little time with his pets. All they ask is that you let them know when you’re leaving and leave something for them to play with. They have to know that there will be a time when you will not be with them.

There is one thing we were taught that has worked for us for years. Never hit your dog for any reason. They have long memories and cannot understand corporal punishment. If they don’t respond the way you think they should, just play a little game with the obedience reward is a treat. Always use the same words for specific answers.

If you ask if dogs can talk, I would say no, but if you ask if they can understand us, then I have to say they can understand words. You know that dogs are the only animals that can follow hand signals with just a few lessons. Everyone wants to please you. When Lorraine and I take “Dirt” and “Kodak” for a ride, we try to do something different each time. We will often tell them to sit on a corner and cross the street expecting them to stay until we call them. This is just a small game, but they love it.

The only thing that annoys me more than a barking dog is one running loose on the street. I could be wrong about them getting loose. They are often out of your yard because someone bought or gave them a puppy. The puppy will grow over time and then the owner will decide that they require a little work from their owners. Since time is all they need, the owner may decide that the dog will be better off running loose.

My pagemate Lucy will be happy to disabuse you of that thought. Through her non-profit SCAR she sees many loose dogs. Many of these dogs will have to be put down if they are creating a nuisance, which they invariably will; the future will not look bright.

While my main complaint is the barking, it’s not that different from the other things I’ve pointed out. I have spoken to many people who live here and elsewhere and they are all baffled when they see dogs out of containment. They have no kind words for the former or current owners. I just wish they would stop barking.

god bless

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