These 25 quotes are about dog behaviour and training. Some of them are from professional dog trainers. Others are comments and anecdotes about dogs. Others still are quips from comedians.
There are two more pages of quotations about behaviour and training. Click on the links at the top or bottom of the page to view them.
My Labrador retriever had a nervous breakdown. I kept throwing him a boomerang.
Dogs travel hundreds of miles during their lifetime responding to such commands as "come" and "fetch."
Lassie looked brilliant, in part because the farm family she lived with was made up of idiots. Remember? One of them was always getting pinned under the tractor, and Lassie was always rushing back to the farmhouse to alert the other ones. She'd whimper and tug at their sleeves, and they'd always waste precious minutes saying things: "Do you think something's wrong? Do you think she wants us to follow her? What is it, girl?" as if this had never happened before, instead of every week.
What with all the time these people spent pinned under the tractor, I don't see how they managed to grow any crops whatsoever. They probably got by on federal crop supports, which Lassie filed the applications for.
My most satisfying aspect of animal training is a very simple moment. After a show when I leave the stage door... and there is a crowd gathered, sometimes I hear someone say the following and it makes it all worthwhile. "How did they make that dog do that?" I smile because I am the only "they" and I do it with love.
William Berloni, dog trainer, about transforming a severely abused dog from the pound into Sandy in the Broadway production of Annie
Here, Gentlemen, a dog teaches us a lesson in humanity.
Napoleon Bonaparte, after being saved by a Newfoundland after slipping on his ship and falling overboard. He did not know how to swim, and was kept above water by the dog until he could be rescued.
The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.
Stanley Coren, dog psychologist
My dog! what remedy remains,
Since, teach you all I can,
I see you, after all my pains,
So much resemble man!
William Cowper, referring to a spaniel named Beau, killing a young bird
How true it is that dogs reflect the character of their masters! A noisy, blustering windbag of a man inevitably has a dog that rushes out to roar at everything that will give ground to him. The dour chap possesses a sullen beast of kind, and your hail fellow sort of person usually owns a merry member of the tail-waggers that considers all passers-by friends.
Paul A. Curtis
I was haunted by trainers going "Up, up, up, get up." You find yourself picking your head up and then realizing, They aren't talking to me.
Jeff Daniels, about shooting the film
I agree with Agassiz that dogs possess something very like conscience.
In dog training, jerk is a noun, not a verb.
Dr. Dennis Fetko
It is a truism to say that the dog is largely what his master makes of him: he can be savage and dangerous, untrustworthy, cringing and fearful; or he can be faithful and loyal, courageous and the best of companions and allies.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
[My sons] named her Bridget because that way they always had their sister, Bridget, with them. People thought we were nuts because on the phone they'd hear us say, "Bridget, sit!"
Peter Fonda, about Bridget, his Labrador retriever
Every dog should have a man of his own. There is nothing like a well-behaved person around the house to spread the dog's blanket for him, or bring him his supper when he comes home man-tired at night.
Men cannot think like dogs.... [There exists] a sharp difference in the mental capacity of humans and canines. For example, a human who is given an intricate problem will spend all day trying to solve it, but a canine will have the sense to give up and do something else instead.
Understanding your dog and knowing how to control him, develop his potentials, and resolve behavior problems, emotional conflicts and frustrations are no less essential than love and respect.
Michael W. Fox
There is the little matter of disposal of droppings in which the cat is far ahead of its rivals. The dog is somehow thrilled by what he or any of his friends have produced, hates to leave it, adores smelling it, and sometimes eats it.
The dogs in our lives, the dogs we come to love and who (we fervently believe) love us in return, offer more than fidelity, consolation, and companionship. They offer comedy, irony, wit, and a wealth of anecdotes, the "shaggy dog stories" and "stupid pet tricks" that are commonplace pleasures of life. They offer, if we are wise enough or simple enough to take it, a model for what it means to give your heart with little thought of return.
Both powerfully imaginary and comfortingly real, dogs act as mirrors for our own beliefs about what would constitute a truly humane society. Perhaps it is not too late for them to teach us some new tricks.
And then there's the personal question so many of Lassie's fans want to ask: Is he allowed on the furniture? Of course he is—but, then, he's the one who paid for it.
Cats are the ultimate narcissists. You can tell this because of all the time they spend on personal grooming. Dogs aren't like this. A dog's idea of personal grooming is to roll on a dead fish.
All my dogs have been scamps and thieves and troublemakers and I've adored them all.
Dogs like to obey. It gives them security.
I like them all—pointers, setters, retrievers, spaniels—what have you. I've had good ones and bad of several kinds. Most of the bad ones were my fault and most of the good ones would have been good under any circumstances.
By and large, people who enjoy teaching animals to roll over will find themselves happier with a dog.
He listens to his trainer real good. He just doesn't listen to me. I still can't get him to do nothing.
Evander Holyfield, on his Akita, who had completed obedience training with a professional trainer