Disobedient Dogs | HumorOutcasts

Disobedient Dogs

November 2, 2011
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As a dog parent, I have no control. I don’t know why because I have used all the training techniques on my present dogs that I used on my beloved and now deceased, German Shepherd, Miss Muffie. I don’t know if Miss Muffie was just smarter than my current two dogs or if these dogs just don’t have the same work ethic as she did.

To be honest, I blame Paris Hilton and the Hollywood celebrities who spoil their little rat dogs for my dogs’ lack of obedience. The Hollywood stars started this whole, “all dogs should be pampered” crap. They made designer doggie clothing popular as well as doggie satchels which allow them to take their pooches wherever they go. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but I have not found a purse big enough to hold my 89-pound lab mix, Frankie, or for that matter, my 40-pound whatever-the-hell-she-is mix, LuLu, and I think my dogs feel slighted. Hollywood celebrities put out the word that their dogs now hold the top post on the food chain, and I think my dogs are a bit resentful toward me because that attitude has not found its way into our home yet.

Honestly, the blame for the new pampered pet goes beyond the Hollywood people. I think my dogs see other dogs who have it all at their nail salon too. I am sure that while they are waiting for their basic nail trim, they get pissed off at the perfect poodles who are getting pretty ear bows and color polish for their toes. I try to tell my dogs that these dogs are shallow and just about looks, but it’s hard for them to understand when they are exposed to all that luxury on a regular basis. I fear my words have fallen on deaf ears, and they have decided to resent me for their lack of sophistication, and they show this resentment by being disobedient – to me anyway.

My husband or daughter will bark out a command and the dogs listen to them. If I bark out a simple command that does not involve a treat, they ignore me. I say, “Sit” and they get up and move. I say in a commanding voice, “Come” and they sit. One day last summer, my daughter and I were in the backyard on the lounge chairs and I yelled to Frankie to come. She did stand up and look at me and for a brief second it appeared as if she was going to obey, but then she did the strangest thing: she raised her paw and sort of pointed it in my direction. Then she turned around and went to the opposite end of the yard. My daughter looked at me and said,

“Mom, I think Frankie just gave you the finger.”

So, it was at that moment, I started a new training regimen. Has it worked? No. And I asked the experts what to do and have followed their advice. The one trainer said my dogs don’t see me as an authority figure. I have to be more stern and tough and mean-sounding, and I did try. I tried out my stern voice on the human faction of my family, and they seemed to get a bit scared, but the dogs just laugh at me.

I think the problem is I am a stay-at- home mom with them. Maybe I should try not to pay too much attention to them. For example, I don’t have to rush them to the car when they request the Sonic Drive-in; they can eat their dry food. We don‘t have to go to the state park for our walk – we can walk around the block a few times instead. They do not need to watch 101 Dalmatians or Babe the Pig so often; I can watch more of my shows. They can cope. I love dogs so much though. I’m actually considering opening a doggy daycare franchise but I’m not sure yet!

Yes, the dogs are going to learn to respect me and see me as the one who keeps them alive. Let’s face it; I am the only one who keeps track of their vet appointments, nail appointments and heartworm preventative. I am the one who feels badly if I am out of the house for more than two hours at a time and brings them home Burger King. Well, no more Miss Nice Guy. Starting today, my dogs are going to fear me. Well, maybe not fear me, as much as they will know who is boss. Well, maybe not boss, but they will listen. Oh forget it. What is so great about a dog sitting on command anyway? It’s a little boring if you ask me.

Donna Cavanagh

Donna Cavanagh is founder of HumorOutcasts.com (HO) and the partner publishing company, HumorOutcasts Press which now includes the labels Shorehouse Books and Corner Office Books (HOPress-Shorehousebooks.com). As "den mother" to the more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, producers, comics and authors, Cavanagh's goal is to allow creativity to flow. She is a former journalist who made an unscheduled stop into humor more than 20 years ago. Her syndicated columns helped her gain a national audience when her work landed in the pages of First Magazine and USA Today. She teaches the how-to lessons of humor and publishing at conferences and workshops throughout the country including The Philadelphia Writers' Conference and Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. The author of four humor books, Cavanagh hopes her latest book, How to Write and Share Humor: Techniques to Tickle Funny Bones and Win Fans, will encourage writers not only to embrace their humor talents but show them off as well.

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14 Responses to Disobedient Dogs

  1. November 2, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    GSD are wonderful, they seem to bond so strongly to their owners. Mine has never been any trouble. Mongrels I have found can be a different matter, they can be the rogues of the dog world (as can boarder collies, yes I have one of them too). My old mongrel decided to eat the kitchen wall when she was a pup, I banished her to the front room while I repaired the wall, while I was distracted she then ate a pipe from a steam cleaner we had just bought (cost about £90 to replace).

    Since then I have walked them miles, many many miles! They seem to love it, so many things to see and all encountered thanks to the pack leader taking them that way. Perhaps it is worth a go? put your best boots on and walk them along many a long path or trail. You could be surprised how they change towards you!

    • November 2, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      GSDs are wonderful. I do love my mutts though too. They have great personalities. The big defiant one is a big hugger. She just wants love. The little one is my baby doll. She is so attached. Good girls, just don’t like to listen. They do love their walks though. They just don’t like to listen. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I am very appreciative.

  2. Mae
    November 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I think they’re just resentful because you’re always dressing them up in nerdy bandannas and making them sing ridiculous holiday songs.

    • November 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      No Mae, I think they love the holiday songs!

  3. Kathy Minicozzi
    November 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Hmmm. My dogs were happy enough with rawhide bones, walks around the neighborhood and occasional trips to the park. Maybe it’s because I could never get them to watch television with me, so they didn’t know about all those spoiled celebrity pooches. They didn’t know what they were missing.

  4. Jane Isaac
    November 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I couldn’t have put it better myself. Even though I work part time, I am the one who is at home most and he has the least respect for me:)
    Funnily enough I also used to have a German Shepherd. Hmmmm…. Shepherds and Labs are like chalk and cheese. Or maybe I just remember the good bits:)

    • November 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      HA HA! My Shepherd just loved to listen. My lab mix is just defiant. She has a great personality but just stubborn. My littler dog is afraid of her own shadow so she follows the lead of my lab. Funny, when the shepherd was around, she did listen because she followed Muffie’s lead. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. 🙂

  5. November 2, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Oh my Donna, this is a whole new area of human abuse by animals. I have suffered through much the same as you, not only with the cats but the dogs too. I think you put your finger on it near the end of your post, you are a stay-at-home Mom. My wife is that way and the two mutts are used to her being there. However, when I walk in the door after a full day of toiling to make money to buy pet food and treats, it is mayhem, they jump on me, lick my hands, do little spins on the floor, the dogs not my wife, and in general make a big fuss over me. Then five minutes later it is back to laying on the couch and ignoring me, my wife, not the dogs.

    So what to do, well here is my advice, and I am by no means a pet expert, if I was I wouldn’t have 2 dogs and 2 cats, so take this for what it is worth. Put them outside, for about 12 hours, don’t answer the door as they pathetically paw at the screen, wimper and whine….just be firm….they will break before you, perhaps. Then, let them in with a look on your face like “Listen to me or I will do that again”.

    I think that will work, of course it may not and they might just take to relieving themselves on your carpet, but its worth a try.

    Keep us updated 🙂

    • November 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Peter, I cannot leave them outside crying. It breaks my heart.I know their discipline issues are my fault, but oh well.

      • November 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm

        Oh my, see how soft you are? 🙂 I am the same way though, I talk tough in here because I know the critters can’t hear me (I hope) but when I get home it is a different story. Besides my wife wouldn’t allow them to be outside that long, especially without their outfits on.

  6. Ted Thomas
    November 2, 2011 at 10:57 am

    You wonder if dogs get together at dog parks and peer presure obedient dogs: “Hey, Lassie knock it off, you’re giving the rest of us a bad name.” 🙂

    • November 2, 2011 at 11:12 am

      I think this is a true possibility. I think my dogs feel snubbed and this is their reaction. 🙂

  7. Theresa Wiza
    November 2, 2011 at 9:39 am

    That they would never listen to me either is why I never had dogs (well, that and the fact that I’m allergic to them).

    • November 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

      Yes, allergies are tough. I never had them so I go for fur.



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