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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

When I met Mr. Marv Spector, many years ago, he already had a dog. The dog's name was Pinhead.

Pinhead was a .... Pit Bull. Pits are known as one of the dangerous dog breeds, at least that’s the myth. I learned he had owned another pit bull before Pinhead. That dog's name was Cokie. So, he had 4 Pit Bulls all told, Cokie, Pinhead, Red and Hootie. Red and Hootie did not come to him as puppies, they were already grown. All these dogs were rescued dogs. Red was found in a Costco parking lot; probably a street dog that was used as a fighter. He was all beat up & very thin from hunger, he was happy to get a new home. Hootie wandered into their front door one day, & decided to stay.

The amazing thing is, if you believe the bad breed myth, these are were really good dogs. If you watch the TV program Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, you know about Daddy which has a calming attitude and is the dog Cesar most trusts to train other dogs. Marv's dogs were just the same.

When Pinhead or Red were there, my kids and I were often playing with him. There were never a problem, even with rambunctious kids. I felt they were really amazing dogs and best to have in a family setting. So, I don’t believe the myth that the Pit Bull is a dangerous breed.

After Marv died, Hootie still looks for him because he was often away on business trips overseas. When a Land-Cruiser comes to the house, Hootie reacts like Marv is back. It is so sad, Hootie is so honest and faithful.

I never saw Marv training his dogs. I never head him sending his dogs to the training center. I never head him asked advice of the dog trainers. But these Pit Bulls listened him and were always calm. Marv just trained his dog by being himself. The dogs got what they've leaned to please him. They brought their dogs into the shop, every day. If they went somewhere, the dogs were there, side by side.

I asked Kay, Marv's wife, the secret. How did you or Marv tame these dogs so well. “The only secret Marv had was love..", she told me. I always thought that there is so much patience needed to train dogs to that level. After getting to know this truth, I have to say that if your dog is not well behaved, then perhaps there is some problem with you. Maybe need more love and patience. Of course, some of it depends on a dogs' character. So, that answer is not perfect for every dog. But, on the other hand, it is true that Marv had only one way to train his dog. It was LOVE.

We usually think training dogs is a top down process. Even Cesar's way is to be the alpha is kind of a point. It is correct. But, actually one of the other ways is communal care. It is based understanding that dogs are clever enough to learn from their pack mates. Dogs almost have the capacity to read our mind. Humans also have capacity to read dog's mind. So, if you trust your dogs, then the dogs will trust you back. This is a well known theory by Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Darwin.

Marv's dogs really trusted him back because he loved and trusted them even though they had not been with him since puppy-hood. They did not needed days to learn to get along with daily life in different family. Soon after they started their happy life with Marv, they were on their way. I learned the key was only LOVE. It’s all we need isn’t it?

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