I picked up this book for a few bucks in a local antique shop.
What drew me to it was the title (about right!) the age (1946) and a quick flick through the pages where the author talks about getting a dog to stop barking.
I doubt if I shall ever forget the first night of the series of training classes sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which I conduct in New York City. The class was held in the gymnasium and could comfortably accommodate 25 to 30 dogs. But there were 50 dogs present. The bedlam caused by the 51 untrained dogs, handled by untrained owner, was something I can’t even describe. No introductions were heard and no speakers understood. I don’t remember saying it, but I was told later that when the class was turned over to my care, I made the statement that I had no intention of competing with 50 dogs and ordered everyone present to place his hands around his dog's muzzle and hold his mouth shut. The owners were amazed when they realized how easy it was to keep the dogs quiet. This simple act had not occurred to one of them.
I smiled reading this paragraph and put down my $2. I have not yet read the book (the table of contents is almost 100 percent devoted to simple trick training) but this paragraph alone was worth the $2 as it so perfectly illustrates a phenomenon everyone in the world of dog training has observed.
Someone says their dog does something irritating. Yes, and what do you DO to try stop it?
Almost every time, the dog owner grows silent. They are confused.
They have to DO something?
The idea has never occurred to them!
For the record, the instruction that follows in this book is the old "throw something at the dog" admonition.
And does that work? It sure can!
Trainers have been throwing knotted ropes, choke chains, and rolled up magazines at dogs since the dawn of time.
The latest variation on the theme is a rolled up bit of towel with rubber bands around it; what dog trainer Gary Wilkes calls a "bonk'.
No, it's not new.
But does it work? Quite well, actually.