Tell a FriendLeigh AnneLeigh Anne Jasheway ~ Queen of Stress

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A well-behaved human is an asset in any social situation. On the other hand, an out-of-control human can tear up a house, destroy relationships, and end up on The Jerry Springer Show on an episode called "I’ve been cheating on my dog with the Rottweiler next door."

The smart thing to do is to obedience train your human as soon as you get him or her. Sure, humans are adorable when they’re new, but those little "habits" you find charming now, like missing your dinner time by a minute and a half, and blowing in your face for fun, will dog you for the rest of your life, if you don’t take control now.
Sometimes we canines tend to canine-o-morphise our best friends, thinking that because they are intelligent-looking and can use a can opener, that somehow they are capable of the same high level of thought and action as we are. This is a mistake. For example, you can leave a scent right in the middle of the sofa that clearly says, "The water level in my dish is dangerously low, not to mention you used tap water again and you know how I detest tap water," and your human will continue his or her scratching or yapping like nothing has happened.

There are three types of human obedience training: reward-based training, punishment-based training, and the somewhat new "clicker training." Reward-based training works on less stubborn humans, primarily liberal arts majors, humans who have not been bred, and the unemployed. The technique is simple – identify something your human likes and every time he or she does a behavior appropriately, use that as a reward. Let’s say, for example, that you are trying to teach your human a basic command (see below) such as "Open the door," and you have determined that a shopping trip will make an effective reward. Simply go to the door and bark the command. Make sure you bark with a firm voice; a questioning yip will just lead to confusion. If your human does the command properly, run to their closet and chew up their favorite pair of shoes. Upon discovering the "reward," your human will immediately head to a mall to buy a new pair. Done often and consistently enough, this technique will provide excellent results.

Punishment-based training is more effective for recalcitrant learners such as humans with strong religious beliefs, politicians, frat boys, members of the tobacco lobby, and especially, unneutered males. This method uses negative reinforcement to prevent bad behavior, and thereby, promote good. Now, some human obedience experts argue that there are no bad humans, but they’ve obviously led sheltered lives. Some commonly-used negative reinforcements include:

Sleep deprivation (which you may easily achieve through howling, constantly jumping on and off the bed, or hogging all the covers);
Asphyxiation (best done by sitting on the human’s trachea at any time he or she is trying to breathe);
Prevention of sexual activity (see "sleep deprivation" and "asphyxiation");
Monthly vet bills over $5000.

The clicker method of training is fairly new and still controversial. Basically, the technique involves hiding the remote control in a place only you can find. Every time your human responds appropriately to a command, you turn the television to a station your human enjoys, such as The Baywatch Channel. Conversely, if they do not do the command properly, you turn to a channel they dislike, such as The Paint-Drying Channel. One of the drawbacks to this method is that it is pretty ineffective outside the house, unless you’re human is the type who carries his big screen TV around with him no matter where he goes.

No matter what method you use, the basic commands your human should know are: Open the door, Feed me, Water me, Pick up my poop, Stop that, Drive, and Go make money so you can support me in the style to which I’m accustomed.

Good luck. And remember, no matter how stubborn some humans are, most of them can eventually be trained. Even if you have to threaten to have yours fixed.

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