dominance in the dog house: trying and failing at dog training

by caitlin meredith

This summer I had my first shot at being a pack leader. My house was rented out for two months so I ended up house sitting for a couple that has four dogs. Four. Other than the prodigious amount of dog hair I’ve become accustomed to, I’ve also gotten an inside look at what kind of territory dogs have taken over in the American psyche.

When I was young, there was no dog whisperer or puppy college. You brought a puppy home, hoped it quickly grew out of the shoe-chewing phase and kicked it when it humped guests’ legs. Nowadays trainers instruct dog “guardians” on everything from who should go through the doorway first (you, not the dog) and whether or not tug-of-war is harmless fun or dangerous precedent (seem to be split down the middle on this one.) Clearly out of my depth in the new canine culture,  I’ve  spent most of the summer at the mercy of these damned dogs. Read the rest of this entry »