Just as there are Habits of Highly Effective People, there are “habits of highly effective dogs.” Some dogs are not as effective as others. My dog Joey could easily write a book. In fact, he has started to codify his wisdom by teaching his habits to his little sister, Scamps. Although Joey doesn’t speak English, he has clearly defined the habits, which are the following:
- Behave so incredibly sweet that your master can’t possibly deny what you want. Persistence is key. Make certain to remain within petting distance of your human’s hand, and/or warming your human’s feet. I know how to cuddle extremely well. This skill has paid tremendous dividends. Learn how to purr. I realize that this sounds extreme, but I’ve learned how and my owner turns to putty when he hears me purr.
- In reward for being so sweet, you deserve to have only the very best food, treats, activities, toys and non-BS walks or hikes. (A BS hike consists of anything less than three miles or 1,500 vertical feet for my breed). Every day I get a non-BS hike or run because I am so effective. I convey that a hike or walk was BS by humping Scamps, or by destroying a toy or by vandalizing the inside of my human’s car. These are all merited punishments of humans because I follow habit number one so well. They will know they deserve it and they will get over it.
- I know (as every dog should know) that about 60-90 minutes after my master is awake, I must demonstrate my clear need for a fun day. I demonstrate my need in the most highly effective manner, by pawing and by looking longingly and directly into the eyes of my human. As needed, begin licking the ears, nose or any extremity. If necessary, place the entire head into the lap of your master. All are highly effective guilt-tripping techniques that produce the desired outcome with the least amount of effort. If your human ignores your needs, then find something to destroy: a book, a toy. Or try to be annoying by barking too much, by being too excited. I will begin to shake and behave as if I will explode if I don’t get my hike or run. Learn how to do this―it’s an amazing technique.