Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Ruin a Dog in 12 Easy Steps

With my time spent owning dogs, I've come up with the perfect owner's manual entitled:
How NOT to Raise Your Dog.

Despite my overwhelming sense of embarrassment and shame, I will now relate the horrible tale of the one and only dog I've ever had so you can learn from my mistakes.
Do whatever is closest to opposite for each step and you should turn out fine.

1. Be in 5th grade. Be completely obsessed about getting a dog. Make sure that the only thing you think, talk about, and dream about is getting a dog. Nag your parents relentlessly until they submit. Success in this step will ensure that it will be easy to complete the following steps.

2. Don't do any research. Don't look at breeds, don't read about training techniques, and certainly don't go meet any dogs to see what traits you're interested in.

3. As soon as you hear of a litter of accidental puppies in your area, go meet the puppies when they're a week old and haven't developed any personality traits yet. Also, while you're there, get really attached to a specific color of puppy. (It's important that this litter was unexpected by the "breeder" because that will ensure that they have the largest possible chance of not being well cared for. For example: being raised in the garage rather than a family room. Another good sign to look for is that the breeder has no idea what mix the puppies are. Responsibility at work!)

4. Take your puppy home when she's four weeks old. This won't cause any developmental retardations or issues later in life. Things like bite inhibition aren't important anyway. She probably doesn't even know she's a dog!

5. Whenever the puppy whines at night, make sure you go coddle it for hours. Eventually move from your bed to sleeping on the floor so you can always be with the puppy.

6. When you start losing too much sleep from sharing a bed with a puppy, put her in the cold downstairs bathroom. This won't shock her, going from human contact 24/7 to being alone for over 8 hours at a time. Cover the entire floor with newspapers, thereby relieving yourself from any blame for potty "accidents" and forgoing the need for any actual house breaking. (This step is important because it will seal your dog's fate of living outside for the rest of her life.)

7. When your family gets angry about not being able to use the bathroom, move the dog outside. At this point, note that the strange mix of breeds your mutt is must've included St. Bernard or something, because she's about 70 pounds already, and still growing!
Good thing you did your homework!

(Step 7 1/2 - Get her spayed at some point during this period. Vaccinations too. This will be the only responsible thing you'll do for her whole life!)

8. Move the dog, since she's far outgrown her puppy-kennel, onto a running lead strung between two trees. Also make sure that she will have access to your mom's flower beds for convenient digging sites. Since you haven't taught her any proper chew-preferences and probably haven't given her any toys, boredom will set in. This boredom will lead to problem digging everywhere in her reach (which your parents will love, especially when the dog uproots your mom's prized peony for the umpteenth time). This boredom will also force her poor canine mind to command her to chew on trees for entertainment. That's normal!

9. When you get home from school and she is jumping and getting her huge muddy paws all over you, don't make her sit and be calm before you let her off her lead. Unclip her quick and run away before she gets you again, thus teaching her it's okay to behave like an imbecile. (Also, when it's time for her to come back, yell at her and run after her. If you ever catch her, immediately put her back on the runner. This series of steps will ensure that she learns never to come when called.)

10. Once all these behaviors have been set, around 6-8 months, try to start training her. TRY being the key word here. At this point, from being alone for so long, she will have developed no human bonds, therefore she won't consider praise and petting as reinforcement during training session. You will have to use food rewards, and find out that she is completely driven by food. So much so that, since you taught her it was okay, she will be only too happy to mug you for treats and kibble alike. A great trait for a 90 pound dog.

11. You can try other types of training, but at this point, since you're 11 years old, there's not much use. You've pretty much ruined the dog. You're scared of her. You don't have a relationship with her. (And years to come, when you try to write down all the things you did wrong, you won't remember half the time you spent with her.)

12. Fib on the online classifieds, using weasel-words like "enthusiastic", "food-oriented", and "energetic" to con a young couple into buying her. (Just for shiggles, check the same classifieds a week later and find her for sale again, with the ad being the same as yours verbatim.)

No comments:

Post a Comment