The other day, while I was watching my 7-year-old grandson Jasper scoring goals in his soccer game, some guy came up to me and said, “You’re the dog guy, right?” Looking over his shoulder I could see my son-in-law, Tyler, staring at us, so I knew where this, “Are you the dog guy?” was coming from.
Turns out he had spoken to some dog owner I had helped who had mentioned the “Dog God” in training, but wasn’t able to clearly describe the idea. So, knowing how important this concept is, I decided to once again elaborate.
This is for the dog that is aware of the hamburgers on the kitchen counter or dining table, and is acting uninterested as long as you’re in the room. Or the apple pie dessert on the low coffee table that you’re looking forward to having with your cup of coffee in front of the TV. “Good Dog” is 10 feet away in his bed, totally uninterested.
Enjoying the pie and coffee, you suddenly realize that you have to make a call, but you left the phone in the car in the garage. As you leave the room, “Good Dog” suddenly becomes wide-awake, and you return to a pieless plate with “Good Dog” lying peacefully in his bed as Mr. Innocence. Same applies to counter and table surfing when the room is void of two-leggeds.
The Dog God Principle is getting “Good Dog” to understand that it doesn’t matter if anyone is in the room or not, because the Dog God sees all, all the time, and doesn’t like it when you help yourself to the two-legged’s food.
To get “Good Dog” to appreciate the Dog God’s ability to oversee all that he does simply requires a mirror and two metal cooking pots. Put the apple pie in a plastic container with lots of holes in it so the scent acts as a strong lure. You want the pie in the container so “Good Dog” can’t self-reward by actually getting the pie in one gulp. Then set up the mirror so you can be out of the room and still see the pie. In your hands are two big metal pots that you smash together just as “Good Dog” sniffs or grabs the pie container. “Good Dog” is likely to screw himself through the ceiling in startlement at the sudden noise, and the key is that he relates the negativity of the scare to trying to steal your food. You enter the room a minute later greeting “Good Dog,” and acting as though you had nothing to do with anything.
Same applies to the kitchen counter and table, with the frightful noise presenting itself the moment “Good Dog’s” front legs leave the floor to reach up to get to the food. A doctor friend of mine lost his beautiful young Lab when it took a pack of gum with xylitol off the counter and ate it. The Dog God could have saved his life.