Jake cartoon dog logoAdvice from Jake

Ask Jake

Do you have a question for Jake? Is there something you've always wondered about dogs and how they think? Here's the perfect opportunity to ask a question and get the answer from a dog's point of view. Email us your question and we'll be sure to post your answer in one of our upcoming segments of "Advice from Jake".

In this third edition, Jake gives us advice as spring is in full bloom!

Tip #1 - Treats vs a Paycheck

Even among us dogs we know a treat is just that, a treat. It's a freebee. Conversely a paycheck is earned. Therefore, when you ask me to do something, I expect payment in kind by way of either food or play. I have earned something so it is not a treat. On the other hand, if you would like to treat me, I would not be adverse to that either. But please, do not get the two confused.

Tip #2 - Humping

Dogs need to know who is running the show. Humans do this by way of elections. Dogs do this by mounting one another. When you see one dog humping another, it is not an act of debauchery. It is a way of figuring out who is in charge.

Tip #3 - Furniture Privileges

I learned early in life the difference between a right and a privilege. Unfortunately, I was not the type of dog who could have furniture privileges. Why not you ask? Because it went straight to my head and I became a Little Napoleon. In my mind, I reasoned that if I was physically as elevated as the two legged people in the house, I must be on equal ground as far as being able to make decisions for myself and those around me. This was a disaster. It caused me to overestimate my abilities resulting in dog fights, disrespectful behaviour to my people and a plethora of other problems. Amazingly enough, once my furniture privileges were taken away, my Little Napoleon mindset disappeared and I became Jake. I was happier, I had less responsibility and I could relax and let my people take the lead.

Tip #4 - Chasing Bikes, Skateboards and Rollerblades

I chase these moving objects because it is hard wired into me as a survival instinct and we call it prey drive. Things that move fast = chase. This does not mean I have to do this, it just explains why I do it. I was convinced to change my ways when confronted with fast moving objects like bikes, skateboards, skiers and roller bladders by counter conditioning. Barbara taught me that it was rewarding not to lose my mind in the presence of these objects by interrupting my usual bark, lunge, chase routine with a nice juicy, aromatic reward, usually garlic sausage. Much to my surprise and delight, I learned that the appearance of one of these moving objects always equalled some nice, juicy, aromatic pieces of garlic sausage. So instead of barking, lunging and chasing, I turned to Barbara and she fed me something that I wanted and enjoyed.


Jake Christmas 2007
Jake Spring 2008