It will come as no surprise to you that there are certain things people believe, say, and repeat that really grate my groin.
Most notably, I genuinely despise people who:
Repeat things like urban legends as though they are factual (“Marilyn Monroe would be a size 12 by today’s standards.” Totally false, she’d be a 4).
Use outdated information which has since been refuted to make a point. (“Salt raises your blood pressure.” Completely disproven more than a decade ago and continues to be refuted in study after study that have followed).
People who try to justify their stance on something based solely on their own personal experiences (the attitude of “my life improved dramatically when I stopped drinking, therefore, everyone should stop drinking and improve their lives.” Or, “you can only be a complete person by having children.” No, just because what makes you happy made YOU happy doesn’t mean the same results will occur in everyone. In fact, 2 decades of studies show as high as 50-75% of all American parents regret their decisions to have kids…thus the “I love my children but hate my life,” cry of the past decade).
People who make or defend decisions based on “what they’ve heard,” or the one experience they saw with a friend or family member. Those are the jackasses we’re going to discuss if you keep reading.
The only thing worse than the initial uttering of these stupidities listed above are the people who double down and use sources like Wikipedia or Snopes, or any other source of information which has long ago been discredited, to defend what they are saying.
For years, I have winced and sometimes exploded at people who say aloud “it’s not a good idea to have two male dogs in the same house.” Or, the more heinous assertion that “two male dogs CANNOT get along in the same house because they’ll both always be trying to become the alpha and they’ll fight each other until one of them is seriously injured or worse.”
This is nothing more than one of two things:
Ignorance: They literally don’t know any better and are simply saying this because they heard it or were told it
Inability to take or acknowledge personal responsibility: They tried it once and failed and if they couldn’t do it, then it makes them feel better about themselves to announce that it can never work. Or, they have a friend or family member who failed at it and for the same reasons, they choose to believe this stupidity.
Four years ago, as the result of a relationship I was in at the time, I added a chihuahua to my existing pack of Two 80 pound German Shepherds, named Shep and Nellie. At the time I was told it was impossible to do that because the Chihuahua would constantly engage in “little dog syndrome,” and would attack the big dogs, especially the male, Shep. 3 ½ years later the Chihuahua left with the girl and we had had a grand total of zero incidents between the dogs the entire 42 months prior. Not even close. No fights, few disagreements and, they genuinely loved one another to the point that all three dogs showed signs of depression for a few weeks afterwards until they accepted their new normal.
Fast forward to this past weekend, April 27th, 2017. Shep has since passed away and his replacement, Maestro the German Shepherd is 14 months old and built like a brickhouse. There is also no question that Maestro is the canine boss in any room, park, or area where other dogs are present. Nellie, the miracle dog that will seemingly never pass away, is still part of the pack which got a new member last Thursday courtesy of my girlfriend Christina who flew in with her 80 pound black lab, Scout. Uh-oh…Scout is a male. And he’s as big as Nellie (we’re still trying to find a dog as big as Maestro). And don’t be a smart ass and start sending me breeds that get bigger, it’s hyperbole, scumbag.
I think it took all of one hour of proper introductions before all three of them were playing together and with each other. 18 hours after their introduction, Christina was home with them while I did Friday’s show and there were zero problems, just lots of play.
48 hours after they had been introduced, this was Scout and Maestro:
Vicious, eh? See all of the wounds on them from their non-stop fighting? Oh wait…
So, I’m just lucky right? Twice, right?
Or maybe I’m smart and committed. Nah…much more fun to continue to believe your own B.S. than open your mind.
There is no “trick,” to this. It’s a simple process of understanding that YOU, the human owner, are the pack leader, period. And they must and will follow you and what you do. Once you have established yourself as the leader (through training, calm, confident leadership, routine, and consequences that dogs appreciate and understand), they will then take their cues from you. If someone comes to your house that clearly makes you uncomfortable, they will not embrace that person. If they see you accepting your lover, child or other family member into your pack, they immediately accept them as well. Same thing with other animals.
Nothing screams “failure,” or “idiot,” to me more than some dumb-ass who insists on propagating the totally false notion that two male dogs cannot live together lovingly. I am not lucky, I do not have freaks of nature dogs, I simply decided long ago that if I was going to start caring for another living thing, regardless of what it is, I would do so with one goal; making they’re life as great as it can be. Period.
Stop the lies. Step up and become better, not just with your dogs but in life in general. Stop saying things can’t happen when every day we prove otherwise. Use this soapbox as an analogy towards anything in life you’ve heard, believed or been told was un-doable and go do.