Pet behavioural expert, Professor Dick Flipstick, wrote his treatise on canine behaviour while in a mental asylum. His most notable theory was inspired by his observation, “Water runs down the drain in a different direction south of the equator.” Convinced that the phenomenon would affect dogs too, he once sat his Jack Russell directly on the equatorial line and told it to chase its tail. It started somersaulting. Here are some choice extracts.
Frequently the owners are to blame. For example, do not let your dog lick ping-pong balls and later moan that the plastic stinks. Even worse, they might swallow it. Two days later when you recover the ball, it will still have the same ping – but now twice the pong.
Digging the garden is a common annoyance. But again, it is the owner’s fault if they taught their Alsatian to use a shovel. Why not stick to teaching them simple tricks such as shaking hands or jumping through hoops? Although, admittedly, the latter can really ruin a game of basketball.
Some dogs spend so much time digging that they do not have the energy to chase cats (they have exhausted themselves chasing moles.) And one clueless owner who I interviewed returned his guard dog to the pet shop claiming that it was ruining his garden. I admonished the fella, explaining: “What did you expect? It was probably constructing a trench.” If your guard dog frequently buries things in the garden then try to be understanding. Remember: their training taught them that burglars will never look for antiques in a vegetable patch.
And what about when your dog has been in a muddy garden – should you then become vexed if he gets his dirty paws all over a guest’s shirt? Well not really. Surely it is the guest’s fault for letting a Schnauzer do his ironing. To be frank, the middle classes are those most embarrassed by the things their dogs do – such as latching onto the leg of the dustman in the garden. I mean, how do they then explain to a watching neighbour that their dog enjoys the company of a manual worker?
TIP: Always treat your dog like a family member. For example, if it keeps wetting the couch send it to a nursing home.
Is it better to own a large dog? Definitely. I once bought such a large Great Dane that when it died I used his kennel as a workshop. Generally, you know that your dog has become too greedy when it takes three people to carry its poop-a-scoop. And do not forget that large dogs tend to require more exercise. My St Bernard often used to walk 30 miles a day (sometimes more if I forgot to take him off the treadmill.)
How do you know if your large dog is safe? Generally, you can tell because dangerous dogs do not hide your slippers but use them to give you a good spank. I also recommend muzzling them during car journeys. This is not through fear of their teeth but of their breath.
TIP: Buy your large dog a chewable toy…such as a new couch.
I posit that it is only natural that dogs are labeled man’s best friend: they work for free. I am convinced that not only do they dream of a slave revolt, but that they also fantasise about developing hands to hold the protest banners.
A paramount concern is that guide dogs often suffer from jealousy and low self esteem. Although, I note that this is greatly reduced if their owner remembers not to stroke their white stick. Incidentally, Labradors make lousy guard dogs. Before they attack a burglar, they first give them a guided tour.
Teaching canines is not easy. For example, training police dogs to chase burglars entails shouting ‘fetch’ while pointing to an actor dressed up as a stick. This is 99% effective – the one exception being the time that Great Britain’s notorious Kray twins escaped justice after an Alsatian mistakenly arrested an oak tree. (Police eventually realized the mistake because the tree was too agreeable during questioning.) Later, embarrassed, they claimed they had not initially been suspicious of the felon’s ‘hard barky feel’ because an underworld snitch had spread a rumour that Reggie Kray was addicted to spraying starch.
FACT: Police know when a sniffer dog has found a stash of cocaine because out pops its septum.