The Nostalgic Nitwit (NN) believes that dogs come programmed with all the basic skills and obedience required to live with humans. The NN assumes that a dog automatically recognizes the command “sit” and knows not to shred the latest issue of US Weekly or pull that block of cheese off the kitchen counter. They don’t remember their family dogs growing up requiring much work, so they are completely aghast that their new pooch requires effort and patience. When their current dog inevitably act like (untrained) dogs tend to do, the NN seethes in frustration and waxes nostalgic about how their last dog never needed to be told how to behave.
In their living rooms repeatedly giving commands (down..down…just…lay down!) to their confused dogs, complaining to friends over cocktails about how much more work their current dog is than their childhood pet
Whatever their dog was growing up, because that dog was perfect. Collies, Labs, and Golden Retrievers are common.
Low. Having assumed that their family dogs growing up all came perfectly trained, the NN has not bothered learning anything about dog behavior or training.
“He should have known better!”, “Mr. Fluffykins NEVER….”
BusyBee: It never ceases to amaze me how many people come into the animal shelter looking for a dog that will not require any work or effort. Recently, a young woman came in looking for her first dog as an adult, and seemed horrified that the dog she was interested in, a stray we picked up a few days earlier, did not know that jumping was uncool. Imagine her surprise when she learned the dog didn’t know how to shake and rollover. I mean, her “gentleman” (her words) of a childhood dog did all those things, so surely all dogs should do these things automatically, right? I tried explaining that her family dog probably was trained by her parents, and even though she may not have been involved or remembered it, it was highly unlikely that Fido came out of the womb knowing how to behave. When I suggested that the dog she was looking at was quite smart and would benefit from some training classes (and frankly, so would she), she scoffed and then asked if the other major shelter in the area had dogs that came “trained”.
Potnoodle: A particular nitwit comes to mind, though I know many. This particular NN had purchased a field line lab “just like the one he grew up with.” He purchased the dog, taking great care to make sure it was the same color as the one he had as a kid. I met him when he brought the dog in for training classes. It CHEWED on things, didn’t come when called and was impossible to house-train. In other words, it was a lab puppy that had no manners. Absolutely nothing like his childhood dog, despite being given the same slightly racist name. I watched him struggle for six weeks trying to get this puppy to mind. Finally, he started to accept reality and actually train the dog. He visited his family the week after the class ended and came back afterwards to tell us that his new puppy was going to a board and train facility because that’s where the first incarnation went and it came back the perfect dog.
**Know a Nostalgic Nitwit? Used to be one? Share below!**