Dog Breeds

Dog training methods

All we need say about Jocks hearing is that he can catch any sound you can and many you cannot, like that soundless whistle, for instance. When it comes to distinguishing one sound from another almost identical, he has you beaten by the proverbial city block. The dog that instantly distinguishes the sound of his master’s car from that of all others, even though they are of the same make and vintage, is an example; and I’ve seen a litter of threemonthsold pups, every one of which was just as clever.

The practical applications are many. Don’t be too ready to forgive Jock’s disobedience on the ground that he doesn’t hear your command. Don’t lose your temper and let fly with a volley of verbal abuse because you think he’s too far away to hear it. Nine times out of ten he does hear it and is either too frightened or too cagey to let on. Dogs are barefaced bluffers when they want to be.

Jock not only hears and identifies sounds surprisingly well; he connects them with the objects or acts that usually accompany them. You already know he does this in the case of spoken or whistled commands, but you will find him capable of it when you have given no command and don’t even suspect he is doing it. Remember this when some puzzling problem comes up, and consider whether hearing is a factor.

Last fall a gunner friend of mine was training his birddog pup. The youngster was always eager to hunt, but one morning he failed to show the slightest interest, simply tagging along at his master’s heels. The man was mystified. Prince was in his usual perfect health, had no thorn in his foot, had not been punished or even scolded and had never shown himself a quitter. Conditions were in every respect exactly as they had been two days before, when the pup had been a regular dynamo in the brush.

Dog of day: King Charles


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