five things people are still stupid enough to believe about dogs
Even with all of the information out there about dogs and dog behavior, at any given time, people still absolutely, positively believe these ridiculous untruths.
1. "My dog pooped in my shoe because he was mad at me." No he did not. Let us examine this sentence from a dog's perspective. Your dog is mad at you - really? I've seen angry dogs, and take my word for it - they do not express anger by pooping. They bite, snarl, lay back ears and attack. Nowhere in nature do dogs brood and plot revenge. but, okay, lets say that your particular dog is extremely cunning, and had plotted a revenge. It is smart enough to know which shoes are yours, because they likely smell just like your house, which smells like you. Poop, they know displeases you. They have concluded this magically, because they personally are just as likely to eat the poop they have placed in your shoe as not. But they know that YOU don't like poop, well, maybe you told them so. Never mind. Your dog pooped on your shoes because they were on the floor, where dogs tend to poop, and the dog needed to poop.
2. If the dog does not sit on the first sit command, he will respond if you repeat it over and over again. Nope. Unless the dog simply didn't hear you the first time, the dog will not magically respond on the seventeenth command. The dog hears this when you say 'sit': 'gibberish'. If the dog has not connected 'gibberish' to anything meaningful, such as an action, saying it fifteen times only makes it a longer word! If you only reinforce the word after you have repeated it twenty times, the dog heard "sitsitsitsitsit..." and now knows that at some point in that endless syllabic mess, his rear end has to hit the ground. Good job! you have trained your dog to respond to the longest sit command in history!
3. Your dog is too dumb to understand what you are trying to teach. Um... No. You are too dumb to teach it. Dogs are not geniuses. They can only do what they are shown to do. If you cannot show them then the failure to communicate is entirely on your shoulders. Its time to find a trainer, not a smarter dog!
4. "My dog digs up the backyard and I don't know why." Really? The dog you leave for ten hours or more a day locked in your boring backyard tries to amuse itself by digging up the petunias, and you can't figure out why? Okay, I'll help you on this, put your 5 year old kid in the back yard with a few squeak toys and leave him for ten hours and see what happens. I imagine he will have found far superior forms of destruction than hole digging. Dog's aren't rocket scientists, but they do need stimulation, take them for a walk!
5. "My dog is so stupid, he won't stay off the furniture when I'm not around." Really? Your dog is so stupid that he has learned that the couch is softer than the floor, and as long as you are not home, there are no ramifications for laying on the couch. He's stupid? Dogs only know the rules that are enforced. If there is a no sitting on the furniture rule that applys when you are home. Fine, some dogs may obey that rule all of the time. But if your dog happened to discover the furniture when you were not home, and you arrived home and told him to get off (certainly you didn't yell at him for breaking a rule he didn't know existed.) then he knows that he may lay on the furniture as long as you are not home. This is a sensible explanation of the rules as he see them. All you will see when you get home is a bit of hair and a warm indention on the couch. (PS, don't yell at your dog now, because now, laying on the floor in the kitchen, the dog will just assume is that the new rule is that he is no longer allowed to lay on the kitchen floor, or that you are just going to yell every time you get home.) You cannot yell at a dog for something they should have known.