You take your dog to puppy class or hire a private trainer. You work on training when you go on walks.
By now, your dog is shaping up into a polite companion.
Don’t you wish you could figure out how to train the stupid humans you meet on your walks?
Techniques For Training Stupid Humans
Here are my suggestions for dealing with stupid human behaviors you may encounter with your dog.
Men Who Thump
Why do men feel they need to thump on dogs?
It happens to Honey all the time. Hearty men come striding over to her saying, “Hey boy, howya doing?” And then they thump her on her sides. Because, ya’know, dogs really like being hit in the ribs.
Training Tip – You have to anticipate the thumper. Usually they’ll get in a few gentle strokes before starting to thump. As soon as they stroke your dog gently, open the pull tab on a cold beer.
The sound of the pull tab signals to the thumper that he has done something right and that he’ll be getting a treat soon. When the thumper looks at you, hand him the beer.
Moms Who Let Toddlers Grab Your Dog’s Face
Luckily this is not the majority. In our travels, most parents work hard to teach their children to behave appropriately around strange dogs (or any dog).
But there’s always that one chatting on her phone who ignores her child toddling up to your dog and grabbing her by the jowls.
Training Tip – You can’t train a human if you can’t get their attention. And you have to protect your dog first.
I suggest that as soon as the child runs toward your dog you turn and walk away at a quick pace. In most situations, the child will follow. I find that stepping out into the street is an effective way to get the attention of even the most oblivious mom.
Humans Who Let Their Dogs Run Off-Leash
One of my neighbors lets her dogs off leash when they’re working around the house. They’re very nice dogs. But their humans have absolutely no voice control over them off-leash.
It’s not a problem for us. Honey loves them both. But if I had a reactive dog, I’d walk miles out of my way to avoid that house.
Training Tip – When the loose dog comes running up to you, attach a spare leash to his collar and say, “Hi there. Are you lost?” Then walk away with the dog.
Neighbors Who Never Scoop Their Dog’s Poop
Just one careless human can make walks less fun. By training a human out of this bad habit, you’re protecting your watershed as well as your sanity since it’s nearly impossible to get dog sh*t out of a pair of sneakers once you step into it.
Training Tip – I’m all for being nice. But sometimes you need to rely on the other side of behaviorism to train a behavior.
The positive punishment for this behavior is to pick up the poop with a bag over your hand and smear it on the door knob of the person who left it behind. If you’re at the park, car door handles work just as well.
Relatives Who Encourage Your Dog To Misbehave
We begged my mother-in-law not to feed Agatha and Christie from the Thanksgiving table. Of course she didn’t listen to us. And then she seemed surprised when two 35 pound dogs tried to jump into her lap to get better access to her plate.
Training Tip – Training good behavior is ideal. But sometimes you have to resort to management instead.
When your relative visits, use a slip knot to tie a canvas line around her nose. Hold the other end of the line in your hand gently. If your relative coaxes your dog to jump up or sneaks tidbits under the table, gentle tighten the line around her nose while working to redirect her attention to more positive activities.
People Training vs Dog Training
Don’t you find that most training involves getting people to do the right thing? Because once we do what we’re supposed to dogs are sensitive enough to our cues to follow along.
So don’t put up with poorly trained humans. Use your experience and training skills to set them on the right path.
Disclosure: I am not a certified human trainer. This post was written for entertainment purposes only. I will not be held responsible for training advice taken from this post.
Your Turn: Any bad human behaviors you’d like to retrain? How would you do it?
Do Dogs And Their Humans Look Alike?
At the end of September, we’ll give you the chance to see if dogs and their humans really do look like.
If you want to join the fun now, send us a picture of you and your dog for our experiment. To learn more, click the picture.