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Another dog-training hypocritical moment.

April 13, 2008

I got home from teaching class the other day – one of my fabulous manners classes at The Inquisitive Canine indoor studio… My wonderful husband and dog Ponchowere both waiting for me… we were all going to run errands together. I love doing that. Very rewarding for all of us.

Anyway, as I walked into the yard my husband made mention that our dog Poncho “killed a bird.” What?!! Was he sure? Was the little birdie still alive when it fell out of its nest? Or was it already dead? Did our little baby boy really take another’s life? Oh wait. Hello? Poncho is a dog. And well, this is a normal behavior for a dog, right? Yes.

A dog is a predator. Predators hunt and kill things. It’s in their DNA to do this. At first I was a bit disturbed, for a couple of reasons. But then it occurred to me that I myself have a plethora of dead animals in my own home… In the fridge, in the freezer, in cans… Just because I pay others to make the kill for me doesn’t make me any less of a predator than my own dog – just lazy. (Frankly I don’t think I could take the action myself…fishing yes, other methods…not so much).

So Poncho – once again mama is sorry for any thought that had a negative ring to it… You are one incredible dog. And I appreciate you. Now, if I could only train you to use your predator skills for grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s then I’d be set! But I have a feeling you’d just spend your time hanging around the food sampling area at the back of the store… after all, you’re one smart dog that has learned about rewarded behaviors!


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