Many mistaken notions prevail about the proper way to treat a dog. The world is growing in wisdom and humanity, and the old saying that ” the more you beat them the better they be,” is no longer believed to be true of the dog any more than it is of the woman who was included in the doggerel.
The best authorities agree that a dog should never be whipped, or struck a blow more se vere than a slap with the hand, and even that not over the ears, mouth, or abdomen, where a slight blow may do great damage. A dog is an intelligent being, and as sensitive to tones of voice, to reproof and praise, as a child. The voice alone is all that is needed to control him, and to bruise his body to reach his mind is as brutal and unnecessary with the one as it is now acknowledged by the wisest educators to be with the other. Moreover, it is very I’m portant that if a dog is to be punished in any way it should be immediately after the offence, so that he will perfectly understand what it is for. He is very quick to appreciate injustice, caprice, or cruelty, and he con ducts himself accordingly. If he is properly punished for an understood fault he is peni tent, and begs, in his way, to be forgiven ; if too severely or without understanding, he resents it.
One who holds the lives of others in his hands must not forget that liberty is the breath of life to beast as well as to man, and every one, whether in city or country, should daily have as much of it as is consistent with the rights of others. To keep one of these restless fellow-creatures chained up day after day is terrible cruelty, and one cannot be sur prised that the unfortunate captive grows cross and savage under the treatment. If he is a watch-dog only, and it is not safe to have him at liberty, it would be more humane to muzzle him, and let him have the run of the place, or a yard of good size.
To make an animal of the canine race agree able as a house companion in the city necessitates bathing at least twice a month. Great care is required in the case of one of the smaller and more delicate sorts to avoid cold, such as wrapping at once in flannel, or rub bing and brushing till every hair is dry.
The training of a dog for the companionship of people is a subject worthy of a book. As a rule, the home pet gets very little training, and, like the child of a thoughtless mother, runs over everybody, and makes himself a nuisance to all persons except his doting mis tress. It is so easy in the beginning to teach a dog to behave himself, and be a pleasure instead of a pest, that it is surprising how fre quently this simple duty is neglected, and the pet allowed to rule the house, and make every body in it uncomfortable.