If The Mutt Were A Dog Trainer…
AHM and me are helpin' a co-worker train her rescue terrier who keeps diggin' holes for himself and chewin' off the house sidin', so the comparison sorta' jumps up like a Jack Russell with ADHD.
The first thing a trainer should know is consistency. Keep changin' the message and we'll figure out we can ignore most of what you're sayin'. Canines learn that real quick. The Mutt, on the other paw, has some serious problems. 'Course if ya' can't even figure out which TelePrompTer to read from you're gonna' have believability issues.
Right after consistency is fairness—and I'm not talkin' 'bout taxin' the rich, here people. The Mutt is already at the wrong end of the leash on the money issue, 'tho in all fairness I should admit he is consistently an idiot. He hands a bunch of money to someone, no strings attached, then starts screamin' when they use it to pay out bonuses which, it appears, was allowed in the bailout agreement. (In case you're wonderin'…that is unfair.)
Trainin' any canine takes incredible patience. Gettin' angry or frustrated or runnin' around yellin' "I won so deal with it!" doesn't get ya' anything 'cept a dog that will rev up into extreme action like raidin' the pantry and tossin' teabags all over the place.
Reward-based trainin' (make mine liver!) is, IMHO, the best, providin' the reward is big enough to justify whatever it is you're expected to do. Luckily AHM's not into the balance-the-cookie-on-your-nose kind of tricks, but I gotta' admit it took a lot of liver to convince me to stand on a table and let some fat broad in sequins grope my privates. And I was never adverse to havin' humans fawn all over me when I won. Still, even when I won I ate my kibble outta' a dog bowl on the floor like the rest of the pack.
If the reward isn't big enough, or nonexistent, or if there are too many regulations—er—hoops ya' gotta' jump through to grab the gold rib bone, the Smart Canines are gonna' let ya' know they are Not Happy. It'll start out with small rebellions and spread until ya' got a full-blown revolution on your paws.
See, the Mutt will never understand high-tax aversion techniques are the most dangerous of all trainin' styles. It only produces stress, loss of respect, misbehavior, destruction, and aggression until we end up bitin' ya' in the votin' booth at the next election.
Bring on 2010.
posted by Harrison at 11:48 PM