For the past five days, I’ve had the pleasant experience of dog-sitting for Sarah. Meet Royal:
Royal’s a mix of Labrador and German Shepherd (I believe). I of course am a cat owner. Ebenezer has had his own troubled past with dogs, particularly large ones, e.g. Royal’s size. So I knew that the experience would be enlightening, if not challenging.
Not being a life-long dog owner, I was anxious to learn how this companion animal differed from the other. Royal’s visit provided an excellent case study opportunity. Granted the sample size in my experiment is rather small: one cat meets one dog, both of one breed each.
Nevertheless, here are my preliminary research findings:
- Predominant attitude is standoffish.
- Affectionate on their own terms.
- Demands attention capriciously, but rarely gives attention (unless food is involved).
- Does not respond well to voice commands.
- Not as easily trained.
- Generally indifferent to positive reinforcement training.
- Responds poorly to negative verbal treatment.
- Terrible running companion.
- Excellent napping companion.
- Genetically trained to self-govern defecation and micturition, given the proper stool receptacle (however, it has been observed that relapses to a non-trained state can arise under certain environmental traumas).
- Loyal to the point of self-deprecation.
- Needs close physical contact with a human most of the time.
- Responds very well to voice commands.
- Fairly easily trained.
- Benefits from positive reinforcement.
- Responds poorly to negative verbal treatment training.
- Excellent running companion.
- Difficult napping companion.
- Requires multiple daily walks for defecation and micturition.
This list is by no means exhaustive. I’m open to more scholarship.