Sunday, 3 May 2015

10 Tips for daily success and getting what you want from two Jack Russell Terriers

I love all types of dogs, but have an extra soft spot for Jack Russell Terriers. Those smart, photogenic, stubborn little guys can turn a house upside down, and have enough charisma to get away with it. I live with two of them, and they are so intelligent and independent  that I can hardly refer to myself as their owner (I prefer "their human").

By the way, speaking of Jacks and their view on things, there's a .jpg rolling around Internet with the Jack Russell Terriers Property Laws (pic below), but we don't need to call Lawyer Dog (what happened with that meme? I loved it) in order to take some tips for success from JRTs.


So, after trying to come up with a post about something Disney or The Avengers (which are in fact Disney), and being constantly interrupted by two never stopping muzzles, I found a new inspiration and asked Tony (the guy) and Kimi (the girl) about how to get your way, Jack Russell style.

Tony: "Maintain eye contact beyond awkwardness, that always work"

Kimi: "Approach things with caution, but with courage"

Don't take NO for an answer: If you insist for long enough, things will go your way. "When you ask for something, be sure to remind people every two seconds of what you want", says Tony while Kimi nods in agreement. 

Be flexible in the way you ask for stuff: "Start off as friendly as possible, wear a silly costume if you know it improves your odds, and if that fails, explain how urgently you need whatever you're asking for. Make sure you transmit the sense of urgency, barking loudly and howling are great ways to do so", says Kimi, and then she adds: "If barking or making noise don't work, get close, stare, and make indoor-friendly noises that won't bother every one, but will slowly wear out one specific person in the room".

Be clear in what you want: "If you want food, grab the plate and drop it on a human's foot. Don't just run around barking because this will frustrate everyone, explain exactly what you want", Kimi says. "If you want to play, grab a toy and chase people; if you want to enter the room, scratch the door", Tony adds. For them, sometimes the reason we don't get what we want is because we are too indirect and vague.

Always push the limits: If you know you're not allowed somewhere, get yourself invited. Eventually, it will become usual to see you there and you'll earn full access. If you can't make loud noises, start very softly and increase volume slowly. Instead of jumping to the middle of the bed, ask for a little corner and then crawl your way to the right spot. "There's nothing wrong with being just a little bit sneaky", Tony comments.

Enjoy the little things and make a fuzz: "A nice bite of cheese, a good walk in the park, a bone or a new toy... they all seem like small things but let them make you happy. And show gratitude, make a big deal about them: smile, wag you tail, jump, make sure to always say thank you in a big way, that way, next time you ask for something people will be more likely to try to get it for you. If you care about stuff, others will too, it's contagious", explains Kimi.

Have a proper handshake: "If someone reaches for a handshake, never respond half-heartedly. Be quick, friendly and have a firm but not aggressive paw. Humans show friendship with handshakes, but they also judge you and each other by them, so learn to do a proper handshake and you won't regret the perks", Tony says.

Win all staring contests: "There is an unspoken and never-ending staring contest between every creature with eyes", Kimi explains. "The first one to look away losses it and becomes submissive, so don't be afraid to stare until your dominance is established. You don't have to be hostile, smiling or lowering your ears will make you less threatening, and that in fact, will help you stare for longer without creeping out people so fast". 

Never think you are to small for something: "It's all about attitude. If you see yourself as a small dog, everyone will, but if you behave beyond size, people and other dogs will respect you. Don't be afraid to ask out someone because they are out of your league, ask for that promotion with confidence that you deserve it and pee on every tree on the block, you have a right to feel great about yourself", says Tony.

Be a bit eccentric: Both Tony and Kimi agreed that you need to have your own style, maybe a couple of quirks that people will recognize about yourself. "For example, I bring my food to the living room and eat it on the couch. The mess is worth it because now everyone remembers me for it", illustrates Tony, and Kimi adds: "I always pose in front of windows, I have my 'sunshine face', my 'rainy day face' and my 'I'm watching you' face for when neighbours walk in front of me. Being so constant in that, my house is now the house with the 'little dog in the window', you see? people remember you for the little touches".

Be friendly but trust your instincts and react smartly: "When meeting someone new, no matter if it's a dog a human or whatever, look interested and happy, make them feel like you could become friends soon. Let them set the tone and play along, but pay attention and if something inside you tells you that someone is trouble, don't get too close and keep an eye on your pack, be ready to protect them if necessary but never jump unprovoked. If you have to, stand your ground, pee a little bit where they can see you or show some teeth, most of the times this is enough of a message and everyone can continue in peace. At the same time, if some one is sending these signs to you, consider leaving them alone, they might be having a bad day or be under stress".

Finally, I want to share an article about an important scientific discovery regarding Jack Russell Terriers that made me cry of laughter. Let's just say that it explains why they take so much space while being so compact-looking (see descriptive graph below).

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