Hobo's blog

Hobo Hudson, business dog, author and farmer, shares his latest news and stories about his life and gives prudent advice to his fellow dogs, cats and other animals—humans included.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Dog training now and then

By Hobo Hudson

In my book The Richest Dog In Town, I have dedicated the chapter “DFP University” to the superiority and wisdom of us dogs, stressing how ridiculous it is for us to follow mundane orders given by humans. I also hinted several times in other chapters of my book to my fellow dogs that it’s more appropriate we teach stuff to humans than the other way around because we know how to make life easier and more efficient.

If it makes our human parents and care takers happy to teach us a few behavior rules they consider essential and which are important to them, and since we always like to accommodate the humans we love, let’s be good sports and, just for the fun of it, go along with their crazy ideas and read what they want us to do.

My mom just posted an article on examiner.com about teaching a pup social grace and peaceful interaction with our fellow dogs during a walk. How times have changed! The article mentioned that dog trainers today suggest using a soft harness for their pups to practice a non-violent approach toward another dog. I say, using a harness to train a dog will not only support his or her whole body compared to putting undue stress on the neck by using a collar but will also restrain the dog in a much more civilized and less humiliating manner.

Well, I still remember when people used choke collars to teach dogs not to pull on their leashes. The collars would not only cut off the air supply and make the dogs gasp but would also cut into their throats leaving behind tooth marks, and the poor dogs had no way to sniff at something that called them or even say hello to the fellows dogs they met on the road.

At the same time, dogs learning to walk in an orderly fashion and interact with other dogs also had to worry about suffering from whiplashes when the people holding the leashes fastened to collars jerked their dogs away from other dogs over and over again. Today, dog trainers advise distracting dogs with treats as soon as they start to become agitated seeing another dog and also to keep their distance until their dogs have become more at ease with their fellow dogs. 

The most bizarre and outlandish rule of walking with humans, though, came from an anecdote I heard Mom tell Dad. When Mom was a little girl, dogs always had to walk on the left side of a human because it was a sign of respect to walk on the right side of someone. Even if all the bushes and trees containing all the other dogs’ messages were on the other side, dogs had to walk on the left side of any human. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because dogs growing up during that era had to walk like puppets and in sync with the person holding the leash instead of having a good time, sniffing, pulling, exploring and just being a dog.

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My name is Hobo Hudson. I’ve always considered myself a terrier mix, and I’m going to leave it at that. I used to share my mom’s website writing about my life, but Mom’s stories somehow got in my way. So, I deemed it more appropriate to open my own blog, which also allows me to engage my siblings in writing posts if I’m running short on time. After all, I’m a busy dog. My mom helps me with my blog now and then, but I think it’s only to safeguard my good reputation. Her website, newsandtales.com, contains some great stories.
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Bruny Hudson
Bruny Hudson, manager and editor of Newsandtales.com, assists as a consultant with Hobo’s blog.
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