My Dad and his Dog

A conversation between me and my Dad;


My Dad said “She wouldn’t walk well on the six foot leash I had for her…she just kept acting up…like she didn’t really like it…and eventually she started turn’in round and chew’in on it…..and I was worried she might actually chew all the way through it one day…take off and be gone for good. So, I got ‘er one a’ those retractable leashes that goes out about sixteen feet…it’s made out of a little different material than the other one…and, ya know, it has a lever on it you can use to let out the length as ya want. She has been do’in real good on it…much better than the old one…..seems to be happier.”

And I said “ Dad, if you were holding the hand of a child, being appropriate in your manner and strength, just trying to get him to behave and listen, and not be unruly, and that child started throwing a temper tantrum; punching you in the stomach and back, dropping down to the ground with his dead weight, jumping up on you, yelling and hollering, and eventually kicking you in the balls, would you then just let go of his hand, give him a hell of a lot more freedom, and let him run all over the house or the yard or the store?


My Dad said “She just didn’t like that crate….she’d get herself so worked up….I think she went damn near crazy when I was gone…I’d come back home and find ‘er almost worn plum out. She’d be panting like hell…and the crate looked like she’d bounced it across the floor….with drool and slobber all over her and the rest of the damn place. I know she got upset when I left her….I think she was just having some sort of anxiety with me not be’in there…..and I was really afraid she was gonna hurt herself sooner or later. So, I got a much bigger pin for her that goes outside…for ‘er to stay in when I have to leave ‘er alone. She seems to really like it. I worry about ‘er a little bit out there…especially if I have to leave her for too long….but, she really is doing much better. Before I finally got her the new pin, I even tried leaving her out a few times in the house while I was gone…..did I tell you what happened?……that silly ass dog started eating the wallpaper and sheetrock in the front hallway….and, you know, I couldn’t have that. She is a sweet sweet girl, but I couldn’t have her destroy’in the house.”

And I said “Dad, if you sent your child to their room for whatever reason…it doesn’t really matter why…and you were trying to teach that child parameters and discipline, and you told her to stay in her sparse, but comfortable room until you came to get her, and she started screaming…..and jumping up and down on the bed and the furniture, knocking and throwing a ton of shit down all around her room, and then she proceeded to start slamming herself against the walls and the door with all of her might, do you think she would be doing that just because she simply missed you? And if she took a sledge hammer or a screwdriver and started punching holes in the wall or deeply etching every surface within her reach, would you think that cute or silly? Would you think that a child that did such to be a sweet sweet girl?”


My Dad said “She will run the fence with the dogs next door. There are two of ‘em….one is a little smaller, kinda medium size, and she will usually run and run with that one, up and down, until she gets tired. Then, there is a big ole black dawg that moves slower….and when he comes up to the fence, she acts a little different. Most of the time she stops runn’in and just sits down across the fence from him. She don’t bark or roll over or pace or do anything else really….she just sits there…and seems to be okay with him.”

And I said “You see it don’t you….you know what is happening, right Dad? That is almost the perfect example…it is almost too good to believe. Brandy (my Dad’s dog) is respecting and acknowledging the appropriate dominance of your neighbor’s big ole black dog. When you see that peace overtake her, and she isn’t displaying any nervous energy or destructive and rebellious behavior, that is your answer….that dog doesn’t have a leash around Brandy’s neck…and he doesn’t have her trapped in a crate or trapped in any other way at all…..and there is even a fence separating both of them, so there isn’t even any direct contact……..and…and, the big ole black dog isn’t speaking any meaningless human gibberish to her either. Don’t you see it?….all of that is irrelevant…it’s a mirage….pony tricks that really don’t work at all, but people buy all that bullshit…..hook, line, and sinker. The only thing that matters, that really matters when you are trying to stabilize or what people tend to call “helping a dog” or “loving a dog”, is your appropriately dominant posture and the structured stability of your being. It is that simple. That is what they truly crave. You have seen the proof with your own eyes. Now, you aren’t prepared to jump into that right now, and you honestly need the tools and assistance of the shorter leash and the crate to establish more parameters and structure if you want to try and fix her behavioral issues, but don’t fool yourself, you let her win the war of dominance via your response to her temper tantrums in the battles of the leash, the crate, and the destruction of the house. You rewarded her and gave her more freedom for being a bratty dominant dog. We see people do that very same thing all the time at the hospital. They think they are just “loving” their dog better by giving them more freedoms and liberties and treats and toys, and meanwhile their dog knows the truth….he or she has manipulated the relationship in a normal challenge of pack order….and he or she, often becomes the King or Queen of the house. ‘Tis true…I promise ya.”


Dr. Cribb         2014

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