Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dog Training Made Easy

E.B. White and dachshund, perhaps Fred?
 I have owed dogs and I have owned cats. They both bring their own joys and sorrows and frustrations. Here, from One Man's Meat is E.B. White's take on training his own dog, Fred. These are just the opening remarks. He goes on to discuss puppy shopping (although he writes that he has never had to do that); housebreaking; and dog loyalty.

There is a book out called Dog Training Made Easy and it was sent to me the other day by the publisher, who rightly guessed that it would catch my eye. I like to read books on dog training. Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can't be trained and shouldn't be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest command.

For a number of years past I have been agreeably encumbered by a very large and dissolute dachshund named Fred. Of all the dogs whom I have served I've never known one who understood so much of what I say or held it in such deep contempt. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something that he wants to do. And when I answer his peremptory scratch at the door and hold the door open for him to walk through he stops in the middle and lights a cigarette, just to hold me up.

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