There’s a lot of barking going about on how to train dogs. Make them sit when they’d rather run. Not leave smelly things underfoot. Stop greeting each other in that very doggy way.
But on this, International Dog Day 2021, we’ve asked some of the best dogs we know – who may well be training Region Media staff and sleeping on their beds – the 10 top things they look for in a human.
1.Treats. Lots of them. Not the expensive green ones that look like they belong on the branch of a tree and are made by some old cosmic hippy with nothing better to do than change the world. We’re talking biscuity/slimy/revolting looking ones. Or, if we must, stuff that drops accidentally from your plate.
2. Never, ever make us wear clothes or footwear.* They’re for those of you with two legs and a desire to keep warm or covered. We are dogs. We are already covered. It’s called fur. We don’t want to wear coats with fluffy bits – and especially not anything with an image resembling a CAT. (*Yes, that means you, Mr Smiggle.)
3. Training is OK, as long as it has a purpose. We don’t want to wait for breakfast, snack, lunch, another snack, afternoon tea (no snack, it will spoil), dinner, more snacks, supper, midnight feasts – actually any of our meals. Nor do we want you to put a biscuit on our noses to see how long it will stay there before the floor is awash with dribble. If you must train us, make it for sensible stuff, like waiting at traffic lights so we don’t get squashed by cars or rather large pedestrians.
4. Treats. More, please.
5. Realising that we’re not dumb animals. If we could talk, we’d tell you so. See the picture of us at our Google Meats? You think it was all about us just wanting to get close to you while you’re working. No, we were ordering pizza. Just ask the HR Manager Mr Smiggle, he has the (pizza delivery guy’s) numbers. And, after all, it’s his job to make us all feel good.
6. Different sorts of treats. Hint: bones work for us.
7. Here’s a biggie. Yes, we love going for walks with you, but please adhere to our speed limit. If you insist on putting us on a lead, we’re not going to break any speed records. We need to sniff while walking. Every tree in the Local Government Area – and all the nearby ones – have meaning for us. They smell good and we must check that they continue to do so. It’s practically the law. Every corner. Every tree. If you want a jogging partner, get a human. However, why not take us off the lead and see what sort of mileage we can do. We’ll come back. Eventually. Or you can read about us in the newspaper in one of those stories about “Dog, Human Reunited 4 Million Miles From Home.”
8. More snacks. Well, we have just run four million miles.
9. Don’t assume that just because we’re cute, we need to be suffocated by a cuddle at every available opportunity. Some of us have important work to do (like sleeping and eating snacks). For some of us, there are even laws against interrupting us while we work. Our really smart relatives, like the seeing-eye dogs, have important jobs to do, so don’t mess with their work while they’re guiding someone down the street or getting them across the road safely.
10. When it comes to doggy myths, have you ever wondered why we seem to increase in size when we’re on the bed? Why you wake up in the morning scrunched up in the corner of the bed while your chihuahua looks as big as a labrador stretched across the bed? Stay tuned. We’ll tell you next year on International Dog Day. You can’t have all treats at once.
Happy International Dogs Day. Woof.