Bad dogs.

‘Bad dog’ is such a relative term.

Arnie-man and I were in the backyard. One more potty-break for the night. Backyard at the apartment isnt enclosed all the way– its only like 85% enclosed.

Well, the Giagantic Scottie (I dunno the breed– it looks like a Scottiedog, but almost as big as a Great Dane) Arnie has been wanting to play with FOR MONTHS ran by… without his owner.

So Arnie scooted right by me, out the backyard, and started chasing Gigantic Scottie down the street.


So theyre chasing each other, Im chasing them screaming ‘ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER YOU STOP THIS INSTANT!’, and since its a beautiful night, all my neighbors were out on their porches, waiting to see what happened.

Now I knew Arnieman just wanted to play, but I didnt know Gigantic Scottie.

All my neighbors were quite certain that they were going to have front-row seats at an impromptu dog fight.

By the time I caught up with the run away pups, they had reached their destination– a nice grassy park down the road. They knew damn well where they were running and what they were doing. They were wrestling and playing and having a marvelous time.

I scolded them both. They were immensely apologetic… but wanted to get back to playing. So I grab them both by the scruff of the neck and drug them back up the street, to the applause of my neighbors. One of them “LOL! SHE CAUGHT EM! SHE CAUGHT EM! HAHAHA!” Skinny white girl dragging 200 lbs of black dog.

I was mad at Arnie for being a ‘bad dog’. He knows not to leave the yard. He knows damn well to stop when I tell him to. But they arent bad dogs– just two pups that wanted to play, and two stupid humans that never arranged a play date. Bad humans.


  1. #1 William Wallace
    May 15, 2009

    You can train dogs to not run off like that. I trained mine, using methods from books I found in the library. But I’ve never done it with a dog who I did not start training as a puppy. So maybe you need a spray or shock collar. Chasing the dog is bad, as it starts to think of it as a game.

  2. #2 Joshua Zelinsky
    May 15, 2009

    William, are you capable of saying anything remotely correct? First of all, shock collars are mean. Second, they can damage a dog’s temperament. Third, they don’t work well on older dogs.

  3. #3 William Wallace
    May 15, 2009

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. Using shock collars incorrectly can ruin a dog’s temperament, I agree. But shock collars aren’t mean. They have multiple levels of attention getting electric stimulation, and, if you don’t like them, spray collars work pretty well on many dogs.

    What is mean is letting your dog run out where it can get struck by a car.

    They do make long leashes, too, if you think spraying a mist near a dog’s muzzle is “mean”.

  4. #4 Rowan
    May 15, 2009

    I hope you and the terrier’s owner have now scheduled some play dates as the two dogs obviously would like some wrassling time together.

  5. #5 Anton Mates
    May 15, 2009

    They have multiple levels of attention getting electric stimulation, and, if you don’t like them, spray collars work pretty well on many dogs.

    Spray collars work better, actually–they have a higher success rate than shock collars. Shock collars just hurt, and dogs habituate easily to pain.

  6. #6 LKL
    May 15, 2009

    My aunt has a ‘shock’ collar for her hound, but she doesn’t use it to shock the dog; it has a ‘vibrate’ setting like a pager, and it gets the dog’s attention when there’s something *really* distracting (like a big friendly playmate) keeping her from noticing my aunt.

    It’s so hard to be officially pissed off when they’re doing something cute… one of my dogs used to literally make faces at me because he knew that if he could get me to crack a smile then I wasn’t as mad as I was pretending to be.

    So are the play-dates now arranged?

  7. #7 Anton Mates
    May 15, 2009

    (I dunno the breed– it looks like a Scottiedog, but almost as big as a Great Dane)

    Giant Schnauzer, probably. My dog loves playing with them, because they’re big, fast and strong–she can ricochet off them at 30 mph and they hold no grudge.

  8. #8 MadScientist
    May 15, 2009

    I love doggies – but I tend to pick up stray medium sized dogs. The big ones need a bit of wrestling. The description of the Big Black Dog leaves too much to the imagination. Since you mention it looks like a giant Scottie, perhaps you’re looking at an Airedale Terrier?

    Gorgeous doggie. 🙂 Can be trained for just about anything – very friendly but pretty dangerous for people it doesn’t trust.

  9. #9 MadScientist
    May 15, 2009

    Oh, another possibility is that Belgian dog … something to do with Flanders.

  10. #10 Rob W
    May 15, 2009

    My dog generally doesn’t need a leash, but I walk her on one of those extending leashes… because she has a very hard time staying by me when a cat suddenly leaps up and bolts away (she has no problem ignoring them if they stay put, actually). And we have a lot of outdoor cats in the neighborhood.

    The extending leashes are nice, because you can leave them slack all the time — i.e., call your dog when you want them to come, don’t pull, and definitely don’t let them keep tension on the line — but you always have that option of stopping them short when you actually need to (sometimes in life-threatening situations…).

  11. #11 Optimus Primate
    May 15, 2009

    Willy Wally telling someone “You don’t know what you’re talking about” is like me calling someone a long-haired honky. Srsly.

  12. #12 ERV
    May 15, 2009


    Thats what he is! Beautiful boy– super sweetheart too!

  13. #13 HalfMooner
    May 15, 2009

    My pooch, Missy, also knows the rules, and understands the gist of what I’m telling her. She almost always follows the rules I’ve established, so I rarely need a leash when walking her. (I always use one anyway whenever there is a visible danger of traffic or crowds.)

    Sometimes, when she wants very much to do something outside my human rules, she simply pretends not to hear, or not to understand my exasperated commands. She always looks most innocent when she is plotting or carrying out such deception.

    Were she capable of vocalizing English, and were she also an honest-spoken dog, she would simply tell me, “No need to raise your voice. I hear you just fine. I’m just ignoring you.”

  14. #14 Mobius
    May 15, 2009

    Giant Scottie Dog? Maybe an Irish Wolfhound???

    Anyway, I fully understand the dog-must-roam syndrome. Missydog is usually very obedient…until she gets out of the back yard without a leash. Then it becomes dog-must-roam, looking to to chase rabbits or some such. However, I know the secret…offer a ride in the car!!! Open the car door, say “Wanna ride?”, and you have large white dog in small blue car.

    Missy, btw, is 1/2 Great Pyrennes…so she is not a small dog.

  15. #15 Prometheus
    May 15, 2009

    You need to reinforce (positively) “off” “recall” and “stay” commands.

    It is not that Arnie has any bad intentions. There is no other way to guarantee that he won’t get hit by a car if he slips his leash or wolf down something that could make him sick before you can get it away from him.

    What’s with all the negative reinforcement gadgetry?

    You guys sound creepy.

  16. #16 BaldApe
    May 15, 2009

    I was going to guess “giant scottie dog” was an Irish Wolfhound. I see Mobius beat me to that one.

  17. #17 The Backpacker
    May 15, 2009

    WW must be stubborn as all hell, or training labs and retrievers. Not to say anything bad about them (my dog has the brains of a lab) but they are human centric enough to get them to do anything hell you don’t even need treats. Arnie on the other hand is going to be a little tougher. Smarter dogs are harder too my parent’s poodle will not do anything she does not want to do. The only other thing I would say is don’t use one of those extender leashes with Arnie he is big and strong and will make one of those explode in about 4 minutes.

  18. #18 LostMarbles
    May 15, 2009

    Clearly the real problem is that dogs are inferior to cats 😛

    *Waits to get stoned by the dog people*

  19. #19 GaryB, FCD
    May 15, 2009

    Did Arnie at least get the Schnauzer’s name and promise to call him the next day?

  20. #20 FastLane
    May 15, 2009

    bad hoo-mans!! Now make a play date for Arnie and his buddy.

  21. #21 Diane G.
    May 15, 2009

    Before Giant Schnauzer was suggested, I was going to suggest Bouvier des Flandres:

    ( )

    But GS is probably a better guess.

  22. #22 Cath@VWXYNot?
    May 15, 2009

    Giant Schnauzers are exceptionally awesome dogs. My sis-in-law has one, and another friend has two which she occasionally breeds. Great temperaments and they look so handsome!

  23. #23 MadScientist
    May 16, 2009

    @LostMarbles: I had a cat once and he was great for a cat; the biggest problem was that he wasn’t a dog.

  24. #24 Bob O'H
    May 16, 2009

    Oh damn, no update on the play date yet. I think we readers will be wanting photos too.

    Oh, and what LostMarbles wrote.

  25. #25 Crudely Wrott
    May 16, 2009

    If you really want to be fair to a dog you will spend a majority of your time together, not just walk time and play time and now be quiet time.

    A dog’s first instinct is to understand 1) what are we going to do now? and 2) who is the boss?

    To satisfy this need a person must be available most of the time to 1) show what is going on and 2) to be the alpha, the boss. This establishes the activity and the chain of command. It is so very sad that most people fail miserably at simply recognizing that a dog needs leadership and is ready to follow.

    Depriving a dog of companionship and direction will invariably lead to the dog either ignoring their human or assuming the alpha role right in the face of the human.

    Time, patience, companionship and authority are the very first requirements of “owning” a dog.

    My father used border collies to assist in his cattle business. He brooked no foolishness from his dogs, showing them again and again what was acceptable and what was not. His treatment of them used to seem to me, as a child, to be mean. Until I learned the kind of monster that can develop out of a puppy that is treasured for merely being cute and loveable and indulged/ignored because of it. My father’s dogs were, without exception, happy, hard working, affable and kind. Oh, and remarkably obedient.

    And I seem to recall how they seemed to be always grinning up at us.

    Please, if you choose to have the pleasure of canine affection and partnership be prepared to invest the time and effort required. Your dog should accompany you whenever and wherever possible. Depriving a dog of a stimulating life, regular and reliable company and consistent direction is the chief cause of dog pounds.

    Dogs are not ornamental accouterments or status symbols (unless the human is shallow and vain).

    Hey, how ’bout them doggone dogs, anyway? We love them and they us. Isn’t that worthy of cultivating a relationship beyond owner and pet?

  26. #26 Crudely Wrott
    May 16, 2009

    MadScientist, I once had a cat that I raised and treated as a dog. Of course, he would have nothing to do with that, but he would come, sit, lie down, roll over, jump on and off my lap and get ready for things like chow or a good brushing all on voice command. OK, voice request. But still, it was quite a deal. That little dude had it down!

    As in the case of keeping a dog, this took lots of time and consistency. It always struck me that his willingness and enthusiasm were in direct proportion.

    *Louis Kidden. ‘At’s juan gooboy. RIP, little pardener.*

  27. #27 Max
    May 16, 2009

    This is actually a picture of what my ex went through. Except that I didn’t have a collar to grab.

  28. #28 Paul Lundgren
    May 16, 2009

    Abbie, you’re a skinny little girl hauling 200 pounds of dog by the scruff; I’m 6-3 and 300+ and I have a 12-pound cat sitting in my lap as I type this. Talk about opposites.

    Oh, and one more thing–Wallace, is there ANYTHING about which you’re not the world’s foremost expert? Besides accurately assessing your proper worth to humanity, I mean?

  29. #29 eddie
    May 16, 2009

    Max – “…what my ex went through.”
    What? S/he (or you) had to go potty in the yard?

  30. #30 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 17, 2009

    My new lab from the resuce is in all other realms a great dog. But if we are walking him and another dog runs up, it’s time to show off his leash snapping and vocal cord stretching abilities.

    I blame the assholes who owned him before and made him into the stray that got picked up so we could adopt him

    oh, no i don’t.

  31. #31 Katkinkate
    May 17, 2009

    Sorry to be pedantic, but this is a personal bugbear. The past tense of drag is dragged, not ‘drug’! To drug is to medicate. You dragged the dog up the street. No drugs were involved. Apart from that, nice story.

  32. #32 Anton Mates
    May 17, 2009

    The past tense of drag is dragged, not ‘drug’!

    Nah, “dragged out in the street and shot” doesn’t sound nearly as good.

  33. #33 Katkinkate
    May 17, 2009

    Well, actually “dragged out into the street and shot” would be more correct. Or alternatively, “drugged up to the eyeballs in the street and shot” could also be correct, depending on what you are trying to say.

  34. #34 John Scanlon FCD
    May 18, 2009

    There are places where ‘drug’ simply is the past tense of ‘drag’, denying it won’t change a thing. There are also times (the past) where many other now regularised verbs were irregular or ‘strong’ in English. Look at German (ziehengezogen) where the umlaut is still very common. Evolution isn’t just for viruses.

  35. #35 Katkinkate
    May 18, 2009

    John, only where people don’t know how to speak/write english properly.

  36. #36 TomJoe
    May 19, 2009

    William, are you capable of saying anything remotely correct?

    Actually Joshua, William was correct. No need to continue the mob attacks on him, it just makes you look foolish. Chasing a dog will, in 99% of cases, make then continue to run away. Yelling also does not help because it is typically a voice the dog is not conditioned to respond to. As counter intuitive as it may seem, one needs to call an escaped dog with as low and calm a voice as possible. And if you’re going to run, run in the opposite direction. The dog may just turn around and chase you back into the yard/house because he thinks you’re now playing a game with him.

  37. #37 eddie
    May 19, 2009

    Some people just prefer kittens. Some are inspired by kittens.

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