When Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos stood up during Donald Trump’s Iowa press conference, the presidential hopeful responded with repeated commands to “sit down.” Ramos ignored him, staying on his feet and was eventually escorted from the room. (He later returned.)
Media and political pundits howled, some whined, some snarled, but it took a late-night comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, to put it all in perspective.
On his show, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, he conducted an experiment to see if, unlike journalists, dogs would behave the way Trump wants them to. “Since it is National Dog Day today, and Donald Trump said ‘sit down’ so many times, I thought it might be interesting if we showed that clip to dogs.”
Of the four dogs on camera, three responded to his command. One of them, a Dalmatian, wagged his tail before following orders.
Quipped Kimmel, “Only the white one sat.”
It should be noted that, although Trump was actually giving two commands, none of the dogs went into a “down,”
Later Kimmel mused, “If it comes down to Donald versus Hillary it’ll be Lady and the Trump.”
Whether the experiment demonstrated Trump’s mastery over the animal kingdom is hard to say. No one, however, can deny that he was committing a common training faux pas—repeating the command over and over.
Experts agree that a dog must learn to follow a command the first time it is given, not after several repetitions. If you say it a few times before the dog listens, the idea you’re conveying is that you didn’t mean it the first time or, worse, that you can or should be tuned out. When working with dogs, it’s vital that you say what you mean, that you follow through, and that your dog believes you are worth listening to. These are great qualities for everyone to have, whether the audience is a canine or a country.
The Five Commands Every Dog Should Know
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