"Some Trivia... Curly Howard aka Jerome
Horwitz (real life brother to Shemp and Mo) used to rescue dogs. As he
traveled around doing stage shows, he used to rescue homeless dogs, train them,
and then would find them a home as he traveled around. I have a biography
of the Stooges (for those "wiki" folks out there, wikipedia just doesn't do them
justice) , AND I used to have a life-sized cardboard cut-out of the above
picture. The cut-out used to be in the front window (mind you this was 10
years back) and was excellent theft deterrent with their imposing look.
Magnus took over that role..."
June 6, 2010: D-Day. The
hardest part of my job... people training.
Working with dogs has to be one of the most
rewarding professions. YES, I get bit sometimes. YES, I get pissed
on. YES, I have to sometimes clean diarrhea out of kennels about 2 minutes
after I rolled out of bed. Overall, I enjoy what I do. The absolute
hardest part of what I do, is train people. Many people get a dog
without knowing a single thing about what they got themselves in to, let alone
how to obedience train or correct the wide variety of problems that dogs can
get. Anyone that has had me out, knows I repeat things over and over and
over again. I am hoping that some of it will stick. I always say,
"don't repeat yourself to the dog," but I find I repeat myself non-stop to my
clients. Here are some very common owner mistakes (yes, I make mistakes
1. Don't repeat yourself! Your
dog hears you fine the first time. He is either ignoring, indifferent, or
outright insulted by your "suggestion." If your dog doesn't listen,
physically position him the way you want him, then reward him. Don't just
stand their nagging him like a parent trying to get their video-game playing
teenager to clean his room.
2. Be Consistent. If you don't
want your dog to jump on you, correct him every time and ignore him until he
calms down. Don't encourage him half the time, and the other try to
correct him. If you want him to heel properly, during the training stage,
make him heel EVERY TIME you go out (except for the short pee break)! And
for Pete's sake, stop using those retractable, flexi-leads. They allow
your dog to go this way and that, they are breakable, and they will give you a
nasty rope burn. Teach your dog to walk properly on-lead, and everyone
will have an enjoyable walk.
3. Get a tone! Come on folks, be
peppy! Jeebus, you think you were at a funeral. When your dog does a
desirable habit, like peeing outside or walking beside you in a heel, praise him
with an excited, and genuinely happy tone. Dogs can smell a phoney!
Likewise, when you are trying to discipline your dog, don't talk to him like a
baby. Use a sharper, firmer, but not necessarily louder voice. Your
dog should know by your voice that you are serious or disapproving. And
back up your verbal correction with a physical one if necessary. A quick,
jerk and release on the collar isn't going to hurt your dog. Your dog
should respect your voice correction, so teach him what "no," "nah," or "ah,"
means by using a leash or grabbing the collar and give it a quick jerk. No
means No! Or is that Moe means No?
"I actually had this as a bumper sticker on my dirtbike when I
was a kid."
Those are some of the broader issues I see on
a daily basis. A few other things all you dog owners in training need to
1. Buy quality! I have seen so
many cheap plastic collars, leashes, and chokers break. It is only a few
dollars more for the good stuff, and you'll only ever have to buy one.
Remember, try to avoid shopping at the big pet stores. By buying their
products, you are contributing to their business which centers around peddling
puppy mill puppies! All your smaller, local stores out there carry much
better quality and don't sell pets!
2. Exercise your dog! Almost all
behavioural issues are a direct result or are greatly exacerbated by a lack of
good exercise. Walk your dog lots or take him to a fenced in field or park
to let him run and play ball. A bored dog will find something to do with
his free time and energy. Firm and Consistent training are important.
Socialization is important. Exercise is important. The three keys,
the tri-force of having a good dog...