Editors Note: I’ve been closely observing our new Omorrow German Shepherd puppy Holly with her big brother (2-year old Hans) for several weeks. They wrestle, play, fight, and snuggle until they are completely exhausted. Location makes no difference. In the yard, in the house (“THIS IS NOT ROMPER ROOM YOU TWO CHIMPS!!!!”) or in the great outdoors. I have begun to notice that the older dog, Hans, has been forced to implement “technique” into his self-defense with this energetic little puppy…flips, holds, mis-direction, and mind games. Meanwhile, he is also instructing her in the behaviors of the Proper German Shepherd. She is a gifted and enthusiastic student, always willing to follow her big brother into whatever shenanigans they can dream up. It finally hit me this morning, Hans is using “Dog-Jitsu, or Barkido, The Way of the German Shepherd!!! I have decided to talk to him, and find out where he learned this ancient art…
I decided to go straight to the source, and ask my beloved Omorrow German Shepherd what exactly was going on. I found him on our living room sofa, either sleeping (as I suspect) or meditating as he claimed. I noticed he was wearing a banzai bandana, and that was enough evidence for me to conclude that my dog is crazy, and pepperoni pizza just before bed time is a bad idea for me.
GSA: Okay Hans. Am I mistaken, or have I noticed that you’ve adopted some sort of program to train your new sister, Holly?
HANS: Well, you are mistaken if you think it’s new. It’s certainly been a secret for a long time among canines though. It’s called “Barkido”, or The Way of The Dog. It’s much more than a technique for fighting or disciplining…We dogs live by this code, and train young puppies when we have the opportunity. Recently, the responsibility of Teaching this young puppy has been thrust upon me, and I’m taking it very seriously. Holly is a bit of a Wild Child, at this point, so I’m working overtime.
GSA: Can you tell GSA readers a little bit about this “Barkido” code? Oh, and what’s with the Mr. Miyagi impression?
HANS:Who is this Miyagi-san of whom you speak? Pay attention now, this is important. Normally I would say no…But it seems that the time may be right to reveal these secrets to the Bipedal World. Humans seem to be getting farther and farther away from common sense and reasonableness. Understanding the Way of your Dog, might help.
First of all, “Barkido” is defined into different qualities. These qualities define all proper and justified behaviors that dogs practice. The first quality is known as JUSTICE: When a dog lives with his humans, everything he or she does, is controlled by Justice. If your human walks away from an egg mcmuffin, Justice dictates that the dog must consume that McMuffin before it goes bad and makes his human sick. Justice also takes note of activities that the human enjoys, and providing opportunity to enjoy that activity. Humans enjoy cleaning floors, so it is within Justice that we will spill water and food for them to clean up. We will also track thru as much mud as possible, and leave a long trail thru the home for the human to enjoy cleaning up. Other areas where humans enjoy this act of cleaning may include crates, automobiles, and digging holes in the yard. Justice demands that each dog is responsible to make these and many other messes daily so as to satisfy Justice. Other creative practitioners of Barkido, have included chewing the legs on wooden furniture, eating leather sofa’s, jumping onto kitchen tables, and many other very fine messes that give the human opportunity to clean.
GSA: Really? So that’s why you and others do that stuff…For the Good of Your human..Yeah, that’s it. By the way, when did you learn Japanese?.What’s next?
HANS: Dogs speak ALL languages. Now pay attention. The Second is COURAGE. This quality assures that each dog will always protect his home, his food, and the bi-pedals under his care. The dog will unfailingly bark at would be intruders to his Masters home as they deliver mail, small annoying bipedals, and our dreaded enemy, the squirrel. Noises in the dark will always be responded to as though the entire Pack is threatened. Courage also gives the canine the fortitude to peer over the highest kitchen counters to remove food that the masters leave unattended, so that it may not spoil in vain, and be thusly wasted. Courage also dictates that dogs will stare unafraid and without distraction at things that fly in the sky and make noise. My master calls them “aircraft”, but dogs refer to them as “Things that fly in the sky, and make noise.”
On Occasion, to answer the call to Courage, you may notice that your canid will bark at things unseen by the bipedal persons. This is to insure that all things are in orderliness, and that nothing deserving to be barked at, is neglected.
GSA: Really? I just thought you were crazy…Amazing what we’re learning here…Some of this really explains what you dogs are thinking. What’s next?
(a small Japanese Chin dog walks in with head bowed and offers us tea in small bowls. I refuse it politely because it smells of kibble, but Hans laps his up with gratitude. The Chin leaves the room with me wondering when this delusion will end)
HANS: Next is MERCY, coupled with BENEVOLENCE. Canines must realize that the bi-pedals are dependant wholly on our ability to provide comfort and mental well-being. We must daily practice the art of allowing them to pet us, scratch our bellies, and find our itchy spots. We practice MERCY by sleeping on the human beds, warming them and making the bipedals comfortable as they sleep and stare at the confusing, but entertaining images projected on their walls.
GSA: Well, I must say that you certainly care for that ‘sleeping on the bed’ stuff…
HANS: I must take time now to entertain my master by retrieving the floaty toy that he enjoys throwing so much. His interest in this activity is great indeed, and I must therefore assist him. When I return, we will discuss the final four attributes of Barkido: Politeness, Sincerity, Loyalty, and Sels-Control…