Imagine that the table has been turned. What does the world of training really look like from the dog’s perspective? Are humans truly in control, or are the dogs? Who is training who? What’s going on…really? For a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek view of the other side of the canine coin, we suggest that you read Training People: How to Bring Out the Best in Your Human – From Food and Grooming to Service and Support – The Definitive Guide for Dogs.

According to author Tess of Helena, C.T.H. (Certified Trainer of Humans), “Many dogs find the idea of owning and training human beings intimidating. And the plain fact is that for some dogs, owning people is not worth the trouble. After all, people are a completely different species, with poorly developed senses of smell, hearing, and sight.” And, with regard to training, she says, “Effective people ownership and training is made immeasurably easier and more enjoyable by keeping in mind two elementary truths: People love dogs. They live to please us (10, 11).” Throughout the book, Tess proceeds to prove her point as she covers topics such as  how to choose a human, discipline, getting the food you want, and the human pup.

For example, on page 17 in the section labeled “The Accommodating Personality” a picture of a man’s legs is featured, the shot apparently taken from inside of a large dog’s crate. Through the wire grid, one can see that the man is wearing athletic shoes, ankle socks, khaki shorts, and that his legs are rather hairy. The caption reads, “Muscular legs and sturdy shoes indicate a human well-suited to meet your exercise needs.” Also, Tess teaches dogs how to use multiple variations of HTM or Horizontal Tail Motion (commonly known as ‘wagging’) to generate expressions of human affection. In this section, she describes the Standard, Rapid, and Hip-Involved HTM. She warns that Hip-Involved HTM should be use sparingly as it is the highest form of praise a dog can give a human (43).

In closing, Tess touches on Spirituality as it relates to the lowly human species. “Soul or no soul,” she says, “you can’t go wrong even at the very end by treating them with love and compassion. After all, they are our best friends (107).”

So true, Tess. So true.