The Dangerballs Guide To Animal Mastery

12/14/2011 · 119 comments

in Dangerballs, Psychological Warfare

I once thought that caring for a dog was not unlike caring for a child, and similar training methods could be used to tame them. “I’ve taught kids before,” I thought, “surely I can handle a 7-pound rescue mutt.”

And you know what? I was RIGHT.


At Least No One Can Steal You

Dog Crates are the windowless vans of the canine world, and should yield equal, if not greater, distrust. That’s why I make sure my dog will resist going into her kennel at all costs. In fact, just to keep things fresh, we really enjoy running new scenarios about kennel resistance every day, including:

  • Just stand your gangly-ass legs straight out and howl like you have pancreatic cancer
  • If that doesn’t work, you can spread your back legs wider than your front ones, so then I at least can’t close the door
  • Hide your tiny ass under the futon, because my hands can’t fit under there
  • Run like a goddamn asshole around the entire apartment, making sure to wag your tail the entire time. It’s important that I know you’re having fun
  • Go eat some Chapstick, and in my fit of chapped and dry disappointment, I’ll forget to box your tiny ass up
There’ll be no dog-nappings around here.

The World Is Your Toy Box

Just like an impetuous toddler, dogs are amazing at showing the world how creative and fun they are, and I want to encourage that at every turn. In fact, feel free to allow the use of any of my things as a personal playground if your ludicrously plentiful box of toys proves too tedious.

I especially love it when my dog uses my:

  • Socks
  • Clothespins
  • DVD’s
  • Chapstick (that shit is PRICEY. Please, help me rid myself of it)
  • Mentholatum
  • Tortillas
  • Ornaments (The mirrorball ornament you disassembled feels spectacular in the rug, by the way)
  • Menorah candles (super fun if you toss them up in the air! L’CHAIM, FUCKAS.)

Continue to pull things to play with out of anywhere you see fit, at any time whatsoever. I never really wanted my TV cords anyway. You’re just doing me a fucking favor.

Trespassers Better CHECK THEMSELVES

In this day and age, any motherfucker could just walk in off the street and walk down the hallway to his own home and possibly put his key in the lock and go inside, and I must be warned of anytime this is about to occur. It is of the utmost importance that you bark at even the most inane of noises so that I have time to be overly exasperated.

Please warn me, loudly and incessantly, under these circumstances:

  • When the heater is thinking about turning on, but hasn’t quite gone about it yet
  • When I sneeze
  • When I breathe a little more loudly than normal
  • When the sheets rustle after Adrian farts
  • When I am wearing a bra
  • When you would prefer to play with your mouse, even though you brought me your rope
  • When I’m too slow to throw your ball, you coked-out fetch-fiend
  • When a man enters the building on the 1st floor, because living on the 33rd floor does not provide enough warning
  • When there is oxygen present in the room

All of these instances are terrifying, and you never know quite when they’ll occur, dog, so keep up the good work and bark like you’re a motherfucking hyena every chance you get. I really appreciate it.

Dangerballs is the fucking best at this. I want to slap Cesar Millan in the face with my mighty dick of animal husbandry knowledge.

This face makes up for all of that.

Is dog training pretty much the same as kid training? Ever used some questionable kid training tactics? Have any helpful hints about dog training? (I just started using the coke can/pennies thing for barking, and it’s curbing it somewhat).

Favorite Comment From The Last Post:
From Jillian @ Brilliant Title: “I do not believe anyone has said anything about drinking. When my roommates and I would study for finals, we kept a list of “Shit We Said While Studying for Finals,” including “Kids in Africa have glue?” and “You should Neti-pot with tequila!” Then we would drink a lot of wine and eat Puffy Cheetos, the greatest synthetic food ever created.”
Also, I finally have my DisneyWorld pictures posted–you can check them out here and make fun of how shitty my hair looks in all of them.


Leslie F December 14, 2011 at 2:09 am

I believe that I did almost get to the point of lightly tapping my kiddo with a rolled up newsletter when he was late potty training, but that is more of a personal choice than a training tip. As you can see from the website link, I’ve been trying to train the Cylon arm of the largest tech company in the world not to call me a whore. Siri also refuses to learn manners. This has very little to do with your situation, but frustration about this petition is making me self centered.

Always correct the dog while standing up to establish dominance.

Noa December 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Wait…Cylons are calling you a whore?!?

Mandi E. December 14, 2011 at 6:39 am

I am of a mind that any sort of training, being kids, pets, millionaire CEOs, etc., should be done with a supersoaker and gleefully cackling.

I have yet to be proven wrong.
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Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes) December 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

We had a cat named Indigo who derived immense pleasure from swinging around the room like Tarzan on my curtains. We tried the squirt gun thing on her and as I aimed it in her face and hosed her down, she tried to drink the water.

Then she’d sit there, soaked to the skin, and stare me down.

In my next life, I want to be her.
Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes) recently posted..Mutant Germ Children and Other Disasters

Noa December 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Your cat sounds like the best cat ever.

Noa December 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm

My dog thought the water was a toy. She’s sometimes smart, and sometimes terrifically dumb.

Mayor Gia December 14, 2011 at 6:51 am

Hahahaha I love dogs AND cats, but I’m leaning towards one day getting a cat, for all of those above reasons. Dogs are like drunk toddlers- adorable but disastrous. Cats are more like bitchy teenagers, who will throw up in your shoe if you piss them off.
Mayor Gia recently posted..Lessons from My Eye Doctor

Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes) December 14, 2011 at 11:44 am

Or jump up on your mantle and knock your Waterford crystal vase to the ground, then hock up a hairball in the spot it was sitting as it shatters on the floor.

Cats are so totally not my thing.
Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes) recently posted..Mutant Germ Children and Other Disasters

Noa December 23, 2011 at 12:55 am

@Gia: My cat is JUST as much of an asshole as my dog is. Hilariously, today I spilled some Pledge on the floor, and now my cats are sliding around like dicks. I highly recommend.

@Danielle: Agreed.

Barbara December 14, 2011 at 6:52 am

I am a fan of the shock collar. It works really well on the dogs and pretty good on the kids too. Of course I had to stop using it on the kids because my social worker friend though CPS might not think “the tingly necklace” was funny.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

Adrian is wholeheartedly against the shock collar. I wholeheartedly want to kick his ass for that.

Hoody Hoo December 14, 2011 at 6:59 am

I dunno about kid-training (you’re not supposed to slap them, right?), but DSM had quite a lot of success with the water-bottle-as-deterrent on Hoody’s Horde. Of course, the kittehs still don’t listen to ME, but they’re scared the fuck outta Grandma!
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Jen December 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Wait. . .what? You’re NOT supposed to slap them?. . .fuck. . .
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 12:57 am

@Hoody: I’m scared of DSM. She’s never even shot me with water.

@Jen: No one told my ma.

Beth December 14, 2011 at 7:22 am

I am with Hoody – we use a water bottle and shoot the shit out of them when they start barking for no reason (must be a WV thing). Our dogs are “show-ers” so they walk around all proud and stuck up thinking they are better than everyone else because their balloon knots are exposed. My husband and I take full advantage of this and turn it into a game with the water bottle. If they are acting like grade A assholes we shoot for the hole! Check out my website…I took pictures for our Christmas card.
Beth recently posted..Christmas cards

Hoody Hoo December 15, 2011 at 6:21 am

That’s it, that bottle’s going from “spray” to “stream” RIGHT. THE FUCK. NOW.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 12:58 am

@Beth: “Shooting for the hole” is possibly the funniest phrase ever.

@Hoody: Oh God. You mean for your dogs and not Chuckweasel?

asplenia December 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

Dogs will whore themselves out for food & you can use this to your advantage in training. Start feeding the dog in the crate without closing the door just so he gets used to the space not just being a prison. THEN when you do put him in, use one of those red rubber Kong things, stuff it full of treats, top off with a lil’ peanut butter and give it to him right as he goes in so he’ll have a good 15 minutes to gnaw away before he starts noticing he’s lonely. See if that helps! If he’s not interested in the treats, either he’s not hungry or what’s in there isn’t appealing (think if someone gave you a tub of broccoli and locked you in your room, different story with cupcakes, right? haha). Good luck! He’s adorable! (Or she?)
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 12:59 am

She is a SUCKER for denta-bones. Who knew? They’re like crack to her. If I offer a denta-bone, that bitch will calm right the fuck down.

Mrs. MidAtlantic December 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

Does gin on the gums work for puppies like it does for babies?
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:00 am

Rum does.

Johi December 14, 2011 at 7:55 am

Horse, dog, kid training; gardening, cooking, sex…. I use the same approach to everything: trial and error, baby. Trial and error.
This was one of my favorite posts ever. And now I will lovingly scatter it around the Internet like motherfucking confetti that passive aggressive people put into cards that they send you.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:01 am

I fucking love you Johi.

I sometimes think, in random spurts throughout my week, about how awesome your name is. And then I realize I’m a stalker.

Shannon December 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

Well, my little rescue dog Scruffer-Duffers is a huge fan of chewing on every-God-Damn-thing that it is in my house because, you know, it’s his now. He’s been here since March, and since he’s not a huge fan of peeing on shit I own (only on my washer and dryer, but he doesn’t think that particularly counts) The little fucker decides that eating every single pair of shoes I’ve owned will suffice…


I swear that’s what his little doggy barks say when he stairs out my bedroom window and barks at the tree. I’ve been liberated down to three bras (two of which have been recently purchased) one pair of flip flops that hide in the bottom of a bin he can’t dig through, and the only thing the little bastard is afraid of is my cell phone. No rhyme or reason to that, but when he decides it’s time to chew on our faces at night, I whip out the cellular and he runs like a mother fucker.

I think my dog time-traveled from the ’60’s and thinks it’s his job to liberate me and WHAT THE HELL IS THAT EVIL BRICK DEVICE YOU HAVE IN YOUR HAND! NOOOOOOOOO!

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:01 am

My dog is mysteriously afraid of my water bottle. It’s just pink and large.

Oh God.

The implications of what I have just said to you are horrifying.

Heather Rose December 14, 2011 at 8:08 am

We tried the spray bottle of water with our Jack Russell, but the damned dog loved it. Once she figured out she could bite the water spray, it was all over. From there, she moved on to attacking the bathtub/shower, the garden hose, and rain. “Oh no, sir, my dog isnt snapping at you. She’s just a fucking moron.”
My current dog is a hamster – at least people dont judge you for not being able to train those things, because they’re just rodents.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:02 am

My dog shows “interest” in another dog by freaking the fuck out. She looks like a tiny terror, and really, she’d just love to play.

I have a bully dog.

LKat December 14, 2011 at 8:14 am

My little dog will eat ANYTHING. Three cloves of garlic that I dropped on the floor? GONE in 2.4 seconds. She was my personal anti-vampire kit for a whole week. She has climbed into five gallon pails and gotten stuck, but doesn’t care, because there was food at the bottom (don’t ask why I choose five gallon pails to store food instead of, say, much more conveniently-sized tupperware). Two Christmases in a row she ate EVERY single appetizer and cookie that was sitting out and really pissed my mom off (I thought the powered sugar covering her face made up for it). But don’t worry! I found a way to prevent this. And it’s cheap. Birthday candles. If I stick a lit birthday candle in food, she won’t touch it. Apparently she is terrified of fire. For Thanksgiving, every app had a candle: the cheese ball, shrimp cocktail, the veggie tray: all sporting candles. It’s the best way.
LKat recently posted..Mother knows best I guess…..

Norway December 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

My cat (who thinks he’s a dog) is much the same. He’ll eat anything and he goes crazy for ham, no matter what it’s on. The exception is pepperoni (which in my book at least is second only to bacon). Whenever I make anything with pepperoni he’ll come over and beg as per usual, but if I ever give him any he simply sniffs, remembers he doesn’t like it, and leaves it to die on the floor. Since I consider this a waste of the most amazing topping since it became acceptable to put M&M’s on pizza and call it dessert, I’ve stopped giving him any and just remind him that “You won’t eat it anyway.” He simply gives me a hurt look and proceeds to attempt to eat my toes.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:04 am

@LKat: Adrian’s old dog Tiny was like that. He once ate a whole goddamn brisket, and he was a fucking rat terrier. Tiny bastard ate it all. Shitheaded dogs. I wished we’d have known about the birthday candle thing. It’s super festive and effective!

@Norway: I love that his acceptable substitute is your toes.

Amelia December 14, 2011 at 8:18 am

My neighbors own a dog such as yours. The incessant barking has turned my soul black and twisted, and filled my search history with poison recipes.

Kelly December 14, 2011 at 8:25 am

Amelia, you’re fucked. Unless you quick change your name to Casey Anthony.

Oh shit. Internal monologue broken. Again.
Kelly recently posted..I need my mom to make me grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:05 am

@Amelia: I’ve been working so hard to curtail the barking. I hate it, so I can’t imagine how much my neighbors hate it…

@Kelly: HAH. Wait…

Kelly December 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

We got a mastiff puppy two weeks ago, and I just use my powers of shame to get him to do what I need him to, like pee after you go outside instead of when you come in from being outside. I might be a little too good at this, I’m pretty sure he was cutting himself in the bathroom this morning. :/
Kelly recently posted..I need my mom to make me grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:06 am

You’ve seen “Dissing your Dog” right?

Bananaride December 14, 2011 at 8:32 am

I know this is probably not at all what you want to hear, but the whole puppy thing is the main problem. Once they get out of that asshole puppy stage it gets better, it really does. I almost strangled my dog to death trying to walk his retarded ass on a leash and I will admit to leaving him and my boyfriend screaming, “Fuck you and that demon shit-hound! I’m out!” before bailing on them both to head to my local bar on several occassions. One thing that made our dog chill the fuck out in his kennel was this:

No lie. As long as that pillow was beating, he was cool with being in the kennel. After he ate the pillow, we put the noisebox on top of the kennel, because it still beat and he still needed it. Once it died, he was kennel trained and would choose to go into the kennel at night to sleep on his own.

OH! And you probably want to put her kennel into your bedroom. We tried putting Mouse’s kennel in the living room LIKE FOOLS and we didn’t sleep for a week.

blondie December 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Totally right. Once you get past puppyhood, it should be much better. There was a time in my puppy’s hood when he was most commonly known as “Stink Poop Pee.” And not in a loving voice either. And the things he chewed. You don’t even want to know. Now, he’s old and senile, and I wish time was slower.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:07 am

@Banana: She’s about a year old–she’s a rescue, and she had a home before she went to the shelter. Problem is, she was raised in that home to bark at any noise, but now we have to train that out. I wish puppy was her only problem!

@Blondie: Awwww…excuse me while I snuggle with my dog for a minute now.

Ach du Lieber December 14, 2011 at 8:50 am

You’ve got one of those dogs. Just like my Him’s little ‘darling’ (Jack Russell/Yorkie mix).

Runs around and barks like a rabid banshee on meth in the apartment when she senses the neighbors turning their stove on, but refuses to leave the doormat at the back door to ‘do her biznez’ outside cause it’s really, really big and scary out there.

They’re freaks. We’re both screwed.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:08 am

My dog has now started to “hide from the penny can” which is working out SO WELL for her because it’s necessitating me taking a few seconds to find her to shake it, so she has and extra few seconds to bark.

Smart ass dog.

Grace December 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

Oh dear, I’m concerned for that dog. Please call me.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:10 am

My dog is fucking awesome.

Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd December 14, 2011 at 9:08 am

If all of your remote controls are currently still safe, then be proactive and keep that shit locked up when not in use. It must be something about all the hand oils that end up on it – dogs love remote controls. You can buy bitter apple spray that makes things taste bad, but unless you want to ruin your cds and suffer yourself with the Chapstick, don’t use it on those.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:11 am

She’s not a chewer–yet. I’m sure that day is coming.

Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes) December 14, 2011 at 9:55 am

I am a master at dog training. My dogs are rock stars, yo. My little pomeranian barks like his ass is on fire every morning when the alarm goes off, and then every seven minutes after when Dan slaps the shit out of the snooze button. I have encouraged this amazing behavior by hauling my tired ass out of bed as soon as I get sick of the barking and give him a treat.

It works like a charm.

I’m pretty sure that the barking has nothing to do with the fact that he gets a treat every morning after yapping his fluffy butt off to the sound of the beeping alarm.

As far as questionable kid training, this is how my European Grammy trained me to drink: I was a sickly child and constantly had a horrible cough and raging sore throats. When I was at home, I received the usual remedies: antibiotics, cough syrup, blah blah blah. My Grammy knew for a FACT that those remedies were BULLSHIT so when I stayed with HER, she would force me to chug brandy, hot toddies, snifters of cognac, and goblets of red wine. After I finished allll of my liquor, I would get a cookie. If I cried but drank it anyway, I got TWO cookies. On special occasions, after I chugged my brandy and ate my cookies, I was rewarded with a shot of Amaretto or Creme de Menthe.

I am now the Queen of Drinking My Cocktail All Gone, even without the added bonus of a cookie.

You rock, Grammy.
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Leslie @ The tale of going natural December 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Will Grammy adopt me?
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:12 am

@Danielle: Holy SHIT your Grammy is awesome. Also, she may have had a bit of a problem. BUT STILL.

@Leslie: You always beat me to this shit.

Beth December 14, 2011 at 9:58 am

We have three fur bastards and once one starts barking the others add their two cents. Barney, who we are pretty sure is criminally insane, has full blown panic attacks when dogs walk in front of our house so to get him out of his “red zone” (fucking Cesar Millan) we shoot him with the water bottle. Shooting him with the water bottle worked for a short time until it didn’t. My husband would go all gangster on him, but then I ended up having to dry off a wet dog in the middle of a panic attack. Now we resort to shooting him in his little balloon knot when we have to call him down. I like to think of myself as a sniper now. All three of our dogs are “show-ers.” Walking around with their assholes all exposed, thinking they are better than everyone else (take a look at my blog; it’s our Christmas card this year). I fully use this to my advantage when I have to regulate. I just take aim…and FIRE. A direct hit to the starfish will stop the barking. Give it a try!
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Beth December 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Apparently I had a stroke in the middle of the day and posted twice. Fucking technology.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:13 am

@Beth: It marked you as spam–twice, actually. Sorry about that…

Beth December 23, 2011 at 7:20 am

Nice, I am spam and a pest…been called worse :)

Jen December 14, 2011 at 10:14 am

Best thing I ever did was crate-train my short people. Now if I could just teach them to keep their skull-bedazzled coats on while barking at the heater I’d be golden.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:14 am

Did I tell you I have to buy my dog boots now? She won’t pee outside if her feet have to get wet.


Dana the Biped December 14, 2011 at 10:38 am

Lots and lots and lots of socialization. The more weird situations you put her into, the better. In about eight years, she’ll have learned the great skill of “meh, whatever.” My dad always said by the time you have a good dog, it’s half-dead.

On a maybe actually helpful note, this site has a lot of great articles on training.

Also, obedience class makes a world of difference.
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Leslie @ The tale of going natural December 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm

My dog failed puppy kindergarten.
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Dana the Biped December 15, 2011 at 8:50 am

Bah, dogs can’t fail if the trainers are any good. I’ve got my two year old pom mix in remedial classes because she’s funny in the head–helps a lot, though!
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Dana the Biped December 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

But you’re on the right track: Cute pics go a long way.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:16 am

@Dana: Thank you! We are lucky to have 2 dog parks very close by–we’ll be visiting those very soon.

@Leslie: So did my sister’s dog. And she’s fucking brilliant.

Andi December 14, 2011 at 11:00 am

I think I actually train my cats and my kids the same way. A lot of yelling, a lot of “NO NO NO NO,” and a considerable amount of, “Do you know why I’m unhappy with you? Here’s what you do to avoid Mommy going crazy next time.”

To be fair, the cats still put their asses in my face but the kids have finally stopped. So maybe the technique works better on kids.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:17 am

And that’s why I don’t have kids.

Ninja Mom December 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

The damn barking. I like to sprinkle the pups with a blast from the kitchen sink sprayer. That’s right, dogs, magic shut up rain!
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:17 am

My dog thought it was actually magical, and required a barking notification of magical happenings.

Maggie December 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

I actually have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard! Thank you!

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:17 am

Thank YOU!

Petite Heretic December 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

You forgot:

Protect me against early onset alzheimer’s:

by peeing on the bed, on the floor, on the area rugs and shower mats. Peeing on the mats provides a scent that will NEVER BE REMOVED no matter how hard anyone or any product tries. Therefore, if it smells like your urine, and let’s face it – who could forget _that_ smell, I know that it’s mine.

by chewing on anything I own such as shoes, handbags, walls, tables and other assorted pieces of furniture. I’m sure never to forget your teeth marks as my hands bear their replica (in the form of a scar) from that time I tried to throw your ball but you decided I was too slow so you stole it back along with the fleshy part of my hand between thumb and index finger with your razor sharp teeth.

by rubbing against and thereby depositing hair/fur on anything else I possess. How could I ever not be led home by the cloud-trail of dog hair behind me?
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:18 am

@Petite: I don’t know what I would do with myself if my clothes weren’t covered in a hair of some kind. I might actually feel naked.

Jillian @ Brilliant Title December 14, 2011 at 11:08 am

Thanks, Noa!

I’m a big believer in training puppies and babies at the same time. We babysat a friend’s daughter a few days ago, and my dog went almost apoplextic with jealousy. The dog is not really a puppy, but he does believe that the ghosts of squirrels are just as dangerous as the corporeal forms. The baby is very much a baby, and her greatest joy is giggling. Now, if I could get the baby to become a ghost-hunter and the dog to perfect his giggle, we could get a special on TLC…
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Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes) December 14, 2011 at 11:48 am

Actually, to get a show on TLC you would need at least 7 more babies, or a couple of midgets.
Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes) recently posted..Mutant Germ Children and Other Disasters

Leslie @ The tale of going natural December 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Two more wives and a muslem cat as well.
Leslie @ The tale of going natural recently posted..Oh, that turkey did a number on me.

Jillian @ Brilliant Title December 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Do I get the wives? Because lesbian sister wives hasn’t been done yet, so I could totally capitalize on that one…
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Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes) December 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

OMG Jillian… that would be freaking BRILLIANT. Muslim Lesbian Sister Wives who adopt 17 midget ghost hunting babies and raise them with their dogs…

I would totally watch that.
Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes) recently posted..Mutant Germ Children and Other Disasters

Jillian @ Brilliant Title December 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm

The world is in for a wonderous surprise when My Big Little Supernatural Muslim Lesbian Family premieres.
Jillian @ Brilliant Title recently posted..A Revised Christmas Story

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:20 am

@Jillian: I want to thank you for starting this most wondrous of comment threads that has kept me entertained for so many days.

@Danielle: They all need sparklers.

@Leslie: My cats celebrate Ramadan. I just found out today.

Courtenay December 14, 2011 at 11:51 am

It sounds like your dog is a bit worried.. I know the post is all in fun,but if you want some help, send me an email and we can cchat about working through it. The trouble with startle (penny can) is that it will only ever work when you’re around.. And I find the penny noise more obnoxious than the barking!!!

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:22 am

I really appreciate your help. To be fair, all of the behavior I have described above has been sparse and most often a one-off incident that I expect from a dog who hasn’t lived with us for very long. She’s getting along better and better the longer she lives with us. Before she went to the shelter, she had a family, so it’s been several rough transitions in a row. However, should she continue, I may hit you up!

Courtenay December 23, 2011 at 1:23 am

Hey, I’ve got a foster right now who has eaten through 4 of my crates (yes. really.) He’s finally starting to think about settling in… :) Do let me know, any time!
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Noa December 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I really appreciate the offer. She is doing a LOT better week by week, and we almost have the barking done with (next step, calm the fuck down outside). This week, however, she’s staying with Adrian’s parents who have completely negated all training we’ve ever used for her.

Noa: “She needs to stay in her kennel at night or she’ll have accidents.”
MIL: The next day. “We kept her in the the utility room last night and she peed and howled all night.”

Noa: “Shake the can if she barks. She will stop.”
MIL: “Her barking is fine.”
Noa: “No, it’s not. It’s not allowed.”
MIL: “Yes it is.”


Courtenay December 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm

And therein lies the problem with trying to punish a behaviour… Consistency is totally necessary.
I hope she hasn’t now learned that one out of every 1500 barks will be allowed, so you best just keep barking once in a while to try it out! Learning theory is evil that way.
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Jaime December 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

sounds like you’re having tons of fun with your dog…. I don’t really have any helpful suggestions as my house is pretty much run by my 2 cats and ferret. It’s like I live in their house.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:22 am

Her adorable face saves her from SO MUCH.

Becca December 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I kid you not I have used the following method on both my dogs and kids. Spray Bottle. Fill with a little water, squirt at arm (for child) or hind quarters (for dog) to stop the behavior that has you thinking about committing homicide. Be consistent and be fast (gotta catch the kidlets and the animals in the act)! Usually by the third squirt they start to get the picture. I got it to the point where all I have to do now is just bring out the bottle, no squirting required for both animals and kids to stop screwing around…

Beth December 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

You can spray kids too? Is it acceptable to put them in crates as well? I might have kids now just to soak them when they act like assholes.
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Jen December 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Sure, they’re called playpens.

Beth December 15, 2011 at 8:05 am

You think Pinterest has any ideas on how to dress up a dog crate to use it as a playpen? I will take that challenge.
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Becca December 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Note– spray does not equal soak… just like a light spritz… And yes playpens are crates for kids, until they learn how to climb out the top. Then you’re fucked.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:23 am

@Becca: I love you so much for this. I can’t wait to hose down my kids for being assholes.

@Beth: That’s what cribs are, yo!

@Jen: Well, fuck. You beat me.

Riann December 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm

My damned terrier barks if I think too loud. Or when my cat yawns.

Damn dog.

Of course, I am sure she is also capable of reading, so now that Dangerballs has given her ideas…well, fucking thanks for that Noa!
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:23 am

I hope you’re having a rad time with all the new fun skills your dog has learned.

Ally December 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I am no help to you. My dogs are dicks.

Actually, if you are in the market for new dogs, you can have mine.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:24 am

Ohhhh….about that. Um. No.

Charile Dubs December 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Just wait until he thinks you really want to sit on hold with Animal Poison Control to find out if A&D ointment will damage his little puppy organs. In case you were wondering, it won’t, but it certainly speeds up pooping.

P.S. I almost had hummus come out my nose as I read this.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:24 am

Hummus is gross, yo. Gross.

Also, I imagine that call was all kinds of adorable. Hats off.

Jackie G December 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm

For whatever reason, I have a raging dick of a cat named Harlow who has decided her favorite passtime is to fuck up everything I hold dear.

This bitch lays around all day long while I’m at school.. second I come home, she’s fucking scaling the blinds, chewing through HDMI cables, and meowing while making direct eye contact over my laptop screen repeatedly.

Of course the vet says some pussy bullshit about separation anxiety, I call it being an asshole. Spray bottle is just THE BEST. She hates it. I can just pick up the bottle, and she runs away, probably under the bed so she can finish chewing the hole she started in my box spring.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:25 am

Okay, is it pastime or pass-time? They both seem right to me now. Damnit.

My beagle had separation anxiety. He chose to ransack my trash each and every day, no matter where I hid it. Eventually I gave up hiding it because I assumed he was punishing me.

Brenda L.W. December 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Y’all are doing it ALL wrong!! When we first got our dane/pit mix, he barked at everything. I tried the shake can and putting him in his crate with a blanket over it and used water in the spray bottle. Finally I put vinegar in the spray bottle.
Now he only barks in emergencies. Just don’t spray your little darlings in the eyes please.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:26 am

Fucking. Brilliant.

Miss Sassy Pants December 15, 2011 at 3:49 am

I wish I had a dog to eat all extra chapstick that I don’t lose in the depths of my purse. Just to make sure I had extra-chapped lips.

Instead all I have a beta fish named Tequila. Sometimes he swims extra fast around his bowel when I forget to feed him, but hardly ever.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:26 am

I imagine your fish in your intestines now, and it makes me smile.

iampisspot December 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

My cat is a complete fucking crack-pot – I often wonder if this is testament to my dubious mothering skills.

I should probably bow out of bringing a real human into the world, well, unless I want one that goes on regular hunger strikes, attacks my legs for no reason whatsoever, spits and hisses at guests, and prowls round my apartment like it fucking owns the place – because that’s exactly what my cat does, the bastard.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:27 am

My sister’s cat goes on hunger strikes frequently, but seeing as how it develops food allergies at the drop of the hat, I can’t blame her.

Each time she gets a new allergy, she loses all her hair. It will never stop being funny.

Sarah December 15, 2011 at 11:22 am

Please feel comforted by the fact that you do not currently possess a 65 pound rescue mutt that thinks your loveseat is a chew toy. She literally chewed through it. CHEWED. THROUGH. IT.

Thank God she’s pretty because she’s not smart.
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Dana the Biped December 15, 2011 at 11:46 am

My sister’s dogs ate a door. A solid, wood one. In one afternoon.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:28 am

@Sarah: 7 pounds is SO MUCH easier. You’re a tough lady.

@Dana: Was it a bassett hound?

Jess December 15, 2011 at 11:45 am

I had the dog growing up that would notify the whole neighborhood if my dad wore a tie, or if the phone rang on TV. My dog now will dance around and bark at a toy, and dig at the recycle bin. Training on barking is hard, they sort of grow out of it in some ways. But I do like the squirt bottle idea…

As for crate training, feeding the dog small handfuls while they’re in the crate is a way to start. In addition, having “bedtime” be in the crate is key. Trick is that you have to be prepared for the whining, and to ignore it. Both of these combined make the dog think that the crate is a safe place, not a place of punishment. But you can’t put the dog to bed in the crate and then peace out for the night…that ends poorly.

Puppies teach owners how to become instant OCD in cleaning up their shit. Papers left around become confetti, and those new $80 shoes you bought for that party next week are my favorite tug-of-war toy! If your dog can’t jump up onto the kitchen table or countertop, put stuff up there. Oh and make sure to tuck the chairs under the table. My family and I came home at various times to find our dog standing on the table licking the plates clean. Happy Training!

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:29 am

@Jess: She’s so much better about the crate suddenly, as if she’s accepted her fate. She’ll occasionally just straighten her legs, but she’s stopped crying. I got fucking lucky.

toni December 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm

In reference to the dog training– have you ever watched Victoria Stillwell’s show called “It’s Me or the Dog” on Animal Planet? She uses a very kind approach that allows for the owner to establish a trusting relationship with the dog. Cesar Millan’s way of training is more of a dominance/fearful thing. He trains dogs to do something because they’re scared to do otherwise. Victoria teaches dogs to do something because they enjoy doing it.
I worked as a trainer for quite some time and I found the best way to crate train a dog is just by putting things he loves in it and start that training when the door is open. When you’re home, put a toy filled with peanut butter in there, entice him in, and leave the door open so he can freely come and go. When he’s not so fearful of it, try closing it a little bit, a little bit more, and finally, closed all the way. But he definitely needs to be comfortable in there before you start shutting the door on him. Otherwise he’ll look at it as just a cage instead of a comfortable home.
As for the barking– that’s a tough one. I had a bark-er, and the best way for me was to teach her to bark, and then teach her to be quiet. So when she was barking, the second she quieted down, I rewarded her for it. Then I eventually put a cue to it (I said “shh!”) and eventually she associated being quiet with “shh!” and a treat. Dogs will be more reliable with behaviors (i.e. shutting up) when they’re rewarded for it rather than scolded for not doing it.

I hope this helps. Definitely check out “It’s More or the Dog” on Animal Planet. It’s much better and more reliable training that Cesar Millan. Cesar really doesn’t have a very good reputation inside of the pet industry because his training methodology is not very ideal. Good luck!

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:30 am

I haven’t seen that show! I’ll have to DVR it and check it out. I would love for my dog to WANT to shut the fuck up. That would be…well…fucking beautiful.

Megan December 16, 2011 at 1:15 am

You know the “rub their nose in it” training tactic? I’d be a liar if I said it’s never crossed my mind while “house breaking” a toddler. Of course I’d never do it! The therapy alone would cost a fortune!!
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:30 am

You’re tougher than me. I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself.

Delfin Joaquin Paris III December 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm

My dog is also seven pounds. She just recently earned her certification for being a therapy dog for kids with cancer and autism and assorted other awfulness.

So, does that make me a better dog trainer than you? Yes. Yes it does.

Well, at least until she bites the nose of a kid with a cleft lip. Then I’ll agree maybe you’re better with dogs.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:31 am


My dog can’t figure out that the elevator is not sentient, and she doesn’t have to bark when she enters it.

Mamy December 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Our dog likes to lift the lid on the trash can, drag out the stinkiest, spoiled shit and hide it behind every goddamn cushion in our living room. I’ve found pizza crusts, a ham bone, marshmellows(??), rice crispy treats etc. in each piece of furniture I own! He at least has the decency to look guilty and hide under the table as I confiscate his treasures. The only way we’ve found to dissuade him from getting into the trash can is to tape a helium balloon to the lid. This method also works for furniture we want to keep him off of, the laundry basket, the toilet and my pillow.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:32 am

Oh my God. What is she punishing you for?!

Jaclyn December 19, 2011 at 8:17 am

Treats for the crate. Every time. It needs to be established as a good place that gets a reward. The dog’s house. House of snacks. So yeah. Treats every single time. And then don’t close the door right away, so it doesn’t feel like a trap.
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:32 am

I never thought of not closing the door. Holy shit. You just blew my goddamn mind, Jaclyn.

Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:33 am

I didn’t mean that like an asshole, as it clearly reads. It just never crossed my mind that the dog might feel like it was a trap.

elizabeth- flourishinprogress December 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

That’s one lucky animal. Can you imagine all the boring ass houses he could have ended up in?????
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Noa December 23, 2011 at 1:33 am

I know. I am so lucky. AND SO IS THIS BITCH.

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