Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A Dog's life is a Pony's dream.

A Dog's life is a Pony's dream.

Christmas is coming, and the adverts are going up, “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.” And there will be loads of soppy stuff about man's best friend and suitably glamourous dogs frolicking in the snow. That's one thing about Broadband, I pick all this stuff up now.

But I also read some of the serious stuff. Dogs, man's best friends are direct descendants of wolves. I would say some of my best friends are wolves but it would be a lie. If there are any wolves in West Country Zoos, some of my best friends have been eaten by wolves would be more accurate as they fed 700+Dartmoor ponies to the zoo animals for being too common and not having the right papers..

So all these children are playing with all these baby wolf descendants, and these adult wolf descendants, and where is the protective clothing. Where are the weapons, the control systems. There aren't any. You teach your protowolves not to bite the kids, not to bite adults and you do it with body language and treats and rewards.

I watch Cesar Milan, now Simon doesn't entirely agree with some of the things Cesar does, and some of the reasons he does them, and Cesar gets a pretty hard time on the internet for kicking dogs.

Kicking dogs, don't make me bloody cry. He touches them with his foot, and he is doing it to dogs that want to rip the throat out of another dog. He isn't kicking them because he wants to turn to the left, or go a bit faster, or jump some monstrous bloody stripey construction. He kicks dogs that are about to rip the shit out of another dog.

Feel free to kick me if I attack another horse, or if I am trying to rip the postman's throat out. Now that is a training system I could live with. Just calculate how often you have to kick your horse to stop it viciously attacking another horse, or attempting to savage a human being. Total up all the times you have kicked a horse for those reasons. And then count up all the times you have used your boot on a horse's ribs. Now get your Clever Hans counting horse to work out what percentage of the times you kicked your horse were for things for which Cesar Milan gets criticised when he kicks dogs. And then work out the proportion that would get him arrested if he tried it on a dog.

“Cesar Milan kicks dog because he wants it to go faster.” How long would his career survive a headline like that. “Cesar Milan puts metal spikes on his boots before kicking dog in ribs to make it go faster.” There goes Cesar Milan's career.

I was there when Simon was asked by a lady why she couldn't build the same relationship with her horse that she had with her dog. Simon asked, “when you got the dog, did you climb on top of it and kick it in the ribs?” I thought it was a pretty good answer, she stomped off.

You don't tie your wolves up, you don't give your kids weapons, you criticse trainers who nudge a dog with their foot to stop rabid aggression, you say a dog is for life.

And you give horsey kids a whip for Christmas.

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