Monday, February 04, 2008

The Fried Chicken Eating Nomads

I'm learning a lot about human behavior from walking my foster dog. Like, for instance, there are people who walk around my neighborhood eating fried chicken and throwing the bones along the sidewalk. I have never actually seen these people, but I know they exist because I have seen the bones everywhere.

Eating chicken bones is very bad for dogs, so either there are lots of these people walking around everywhere in my neighborhood eating chicken and throwing bones everywhere, or there are people who hate dogs, hiding fried chicken bones in the grass in order to harm dogs. Since people who hate dogs are worse then Hitler, I don't know what to make of it. Luckily my dog is not "food aggressive" like other dogs. Some dogs growl and bite when you go near their food bowl, but my dog allows me to open his mouth and take the chicken bones out of his mouth without biting me. He just gives me the "oh no you didn't" look.

Now, what I find more disturbing than someone who is worse than Hitler, is the fact that my dog may not respect me as pack leader. As part of my responsibilities in being a good foster parent, I sat and watched several episodes of the Dog Whisperer with my new dog. I want him to understand the concept of the pack leader/alpha dog (me) and the pack follower/bitch (him). What I learned from the show is that the pack leader eats first, then the other dogs can eat when the pack leader says so. This is why when a dog kills a squirrel or a rhinocerous, he will bring it to you and lay it at your feet. As pack leader, you are supposed to eat first and give him what's left over. It's a sign of respect. You are Don Corleone, and he is Fredo. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to eat old chicken bones that have been sitting in the gutter, but as the pack leader, he should at least offer me some first, then try to eat. I took his eating of the chicken bones as a a sign of defiance of my authority as pack leader. Like when Tattaglia tried to kill Don Corleone, in Godfather I.

If I'm on a first date, I always pay for dinner, but I expect the girl to at least pretend to reach for her purse so that I can say "I got it" and she can pretend like she was willing to pay and that I am a gentleman. So the dog should pretend to offer me some old chicken bones before digging in (because I am pack leader) and I can so "no...the pack leader doesn't want chicken bones from the gutter, but you may have some because you have been a good pack follower/loyal bitch."

I have tried other things to assert alpha dog/pack leadership over him, like (1) keeping him on a short leash so that he doesn't walk ahead of me; (2) doing the occasional alpha roll; (3) humping the dog's leg so that he knows he's my bitch. The last one gets me funny looks from people at the dog park, but I don't really care what they think because they are not my pack members. There are only two members in my pack, and if I'm the one paying the mortgage and buying the dog food, then excuuuuuuuuse me for wanting to be in charge for a while.

I think the reason that he doesn't respect me as pack leader is because of the poop thing. Just when I think he is starting to RESPECT MA' AUTHOR-I-TAY he poops, and then watches me while I pick up the poop using nothing but a poop bag and my bare hands. I wouldn't respect a person who stood there and picked up my poop with his hands while I silently judged him and mocked him in my head. (Yes, I know it's judging me and secretly mocking me...if it could talk, I'm sure if it would make fun of me to its doggy friends).

Now, a friend of mine thinks I am taking the whole pack leader thing too far. She thinks that you can train a dog using love and positive reinforcement instead of using calm assertive leadership and humping its leg. I think dogs are like bowels and they view people like sphincters, and if you show weakness, they will sh1t all over you. And I am not one to be sh1t upon. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that it is possible to train a dog using positive reinforcement and love, but if it's all the same to you, I'll keep humping its leg.


Jean Martha said...


more doggy pics, please.

you have a foster dog that poops outside the home? keep him!

The Speaker of the House said...

Up here in Philadelphia, we refer to the chicken bone in the street phenomenon as the "South Philly Toss". And another good sign of submission is when your beast does something they know is wrong, he should roll over and pee straight into the air. Now, I tried that with my wife the last time I screwed up and it really didn't make anything better. So, I'm still not sure why dogs evolved the idea that repentance requires urinary clean up on aisle 12.

Anonymous said...

I am a dog lover (not like that), but 'love and positive reinforcement' needs to be balanced together with (assertiveness and leg-humping', because dogs don't listen to or obey pansies who hand out Snausges like pez for activities like barking less often or the wagging of the tail.

JoJo said...

I'd just give up now and admit that the dog rules. I tried the Cesar Milan stuff AND the love and positive reinforcement to no avail. Understand that the dog owns you (not the other way around) and life becomes a lot easier to accept.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

iloveupstate: okay more coming soon

The Speaker of the House: I thought it was a dc thing. who knew it was in ghettos everywhere

You can call me, 'Sir': yeah, i'd rather it obey unquestioningly, than have it love me

JoJo: no, I will bend it to my will with my jedi mind trick

Anonymous said...

That's really cool that you're fostering a dog. Go, you! :)

HomeImprovementNinja said...

zandria: Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I fully ascribe to the pack leader mentality as well. My dogs, not always. Heh.

On a slightly different note, the chicken bone toss is really and truly confounding to me. WTF. No, seriously.