As dogs, there are just a few things people expect of us: follow a few commands (sit, stay, lay down…), maybe do a couple of tricks (rollover, shake hands), and, always, guard the house. Overall, the commands and tricks are easy and harmless. It’s the silly price we have to pay for being pampered, fed and putting up with the “masters” after they’ve had a bit too much grape water. But being a good guard dog–especially if you’re a chihuahua or shih tzu–can be a tricky business. So I have a few suggestions to get your game on for those breeds that are not known as great guard dogs:
- Bassett Hounds: When a stranger approaches, do something crazy like lifting your ears. That’ll get’em running the other way. It’s not easy. But after reading The Dummy’s Guide to Raising Your Extremities (skip the part meant for seniors), and a few yoga classes, you should have it down (or, more precisely, up).
- Chihuahuas: Just think Cinco de Mayo–as though you’ve been drinking a boatload of punch and fireworks are going off under your paws. Jump high. Bounce off the walls. Swing off light fixtures. I recommend a well-placed trampoline to scare the hell out of would-be intruders.
- Newfoundlands: The key to being a good guard dog is, even though you’re big, you’ve got to get up. Just stand up. I know it’s hard. But that’s all you gotta do. Or just move a little bit. You can do it. Really.
- Mexican Hairless: Just be yourself. That should be enough to scare them off.
- Old English Sheepdogs: Fight your better instincts. Just lie in front of the door to block the perpetrators and don’t let them in and lick them. That’s key. Remember, they hate you. Want to hurt you. Alright…you can lick them once but then lie down and assume blocking mode again.
- Shih Tzu: Just think about your breed name. About the person who is responsible for it. Think about what you’d do to them if you ever met them. Keep thinking about it. It won’t be pleasant but no one will want to go near you.
- Irish Setters: I know you can’t read this so I’m not sure why I included you. Good luck.
- Toy Poodle: You’re smarter than your master. So have him guard the damn house. Think of it–all that leisure time you’ll have with Trollope and The New York Times.
- Dachshunds: Just bring in heavy weaponry. There’s really no other solution.
This is an occasional article from the desk of the CEO (Chief Eating Officer) Emeritus, Hobbes Kingsley