my little rebel

From Oxford Dictionary: Obedience: ‘Compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority’


The English Law states dogs are property, so only selected official authorities can touch or seize your dog without your permission. Even the RSPCA has limited powers here.

It’s the owner’s responsibility to control their dog. Nobody else’s.


Yesterday, I witnessed someone performing the pathetic ‘alpha roll’ on a Staffie. The dog had picked up another dog’s ball and refused to let go. I offered to bribe the poor thing with treats but as my offer was turned down, I walked away. To my surprise, a few minutes later I saw someone I thought was just an onlooker taking the said Staffie away. She seemed really cross, though I guess the fact she felt embarrassed with her dog having stolen someone else’s ball prevented her from acting or even commenting on the strange man’s behaviour.

As often in my life, this seemingly insignificant event has upset me. I feel sorry for the man’s dog and for any dog he will ever come in contact with. Dogs will steal balls. Forcing them to give up a cheap, tennis ball is as stupid as it is pathetic.

all this fuss over a ball?

We, people, need to obey the law, even if we’re not aware the rules exist (ignorantia legis neminem excusat). But then, there are other, unwritten rules. When you use a common park, be polite and friendly, teach your dog to be so, too. Try to understand that dogs, like children might not always behave as you expect them to. Accept that someone else’s dog might break your dog’s toy. If it bothers you buy cheap toys. Or go somewhere where you don’t need to interact with other people and dogs.


Back to my story: I’m not like the Staffie’s owner. When this excuse of a human told Brian to ‘back off’ (Brian wanted to play with his dog, his dog wanted to play with Brian) I told him politely and firmly not to give any commands to my dogs as he’s legally my responsibility and he was properly controlled in the designated, common area. I also asked him not to use any gestures as my dogs were trained to respond to them and as a certified trainer and behaviourist I strongly disapproved of his Cesar Millan style pseudo techniques.

I did use ‘please’, of course.



26 thoughts on “Obedience

  1. Thank you so much for your post! You have given our Human Mommy so much more confidence in bringing us up. We are her first Woofies, and in the beginning she spent hours scouring the Internet to figure out what she was “supposed” to do with us. Fortunately, even as a new dog guardian, she didn’t follow some of the more brutal guidelines, like crating us for hours to potty train us or using painful collars to get us to heel. Thank you for being a voice of reason in dog training world. You should write a book. Human Mommy would read it and then maybe we’d chew it up so she’d have to buy another. Double royalties for you.

    Woofs and Wags,

    Cosmo and Stella

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your Mommy sounds a reasonable (and kind and lovely) lady 🙂 You don’t have to spoil her by telling her this, but she really is 😉 I’m pretty rubbish at writing stuff, really, I can’t read my own produce as I cringe, but thank you for the nicest comment ever. Ah, your Mommy doesn’t need the internet or anything: cats are brilliant at training dogs (my cats have told me this, so it must be true) x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, we don’t think your writing is rubbish–we think it’s quite wonderful. (Of course, as Dogs, we have nothing bad to say about rubbish, either. Mmmmm, rubbish.) But we digress. There are a lot of Humans and Woofies and maybe even some Meowies who love to read your writing and would love to chew… er… read a book you write.

        Woofs and Wags, Cosmo and Stella


  2. I found this post interesting. I have 2 cats but am fond of dogs too. If you haven’t already, I would love to hear more on your training methods compared to Cesar Milan’s. I find his methods interesting but prefer a more personal attitude toward dogs but I am really a cat person. Thanks for a delightful post as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, there’s a bit of the divide now in the doggie world over Cesar Millan. I don’t care about the person himself (he seems rather lovely, really) but the show is not supported by any scientific research. Anyway, I don’t use force in training. Not ever. It does not work, never has, never will. We used to have corporal punishment in schools, didn’t work. Bullying someone into submission doesn’t, either. So, if I was to follow advice of a TV personality I’d pick Victoria Stilwell 🙂 But it’s always better to find a certified/recognised behaviourist (best if they are recommended by the vet).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I only work with fearful and fearful/ aggressive dogs (abused or stray ones from Europe) and, in some weird way, I do think they’re more like cats. They have learnt not to trust people so to ‘rehabilitate’ them I do need to use positive reinforcement only. I have two cats now and even though I don’t actually train them, I know they would ‘work’ for treats and they’d never respond to any form of punishment 🙂 Sending love your way 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think comparing dogs to children works rather well, the ‘would you let him, if it was your child?’ type of an argument. We don’t use force with kids, we shouldn’t with dogs (and believe me, Samantha, there really was no need for it, the Staffie was the happiest, most playful little thing!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. I’ve never hit a child and I’ve never hit a dog (or a cat) because they learn nothing from it and as the adult/owner, it is up to you to analyse and repair the situation. I think you handled the whole thing very well, with an awareness that this man personally lacked x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly it is these type of incidents and just general poor behaviour by owners that I have not walked in a public parks for years. Fields for me when I can gladly avoid most if not all human dog walkers ! Well done you 🐶😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They let anyone own a dog! Yesterday my Golden Retriever was attacked by a dog as we passed a restaurant patio where he was tied to a table near the sidewalk. Our dog was at heel and did nothing to provoke the attack. It was shocking. The dim wit owner offered no apology and began to hit his dog. We asked him not to and said it wasn’t the dog’s fault. There are no bad dogs. Only bad owners.


  5. Cats are the best trainers and behaviorists! I can just hear your “please”! But seriously, I don’t know who any of those TV personalities are, but unfortunately, there are people who “discipline” kids by aggression and violence, so they treat dogs the same way. You are wondering why they allow these people to have dogs? They allow them to have children, too, and who is to stop them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re the voice of reason in the sea of nonsense, Dolly 🙂 As you might remember I worked for many years with young people who had experienced the same treatment (violence and aggression). It never works. It breaks a human being, if he’s mentally strong he might turn to crime and violence, if he’s more vulnerable and sensitive he’ll turn against himself (and often ends up committing suicide). All that needs to change, we need to teach, not take revenge. It applies to all species 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d say it’s the other way around: I am the voice of nonsense in the sea of reason, but it helps sometimes to prompt people to get out of the box and look at things from a new perspective. I wonder about teaching cats, though, but they are extremely intelligent creatures anyway, so they could probably teach us, but they don’t deign.

        Liked by 1 person

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