November 6, 2008

Obama + dog.

1. Obama promised to get his girls a dog, and a year ago Malia determined that the goldendoodle was "the optimal dog," but they're getting a lot of political pressure to adopt a stray. Because others cast off dogs they don't want, you shouldn't be able to get the breed you find optimal, in the original puppy form?

2. Some YouTube guy has taught his dog to say "Obama." (Via BoingBoing.)



3. "Well, is it possible that Obama is not reserving his attack dog for his enemies, but his friends?"

52 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Getting a dog need not be a political statement. If Malia has determined the ideal breed, why not get it? Then she can see if her research was flawed or not, which is a good lesson.

rhhardin said...

As usual, the crisis is manufactured by people who believe there's a crisis.

The dog population problem is produced by rounding up all the strays and putting them in one place.

If you rounded up chipmunks and put them in one place, there would be a chipmunk population crisis. How can we afford the feed them all?

In fact, nothing has changed from a hundred years ago as to population densities and so forth, when dogs got along just fine. Big cities were big cities, small towns were small towns, and everybody did fine.

What happened was that strays and abandoned dogs did their stuff and got themselves adopted; some family is always taking pity on the dog and putting out food, and there they are. They find it's nice being needed and the dog winds up inside with them.

No population problem.

Dog catchers were called only for problem dogs, not for all dogs. Today a dog walking home on the sidewalk alone is a major civil emergency. Yesterday dogs alone played with the kids (kids were allowed outside in the old days).

The chief cause of dog death today is humane societies.

Vicki Hearne's _Bandit_ goes into it with a different argument. excerpt.

So anyway do not believe the puppy from the pound people, or the dog neutering people. Almost always, caring people are not nice people.

former law student said...

The early life of a puppy is critical if you want a happy, confident, and safe dog. Ideally you would take it home at eight weeks. Prospective puppy owners should read Dr. Ian Dunbar's Before You Get Your Puppy, available for free download as a public service here:

http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

But I agree that if you want a mixed breed dog, the animal shelter is your best bet. Unfortunately, the ones I know will not adopt puppies out until they are four months old, well past the optimum point.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh for Heaven's sake, it's going to be hard enough for those girls to live in the White House under the magnifying glass of the press. At least, let them get the dog they want.

As FLS says. Adopting a puppy in the formative time of its life will make the process easier. While adopting an abandoned dog is admirable, you are getting a "pig in a poke" so to speak. You have no idea what emotional issues the dog may have.

If this is what the press focuses on in an upcoming Obama administration instead of international policy and fiscal policy, we are even worse off than I fear.

rhhardin said...

Koehler The Koehler Method of Dog Training works on any dog, no matter how ``abused'' in a former life.

It's widely deprecated owing to PC sensibilities and its working when it ought not to according to modern theory. When new it was banned in Arizona.

I see it's acquired a high value in the resale market.

Koehler trained tens of thousands of dogs in his classes and had no failures where the method was followed. He himself specialized in impossible cases.

Dog as citizen was his vision. That was citizen as understood in the old days. Not welfare recipient.

LarsPorsena said...

I think there is an old saying along the lines of "if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

former law student said...

The Koehler Method of Dog Training works on any dog

Please recount your experience with the Koehler method. Because only tough dogs like Rotties and Dobies are trained with Koehler-type methods today.

The failure of the Koehler Method to work with many dogs explains why it was out of print for many years. For the majority of breeds and dogs, positive reinforcement works where herk and jerk makes them shut down.

integrity said...

The adoptable dogs are usually a mess, and require the owner be home a lot. Here in L.A., when I went to adopt in 1999 there was not one agency that would let me adopt because of my work hours. So I went to the pet store in the Glendale Galleria and found my beloved Miniature Schnauzer. And ever since have been told by the harpies that I helped to facilitate puppy mills because I bought him from a pet store.

Too many jims said...

Maybe in their meeting next week, Bush will advise Obama to get a dog that will bite the press.

MadisonMan said...

Incidentally, saying that that dog has been taught to say Obama is a real stretch.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

The owner of that dog is throwing his voice and saying "Obama" while the dog barks.

Cedarford said...

Seems the PC crowd should wake up to the fact that the problem is not enough strays being adopted as too many strays being produced.

Word to Integrity on the self-righteous twits who attempt to "weed out" people that DO want to consider taking in a stray.

My wife and I got told we would be "dubious prospects" because we had "unstable hours at work" - sometimes we had to shift our work hours as 24/7 (hospital, industrial) jobs sometimes demand. Saying back that we weren't Vietnamese planning on eating the critter didn't go over well.....I suspect the mutt we were looking at eventually got euthanized by the two zealous "adoptee" women's handiwork. More compassionate than the dog sitting at home fretting about his master's "instability in presence" caused by the need for making the money to keep him or her full of Alpo.
We went with a work colleague who had a litter of german short-hair pointers. Purebred, cheaper and better than a puppy mill pet shop product. Even took two out for a "test drive" and picked the one we liked best.

Several relatives have goldendoodles and like them immensely.

CarmelaMotto said...

As someone who volunteers at a shelter, I really don't like that you would call a dog in a shelter animal a "cast off." There is nothing wrong with most of them.

People come into shelters looking for a low maintainence dog, not realizing the big dog, may be a lot less to maintain than the small dog. For as many mellow yellow labs I have know, I have known the fruit loop "Marley's" who are super excitable and impossible to train.

My folks had a "Marley" and now a rescued Boxer. Boxer's are supposed to need a ton of exercise, etc, and she is not an enthusiastic "walker." Both "cast offs" and both awesome dogs.

You can not judge a book by it's cover.

I do think spending thousands of dollars on a dog when there are thou

BJM said...

Former law student; we used the Dunbar method with our current dog and found it far superior to rote training that we used with generations of dogs.

Some how I suspect the DC shelter of choice will suddenly be awash with surrendered Goldendoodle pups when the Obamas let it be known they are looking. They could also network with breed rescue.

Millions of young pure bred dogs are surrendered each year because people fall for a fad breed or don't think the time and 10-15 yr commitment through.

We have had several breed rescue dogs and they make wonderful pets and are also ideal for beginners. They are fostered by experienced dog owners and/or breeders, health screened and their training/habits/shortcomings are known prior to being put up for adoption. Plus breed rescue will take the dog back if it doesn't work out for you and/or the dog.

Adoption is the right thing to do and you can have the breed of your choice through breed rescue.

I don't recommend adopting a dog from a shelter unless you are a very experienced dog handler/owner.

rhhardin said...

Please recount your experience with the Koehler method.

I trained my very first dog through open, utility and tracking with it, right from the book.

If you want a nice account, and it does work with any dog, but it is not the method its critics pretend it is, try Vicki Hearne's Adam's Task the chapter ``How to Say Fetch!'' for example.

It's out of print because it's not politically correct. It shouldn't work, under modern theory.

The method is, spend a very long time teaching each new exercise, well past the point most methods would stop, to make sure that there's no possibility that the dog does not understand what's wanted. Then give the dog the responsibility for doing what's wanted, and correct him when he fails. The correction is not a punishment, and it does not teach him what to do - it answers the question he's asking whether he has to do it. Answer: yes.

Specific corrections are used for specific exercises, so that what question is being answered is always clear.

So it's a bit more elaborate than ``herk and jerk.'' That's the bystander humanaic's account, not the trainer's.

You will find that the dog deliberately asks questions. He wants to know whether he has to hold a sit stay next to flapping canvas (yes); and whether you're as serious as you're asking him to be about doing a fetch (yes). He's willing to take a correction in order to get the answer.

One day, Susie and I were doing recall signals along the length of a downtown sidewalk. I'd put her on a sit stay at one end of the block, walk to the other, and signal a come. She has to watch me and not get distracted, and come on the signal. Halfway down the block I may signal a down, and she has to drop and await another recall. This is the AKC signal exercise, only I do it amid the worst possible distractions.

Well when she was on a sit-stay one day a guy walked up to her and kicked at her. She broke the sit stay and walked slightly out of his range, and then walked down the block to me unsignalled. She was asking a question : do I have to hold a sit stay when a guy kicks at me or not?

Had the answer been yes, say I'm training for police work and she has to hold position against protestors or something, I might say yes, in which case I'd have done a sit stay correction and dragged her back to her spot and leave her there without another command, so it's clear she broke the first one and is required to hold it.

As it happens, I gave her a heel command (a new command) and heeled her back to her sit stay and we went on with a new exercise.

What's the point of this distinction? She found out with her question (coming to me for a correction or not) that she's responsible for her own safety when I'm not there, and is allowed to move under appropriate circumstances.

A dog trained with treats, game-playing, coaxing and sugary praise never develops that level of communication.

Also, you may notice when you train with Koehler, that your dog sticks his nose eagerly into the collar when it's time for another session -- associating it with something very interesting to him rather than the herk and jerk you describe it as.

Anyway read Vicki Hearne, and find out about the damage humaniacs have done and do today.

rhhardin said...

PS you'll like Vicki Hearne, as she's a leftist.

I like her because she writes on the right in spite of herself.

BJM said...

Dude, pick up your room.

This is a true story. Our dog is confined to the cargo section of my station wagon for his safety which is not his first choice; he prefers shotgun. The airport is an hour's drive, so I always take the dog along for company when I drop off or pick up the hubby at the airport.

One afternoon after wife smooching,doggie petting and luggage stowing we were chatting as we drove away from the terminal.

A loud "Hey!" resounded from the back of the car.

"Did the dog just say 'Hey'?" I asked incredulously.

"Yes. Yes, I believe he did" Hubby replied as we turned to see the dog smiling broadly.

I swear it was not a bark or yelp and he's never said another word. Damnedest thing ever.

David said...

Obama's first act after being elected was to promise the nation a puppy. This is perfectly in character with his promissory campaign.

Revenant said...

Goldendoodles seem like good dogs for a family with kids.

If you don't have a particular preference about what kind of dog you want, getting one from a pound or shelter is definitely the way to go. If you do have a preference, though, there's no reason to feel pressured into getting one from the pound.

former law student said...

I trained my very first dog

What kind of dog?

And was that the only dog you ever had?

integrity said...

Cedarford said...
Seems the PC crowd should wake up to the fact that the problem is not enough strays being adopted as too many strays being produced.

Word to Integrity on the self-righteous twits who attempt to "weed out" people that DO want to consider taking in a stray.

My wife and I got told we would be "dubious prospects" because we had "unstable hours at work" - sometimes we had to shift our work hours as 24/7 (hospital, industrial) jobs sometimes demand. Saying back that we weren't Vietnamese planning on eating the critter didn't go over well.....I suspect the mutt we were looking at eventually got euthanized by the two zealous "adoptee" women's handiwork. More compassionate than the dog sitting at home fretting about his master's "instability in presence" caused by the need for making the money to keep him or her full of Alpo.
We went with a work colleague who had a litter of german short-hair pointers. Purebred, cheaper and better than a puppy mill pet shop product. Even took two out for a "test drive" and picked the one we liked best.

Several relatives have goldendoodles and like them immensely.




They are not only twits, but obnoxious twits. Adopting a human would be easier. The insanity of that 3 day period of trying to adopt a dog will stay with me for the rest of my life. Humans have lost their minds, and they probably ain't coming back.

Try to process the idea that a human has possession of tons of dogs with no home, will probably end up euthanizing the dogs, and yet trashes and breaks the balls of those trying to save the dogs, and tells them they are not qualified to adopt......a dog. I was insulted, trashed and really grasped exactly what crazy looks like.

And I was asked tons of really detailed personal questions, it was offensive.

Richard Fagin said...

+1 for the new President!! All kids need to have a dog.

Richard Fagin said...

Even us overgrown kids.

ElcubanitoKC said...

As most Obama (PBUH) supporters, at least the ones I personally know, he's lacking severely in the personal hygiene department. I'm surprised he has a dog and not a pig. It would fit better in that sty.

molly said...

Just let the poor girl get the dog that is best for her allergies, for goodness' sake. They just better not pick a standard poodle. I am dying to get one and it will become impossible if everyone wants to be just like the Obamas.

Synova said...

Hey, I agree with Cedarford and Integrity.

All three of us! Wow.

Obama really is bringing us all together. :-P

When we decided to get a dog I called the Golden rescue places and looked at the web-sites. Not only was it expensive, it was insulting. Home inspections and a list of requirements and having to be approved. The fence has to be at least this high. You *have* to have a dog door. On and on.

And then... you have to put in writing that if you can't keep the dog you CAN'T GIVE IT AWAY. You can't find it a good home with family or friends... nooooo... you have to bring it back to the rescue you got it from. (Didn't Ellen Degeneres or someone get sued for that? Giving her "rescue" dog to a close friend the dog already knew and liked?)

So...

We bought a Golden puppy when we were home visiting my folks. ($1200 in CA at the time but only $200 from a "back yard breeder" in Minnesota.)

My dad figures we needed to get a puppy. I figure that even an older dog (or particularly an older dog) would have been wonderful for us. Plus, the older dog might not have eaten the couch.

Eva said...

Hmmm... two of our three dogs were rescues. You can certainly get puppies and even purebreds that are rescue dogs. Friends of ours spent $400 a piece on two ugly and mentally deficient maltipoos. Our yorkie/chihuhua mix puppy is cuter and smarter, and cost us a $50 adoption fee. That said, some people don't view dogs as companions, but rather accessories to enhance their personal "brand". So, a rescue would never do for them. I wish they would just buy a Birkin bag instead, but, whatever.

I defy anyone to walk the halls of a shelter, look into the eyes of abandoned dogs, and insist that it doesn't matter that these dogs will be killed because "why shouldn't I have what I want? Why is this MY problem."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A dog is not just an accessory to glamorize your life or a political statement. I get really irritated with those doggie purse or doggie tummy pack type of people.

When you pick out a dog you have to try to get a breed that will fit with your lifestyle and whose personality will mesh with your personality. If Obama's kids feel comfortable with a certain breed they shouldn't be pressured to get something else to make a political point.

Yes, rescuing a dog from the pound is a good thing but it isn't for everyone. I've never had Integrity's experience in getting a dog (questions and being grilled by officious do gooders) but then, it's been a really long time since I got a dog from the pound. They were just glad to have someone interested in taking the animal.

Dogs I have owned: Black lab/shepherd mix (from the pound) The sweetest most loyal and gentle dog ever. Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Smart ... almost too smart but overly protective.

And our current, which we are going to have to find a home for a Queensland Heeler. Really sweet and smart dog who wanders off unless on a leash when we are gone, gets into mischief and will bite you when you turn your back on her. (its her herding instinct). The dog needs to have more to do, places to run and is a working dog breed who is bored out of her mind. We found a cattle and sheep rancher who loves this breed and has several others who will give her a home.....and a job!!

former law student said...

I defy anyone to walk the halls of a shelter, look into the eyes of abandoned dogs, and insist that it doesn't matter that these dogs will be killed because "why shouldn't I have what I want? Why is this MY problem."

That's why I married an older welfare mother instead of a single woman my own age -- I figured she needed me more. I got her off the crack, but she still has personality issues. The kids are cute through. It's the love we share that matters, not her looks.

Synova said...

Eva... it's not that it's not "my" problem... it's that I refuse to be treated like a sex offender seeking a job at a day care center if I want a dog.

Baron Zemo said...

It is passing strange that they will get a dog. I had always heard that Muslim's thought dogs were unclean.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"It is passing strange that they will get a dog. I had always heard that Muslim's thought dogs were unclean"

Hmmmmm.... maybe it's a double blind to trick us into thinking he's not muslim and the dog will only be seen in photo ops outside the house. (Joking here people!!!! don't get your knickers in a knot)

Eva said...

That's why I married an older welfare mother instead of a single woman my own age -- I figured she needed me more. I got her off the crack, but she still has personality issues. The kids are cute through. It's the love we share that matters, not her looks.

That's funny. Of course, your analogy only holds if you assume that people are actively breeding an overabundance of single women your age to sell to you at exorbitant prices because they're cuter and make you feel more like a man. And this overabundance causes us to exterminate welfare mothers in large numbers because, well, they're just not hot.

Of course, some people probably think that would be perfectly reasonable. I won't use any names.

Baron Zemo said...

Eva it has been so long. But I thought you did not make it out. It is so wonderful that you survived.

I too long for the days in the sun with Blondie and all our friends.

Perhaps we can visit and catch up on old times.

Where are you writing from? Argentina? Lets talk.

Eva said...

Well, I was just in Buenos Aires. But I can't figure out if you think I'm Eva Braun or Eva Peron. Both lovely blondes, I think. And I, of course, am a natural brunette. Eva Peron's grave is quite interesting. It's in a tiny little family mausoleum in the Recoleta Cemetary.

Revenant said...

Dust Bunny,

I get really irritated with those doggie purse or doggie tummy pack type of people. When you pick out a dog you have to try to get a breed that will fit with your lifestyle and whose personality will mesh with your personality.

Maybe its just me, but those little purse dogs always struck me as EXACTLY the sort of dog to fit the personality and lifestyle of its owner.

Donna B. said...

Let the Obama girls have what they want.

We've got two dogs, both of them rescues, one from the pound (we took his sister too, but she didn't survive parvo) and one from a breeder who had a male not acceptable for breeding.

God, I love these dogs, but they are SO different. We knew what we were getting from the breeder, but we had no idea from the pound - a very young puppy.

My initial quest - a boxer, 2 to 3 years old.

However, I'm an adult and quite open to not getting what I wanted. Obama's girls aren't there yet and shouldn't be expected to accept the "unknown" at this point.

They need to go with a good breeder and get the goldendoodle as a puppy because the girls will enjoy a puppy in a way they cannot enjoy an older dog.

Those girls have a rough 4 (or 8) years in front of them and they're going to need a few things to go their way. The first should be a dog of their choice.

Three Pounds of Eggwhites said...

I didn't have time to read all the comments, so I don't know if this has been brought up. I just thought I would say, that as a proud laberdoodle owner, laberdoodle's are clearly better than goldendoodles, whose barely disguised socialism will destroy America.

Janice said...

Whatever your criteria (mixed, pure, young, old) there is a homeless dog out there for you. It may take some searching on petfinder.com but it is the ethical choice to make. Encouraging breeders adds to the pet overpopulation problem and perpetuates the many health and temperament problems in the "pure" breed populations. The world is made a better place by the day to day choices so this is a huge decision. I will be severely disappointed should Obama not adopt a homeless dog. Selecting a dog is not like buying a coat. It's a living being that gives oodles of love and loyalty to the human species.
And to those who say adopting an older dog guarantees training/behavioral problems, you are wrong. I know just as many purebreed owners (bought dogs as puppies) who have temperament problems. All my dogs were found or adopted between 1 and 5 years old. They are ladies and gentlemen. I'm complimented all the time on their loving and gentle personalities. I didn't follow any "scripted" training method, just love, gentle correction and patience.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I will be severely disappointed should Obama not adopt a homeless dog. Selecting a dog is not like buying a coat

I think the issue is that it isn't YOUR choice. The girls want a dog and they want a specific kind of dog. They should be allowed to pick their own pet.

Do you want us to pick out your wardrobe for you sight unseen.

Yes, adopting an abandoned dog is admirable, but it is admirable only if it is your choice to do so.

former law student said...

Encouraging breeders adds to the pet overpopulation problem

All but a few dogs in shelters were either bred like broiler chickens by puppy mills for pet stores to sell at a profit, or are the random breeding of such or their descendants. One can equally argue that adopting such dogs from shelters encourages cruel and/or careless breeders to produce more.

Instead, people should obtain puppies and older dogs only from conscientious breeders who work for the betterment of their breed.

and perpetuates the many health and temperament problems in the "pure" breed populations.

Conscientious breeders breed for temperament first and foremost, and contribute funds to eliminate genetic health problems from their breed. By donating money for research to Cornell,the club for my favorite breed has eliminated the major health problem, which used to affect dogs around ten years of age, but now lets them live to 14 and more.

Kurt said...

Ha! Very good comment, three pounds of eggwhites!

Despite that fact, I'd agree with madisonman, dbq and revenant that the kids should decide on whatever sort of dog they want. They're going to have enough stress in their lives, for goodness sake!

Personally, I have two rescue dogs, a pure-bred Border Collie and a darling mutt who is most likely a retriever-pointer mix, though I've heard lots of different theories. They're both completely charming.

jimmie said...

please take the pound puppy. i got one when he was eight weeks old. he has been the most beautiful and loyal dog i have ever had.

happyhybridhounds said...

We choose to look at "Mutts' as having the best of all traits working together! There are fantastic hypoallergenic dogs ie: Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Cockapoos, etc, that are amazing pets, great with kids (we know, we own a Labradoodle), and are available (like all other dog breeds, mutts included) at shelters. We have a website that celebrates these awesome dogs, and have a link on our Links page that will take you directly to a shelter that specializes in the "Hybrid Mutts" Of course if the shelters are not the way President Elect Obama decides to go, we have very responsible breeder information there on the Links page as well. Congratulations to the Obama family!

Mike said...

As a very happy owner of Golden Doodle, it would be a great choice. Gandalf (mine) is incredibly sweet, smart and very well behaved.

Mberenis said...

I found this really interesting:

"Obama motivates D.C. to initiate new lower and middle class bailout"

Obama's Taxpayer Bailout

april said...

Only problem with all this is that a "goldendoodle" is NOT a breed. To be considered an established breed, any two purebred animals that are relatively good examples of that breed insofar as conforming to the breed standard, should produce more animals that also conform to the breed standard. For instance, two labrador retrievers are going to produce a litter of labrador retriever pups: we have a pretty good general idea of how big these pups will be, what they'll look like, and how they'll behave.

On the other hand a "goldendoodle" as well as any other number of "designer dogs" or basically high-priced mutts, are, well, just that. A goldendoodle is produced by breeding a golden retriever and a poodle together. There is NO predictability to these crosses; like any accidental mutt, these dogs could have any number of characteristics from either breed. There is also no guarantee they will take after the poodle in the dander, and hence allergen, category either. There were originally two breeding programs in Australia trying to breed a mix between poodles and labs, goldens, and a few others, in order to create a suitable guide dog for individuals with allergies, but after over 30 years, they finally packed it in because they had no success. And then the dogs caught on as pets. But they are MUTTS not a breed, and as such there are no guarantees.

Also, it is really ideal for pups to stay with their mom at LEAST until 9 weeks, better to wait til 12. They still have a lot of things to learn from her. Any good breeder will be working with her puppies and socializing them daily so getting a well-adjusted pup is no problem. Puppies AND adult dogs can bond with your particular family at any age, and if you don't trust your breeder to properly socialize the puppies, don't deal with that person to purchase puppies!

cayenne said...

Just as Obama will be POTUS (President of the United States), and Michelle will be FLOTUS (First Lady…), Obama's dog will officially be known as FDOTUS.COM, First Dog of the United States. No kidding!

Evan said...

You are an idiot.

Dante's mom said...

I am shocked at how many people find it completely acceptable to buy a dog from a pet store (puppymill, poorly bred dog) or to go directly to a backyard breeder and spend over $1k.

My dog is from a rescue organization and I also volunteer at a rescue that gets dogs off the streets of Mexico. Yet WE are the problem? My dog did nothing wrong to end up in a shelter about to be euthanized. Lucky for me, he was rescued at the last minute and I got to adopt him and be his mother!

He was completely housetrained and is the perfect dogs. I would never have anything but a mutt.

A goldendoodle is just a mutt, also. But they are not hypoallergenic. They are a mix b/w a poodle and golden retriever. SInce when is a golden retriever hypoallergenic? As someone who is highly allergic to dogs, i can tell you that they are NOT.

I can't believe how many people blindly support these breeding organizations and think shelter dogs are "strays" and "castoffs". I'm very sad!

Cindy said...

AS a dog groomer, I must say Laberdoodles shed!!
They do not breed true and they require allot of grooming with their curly shedding hair

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