Dog Training

Anybody who’s come over and met my dog Sasha knows I’m no expert on dog training, but I found this article on changing patterns in the general approaches to the matter to be quite interesting.  I read a Cesar Millan book, and though I don’t have enough follow-through to have been particularly effective, his approach certainly makes the most sense to me.  Dogs are wolves.  Basically, perpetually adolescent wolves, but wolves none the less (the fact that they can still easily interbreed is telling you something).  We know wolves have evolved a very specific social structure with alpha wolves.  It only makes sense that the human is thus the leader of the pack and should act accordingly.  Sure, you should be nice to your dog and show it plenty of love and affection, but when it comes to having your dog obey and understand its role in your home, the human needs to be the alpha (or so it seems to me).  This past summer David watched a bunch of a show on Animal Planet called “It’s me or the dog.”  More often than not, it seemed that the problems with severely misbehaving dogs boiled down to owners who completely let their dog run the household.  Obviously, that doesn’t meant that positive reinforcement can’t work at that Cesar’s is the only way to go, but as with being a parent, I don’t think you are doing your dog any favors by simply trying to be their best friend.


Quotable me

Was asked by a reporter to comment on START the other day.  I’ve been so frustrated with Republicans on this issue, so I was actually a little less the guarded Political Scientist I usually am (at least when talking with the media) and pretty much let the Republicans have it (which they fully deserved in a completely non-partisan way).  I could tell he was really happy with the quote as soon as I said it:

To some outside analysts, the GOP opposition didn’t seem to be about principle, not least because five secretaries of state for past Republican presidents all have endorsed the treaty.

The Republican effort to derail the treaty is “99 percent politics,” said Steven Greene, an associate professor of political science at North Carolina State University. “You have former secretaries of state and people from the national security apparatus in Republican administrations behind this. I haven’t seen anything to suggest this is anything but politics.”

Anyway, glad to see at least 11 Republicans finally put national security above political party.  As for the other 26, I suppose some of them truly believed that the treaty was a bad thing, for the rest: shame on them.

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