Fast Buddies: Falstaff the fish and Golden Chino

We love this photo of buddies, Falstaff the fish and Golden Chinonow? We have loads of Koi in our pond but never have they come up to see our Golden kids. Of course, Golden Alfie is very intrigued with the fish and the frogs, sometimes carrying one off for closer inspection.

Now, ... did you hear this one?  A friend went looking for a rest room and found two doors with pictures of dogs on them. She was completely baffled, so she searched out the manager and admitted that she couldn't tell the difference between the male dog and the female dog. "That's not the idea," the manager smiled and said. "One dog is a pointer, and the other is a setter."

Enjoy the Golden Owner's Manual below and then check out our funny tales, cartoons and more. You can also check out books of Doggie Humor as they make GReat gifts. A few of Noel Ford's That Dog© strip cartoons, have been reprinted here with his permission. This syndicated strip is based on his Tuppence, a special Golden gal who sadly died in early 2000 but who still lives to inspire her forever dad. Noel lives in a small mid-Wales village with his wife, daughter, three Goldens and one Flatcoat Retriever. He has won a number of national and international awards including one from the United Nations and the UK's Dog Cartoonist of the Year when, to his everlasting shame, he allowed a national newspaper to photograph him with a dog biscuit clamped between his teeth.

Golden Owner's Manual

Congratulations! You've just acquired one of the numerous breeds of humans. With the right training, they'll gladly provide you with years of free food, water and shelter, and lots of affection. Best of all, you'll never have to work a day in your life. But remember, proper training is the key to this utopian existence. Pay close attention to the commands and exercises that follow, learn them, teach them to your human, and live a long, healthy, happy, EASY life.

How to Walk Your Human

One of the first things the new human will want to do is go for a walk with you. This is an important activity, because this is one of the best ways to assert your all-important dominance over them. Once the leash has been secured to your collar, you command complete control over your human, having the ability to drag them all over your favorite flower beds, garbage heaps, mud piles and the like. And they'll love it! Just look at the expression on their face when you yank them from their feet and pull them headlong across a busy intersection. This is just one of the many ways you'll form that special Golden/human bond you've heard so much about. Now, step by step, here's how to walk your human.

Step 1: After having completed all the steps outlined in "How To Get Your human To Take a Walk", proceed calmly out of the house and onto the sidewalk. For now, let the human feel as if they're in control. Let them direct you by talking to you and yanking on the leash and collar.
Step 2: Ensuring that underbrush and low lying obstacles are present, wait for a moment when your human isn't paying close attention. Then, duck underneath a split rail fence, run around a street sign or tree and break your human's grip on the leash.
Step 3: Let your human catch you, as this builds their confidence. After a short while, repeat step two, but not so often that the human decides to bag the walk entirely and go home.
Step 4: Seizing on another lapse of attention, brace your hind legs and pull firmly on the leash as you run between your human's legs. This should almost always cause them to lose their balance and fall to the ground.
Step 5: You're on your way! Start at medium speed and just pull your human on their belly. Later, you can attempt more advanced maneuvers such as the "torpedo spin", the "tin can on a string" and the "cruise missile", where your human is pulled along never touching the ground!

How to Get Your Human to go for a Walk
Unfortunately, humans do not speak or comprehend "dog", which makes communicating with them trying, and at times frustrating. This communication block is especially evident when you have to water the lawn (so to speak). humans can be pretty hardheaded about this, so its a good idea to establish an understanding early.

First, always soil the carpet inside the human's house. Do it early and do it often. This is necessary to permanently engrain in their mind the consequences of not responding to your request to go out. Also, always soil the same spot. This creates a more memorable, concentrated stench, contrary to the popular "marking the territory" myth. Your human will undoubtedly get mad at you for doing this, but don't worry - its in their nature and all part of the training process. The anger will soon pass, and they'll have a complete understanding of your need to go out, and how quickly you'll need to do so.

Since signals will become an important part of your command vocabulary, here are a few you should try with your human. While they may seem simplistic, you will have to repeat them to get your human to catch on to what you're doing.
Signal 1: Stand with your nose at the door
Signal 2: Stand with your nose at the door & bark
Signal 3: Stand with your nose at the door, bark & point
Signal 4: Stand with your nose at the door & bark, point & scratch at the door
Signal 5: Stand with your nose at the door & bark, point, scratch at door & pee

Controlling Your Human's Sleep

If your human oversleeps, they may miss work. If your human misses work they might get fired. If your human gets fired, you don't eat - so the motivation behind this little exercise is fairly apparent.

Rule 1: Never trust alarm clocks!
Rule 2: You've got a bark, use it! Basically, you want to make sure that your human gets up in the morning. Early in the morning. VERY early. Most prefer the 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM slot, just because its so effective. 9 out of 10 humans don't have to be to work until 8:00 AM, so this leaves plenty of room to make it there on time.

The exercise is simple. Get up, and use the command "Get up human" (Bar bark, bar bark) until the your human sticks their head out of the bedroom window and yells at you to be quiet. Mission accomplished! They've stood up and yelled, a guarantee that they've gotten their blood flowing, and will now probably just stay up and go into work early. Good job! Meal ticket secured for another day. Another advantage to the early wake up is the fact that the human leaves earlier, allowing you the chance to start your day-long snooze all the sooner!

TIP: After repetition of this exercise, your human may become conditioned to the wake up bark and learn to sleep through it. To overcome this resistance, make sure every other morning the barking "appears" to be at an intruder or burglar. Keep your upper lip curled up in a snarl showing fangs, tail erect, rough on end - this will add realism to your wake up bark, and make it effective for a longer period of time.

Occasionally, the smarter breeds of humans will attempt to lull you to sleep by placing a loudly ticking alarm clock in your sleeping area. Do not be alarmed! They are only doing this due to their instinct to get you to be quiet. Using the clock to your advantage, wake this human up every hour on the hour until you break them of this habit and they remove the clock. You might also try soiling the clock to place it permanently out of commission, and therefore, out of your life. 

Teaching Your Human to Lie Down 

An all time favorite trick of all Goldens is getting the human to lie down. No matter what your size, this trick can be taught and repeated easily. Outdoors, or in a large room inside the human's house, stand five to eight feet away from your human. In one quick, powerful motion, lunge at their chest with your front paws. As you crash to the ground on top of your human, praise them for doing such a good job of falling over by licking them repeatedly on the face. 

The Veterinarian: Our Friend

Remember that the Vet will be one of the most valuable members of the human breed you'll ever meet. Not only do they speak a rudimentary form of "Dog", they make a living off of you. They want you happy. But remember that this scam only works as long as the human thinks you hate going to the Vet ("if it tastes bad it must be good for you, if it tastes good it can't be good for you"). Its the human's instinct to only pay for "necessities". In this case, the human perceives the Vet as a medical necessity, therefore deeming it a worthy expenditure, so make sure it always appears this way. 

This requires some pretty convincing role playing, especially while headed through the Vet's front door. Immediately put up a fight, whimper, whine, get nervous, pace, but do not laugh out loud at all of your dog brothers and sisters putting on the same ridiculous act. Soon, you'll all be enjoying what goes on "behind the scenes" at the Vet's as the doc will: Give you any drug you need, and in tasty chewable form - Have one of the sexy/handsome nurses give you a sponge bath and run their fingers through their hair - Give you free perfume/cologne - Deliver your children - Give you a manicure - Style your "doo". If your human ever finds out what a great time you have at the Vet, you're out of a couple of great afternoons with your friends, so play it smart. 

Teaching Your Human to Feed You at the Table

One of your human's more annoying instincts is his tendency to separate his food from your food. While you would gladly share your food with your human, your human is reluctant to return the flavor. For this reason, when your human is seated at the dinner table, a certain amount of psychology and tact are necessary to get the goods from their plate into your mouth. 

Remember that you are dealing with a primal greed instinct that dates back to your human's early ancestors. Its not an easy instinct to train away. First, let your human begin the meal without interruption. This makes it look like you are not interested at first, and your human will say you are "a good dog" or "well-behaved" for not begging for food. 

Always start by positioning yourself at least 10 feet away from the dinner table. As the meal progresses and you have "blended into the carpet", you can begin slinking towards the table. Your goal is to get close to your human's feet where crumbs and chunks of food fall. Once the meal is 3/4 of the way through, its time to strike. Begin your begging routine by looking pathetic, yet cute. This is achieved by laying on your stomach, then placing your head between your front legs. Your ears should be back, and your eyes looking sadly at your human (if you can manage, it helps to let your pink inner lids show a little at this point). This is the classic Begging Position, and your human will find it hard to resist. Their natural reaction will be to say "Now you know I told you not to beg...", to which you should reply with a short whine. Now you've got your human right where you want them. "Ohhh, okay, you've been good up 'til now, here's a piece of steak I couldn't finish anyway..." Is this easy or what? 

Teaching Your Human to Sit and Read the Paper

Another classic human trick that you can teach your human is to sit in an easy chair and read the newspaper. This is another instinctual action your human inherits from his ancestors, so getting him started isn't too difficult. 

The trick begins when the paperboy delivers the paper, which you should go and get. This delights your human, and makes him even more anxious and excited to read it. Once you bring the paper inside, walk over to the nearest easy chair with the paper in your mouth. Your human will instinctively follow. Once next to the chair, put the paper in his hand and say in a firm but positive tone "SIT!". Although your human only hears "BARK!", he will instinctively sit down in the chair and begin to read the paper. Repetition of these actions will soon become a daily ritual which you both will enjoy. 

Sharing the Bed with Your Human 

While many of you enjoy sleeping outdoors or in the privacy of your doghouse (see "Your Pad, Not Your human's"), many Goldens prefer sleeping indoors, due to climate or just an affinity for soft sleeping surfaces. Naturally, some humans love this from the start, and pose no obstacle to you sleeping on the bed whenever you want. But many humans must be broken from thinking that you don't belong on the bed. The best way to do this is start sleeping on the bed early, as a puppy, when size means nothing and cuteness means everything. As you gradually grow, your human will adapt to your new girth, accepting you as you are, no matter how large. 

A second lesson that your human must learn is to quickly awake and let you outside to water the lawn. This exercise is different from the "Take Me For A Walk" routine performed at the front door. This requires waking your human, done by a few good pokes of your nose in their face. 

Their initial response will be a groggy "Go away", to which you should reply with a few more gentle pokes, then a whimper. Be cautious not to startle the human, as they have been known to turn on their Goldens in a state of semi-sleep, and actually strike them - grounds for dismissal. If this gentle approach doesn't work, its fair game to go ahead and teach them the hard way by dropping a few calling cards on the bedroom floor. Within minutes they'll get the message and let you out. If they do decide to keep you outside, revert to the early morning wake up bark until they give in. Remember, always maintain the upper hand. 

Riding in the Car 

When your human chauffeurs for you, ground rules must be set from the start to ensure pleasant rides. First, no matter what time of year, your human must be made to understand that at ALL times, ALL available windows will be rolled ALL OF THE WAY DOWN. If your human is apprehensive about doing this at first (this will be especially true in the winter), try rubbing your slobber over all existing glass surfaces, as well as leaving nose prints. If this still doesn't get your human's attention, hang your head over their shoulder and slobber on THEM while they drive. They will no doubt get excited about this at first, but soon will understand and give in to you by rolling down at least one window. This will be a good lesson for the first ride together. Don't overdo the training in the first session! 

On your second ride together, its time work on getting more than one window down. Repeat the steps to get one window down as previously mentioned, then, stand at any available closed window, and apply extra slobber and nose prints, adding an excited whine to the repertoire. Soon, your human will automatically leave two windows down for you without being asked at all! 

If standing by any remaining closed windows and repeating the above steps doesn't get all of the windows down - its time to use a stricter command to make your human understand. Begin hacking loudly as if you're about to throw up in the car. This will cause your human to instinctively pull over momentarily, during which time you should stop hacking. They will then open all available windows and proceed cautiously. This command should also be used in the event that your human doesn't catch on to the "Take Me For A Walk" command performed inside the car. 

Keeping Your Water Fresh

Most humans are pretty easily trained to keep fresh water available for you, but remember that if they look at the water dish while feeding you and see that the water level is okay, they'll instinctively leave it until the next day. You should have your human trained to feed and water you at about the same time every day, so just before they come out, make sure you spill or completely dirty up your water. This guarantees you a fresh supply at least every 24 hours. 

The Command Bark

While your human cannot understand what you say in detail (humans don't comprehend "Dog"), they can understand the inflection in what you say, which they hear as a set of barks that vary in intensity. When you utter a friendly phrase in "Dog", your human hears a happy, playful bark. Likewise, when you're angry, your human hears a more threatening, vicious bark. When giving commands to your human, like "Sit and read the paper", or "Hand me the cat..." always use a firm but positive tone. This will let them know you mean business, but aren't angry with them. 

To discipline, or demand an immediate response, use an sharp, scolding tone, as you would for "Roll down the car windows now!", or "Where in the hell have you been all day? - I'm hungry!", Even though in both cases the human only hears a series of monosyllabic barks, the inflection and tone will tell them everything they need to know to obey you. 

Disciplining Your Human: You're the Warden!

Discipline is a key to having a healthy relationship with your human. You shouldn't shy away from discipline. Through its proper administration, your human will grow to understand that you are the boss, and will respect you for it. Its important to know that one of your human's major instincts is materialism. 

One of the best ways of disciplining a naughty human is to play off of this instinct, and damage or destroy their precious possessions. This helps break their spirit and puts you in control. You should gauge the destructiveness of your discipline based on the seriousness of your human's offense. 

For example, not changing your water one day would merit the chewing of a sock or a "brownie" dropped conveniently in a running shoe. Forgetting to feed you altogether would call for something a little harsher, such as gnawing the corner off of a tennis racket or "accidentally" knocking over a plant. Really serious offenses call for drastic measures, such as destroying precious Persian rugs, knocking over china sets, or even bringing the neighbor's cat into your yard as a "frame up". Remember though, don't over use the drastic punishments, as they will lose their shock effect. They should be carefully doled out to keep the human in the back seat, and you in the drivers' seat. 

Other Acceptable Punishment Methods include digging large holes in the yard - This not only disciplines the human, but keeps them in shape repairing the damage.  

Keeping Your Human in Love with You or Take Your Show on the Road

Sooner or later, you will begin to notice that your human may be taking you just a little bit for granted. This may be especially true when the human has a new litter - their attention will be diverted away from you for a period of time. This is natural for the human, but if the behavior persists, there's a quick and ready cure. Run away. (See "Running Away For Fun and Profit) Even if just for a few hours (overnight is recommended), this will reaffirm to your human your position as the center of the household. The resulting emptiness caused by your sudden absence will be a lesson they'll never forget. 

Upon your return, don't gloat. The punishment has already been dished out via a sleepless night or a few nerve racking hours. Instead let your human make up to you in their natural way with lots of 'baby talk', treats, chew bones, perhaps a spot by the fireplace? This is how the human is supposed to serve you - don't let them forget it for too long! 

Origins of Your Human's Relationship with You 

To many, the fact that your subordinate is called your human is confusing. What most Goldens don't know is that "human" is a shortened form of "human of ceremonies", the official title of your human keeper, given to him by the wolves many years ago. This "emcee" is, as defined in the dictionary, 'a person who acts as a host...'. In this role, it is your human's obligation to make you feel as comfortable as possible, for the duration of your stay. This includes providing food, water, shelter, recreation, medical care, entertainment, and total devotion and love to you, no matter what. 


Guests may be permitted on short visits to your human, but remember that they distract your human from their main task - providing for and caring for you. For this reason, its a good idea to be hostile to all guests approaching your human's house. This curbs any tendency towards entertaining guests into a habit. This can be done relatively easily. Biting the guest, jumping up on the guest, and humping the guest's leg (a favorite) will not only discourage that guest from returning, it will properly condition your human to spend less time inviting guests over to the house and more time fawning over you. 

Your Pad: Not Your Human's! 

Deep down, your human is very insecure. For this reason, and this reason alone, Goldens have allowed their humans to live in large, well-appointed quarters as a place of rest and refuge during the times when they are not working to serve their Goldens. It's a fair trade. The human works all day, so the least you can do is allow them a decent place to eat and sleep so that they can continue their faithful subservience to you. 

Peaceful cohabitation can be achieved through the installation of a swinging dog door. This allows you easy come-and-go access, and a set of keys allows your human to go from work to home to the grocery store with relative freedom. But some humans become too accustomed to this privilege (and it is only a PRIVILEGE) and when they exhibit behavior (the materialism instinct mentioned earlier) that proves they plan on keeping you out of the house, its time to teach them otherwise. You can start re-conditioning your human by making him constantly aware that you are outside, not inside, until he lets you in. 

This should be accomplished with a steady stream of angry commands - "Let me in!, Let me in!, Let me in!", for a solid hour. Since your human will only perceive "Bark bark bark!, Bark bark bark!, Bark bark bark!", be sure your command tone is firm and urgent. The human ear is sensitive to the frequencies you speak in, so this repetition will soon get his attention. Once inside, praise your human by licking his hand and wagging your tail. This positive response, once repeated several times after the bark commands, will condition your human to let you into the house immediately upon your request. 

Teaching Your Human Where to Scratch You

If Goldens have a major weakness, its the love of being scratched. Luckily, your human gets great joy from scratching you, so it helps to show them exactly where your "S" (Scratch) spots are. The first spot you should show them is your lower stomach. To do this, make eye contact with your human, then roll over on your back with your legs in the air. Instinctively, your human will come to you and begin to scratch your belly. Wait until they scratch a particularly good spot, then begin to thump your hind leg back and forth as if you're running. Your human will delight in the joy they're giving you, often times seeking you out just to see this "Wobbly Leg" trick. Soon, you can begin conditioning them to scratch your chest, your chin and even your butt the same way - and they never seem to tire from this ritual! 


Its always fun to play with your human, and one of the most popular dog-human games you can play is fetch. This game provides a great method of exercise for your human, improving their coordination and giving their cardio-vascular system a good workout. It helps to play in a large, open area, but your backyard or even the den will do. 

Here's how to play. First, find and object, it could be a simple as a stick or small rock, but Frisbees and tennis balls seem to be the most popular. Next, with the object in your mouth, bring it to your human's feet and drop it. At first, he may not know exactly what to do, but give him time, he'll catch on. The key is to get your human involved, so begin with a few simple bark commands, "Fetch!, fetch!" ("Bark!, bark!) or "Let's play!, let's play!" ("Bark bark!, Bark bark!). If your human doesn't respond immediately, pick the object up again and prance with it, dropping it again ON your human's feet. He will soon pick the object up, and when he does, get very excited to reinforce the action. 

Now, anticipate a throw of the object by moving in one direction away from your human. Instinctively, he will shake the object and ask you if you want it. Respond enthusiastically again, "Good human!" (Baark barbark!") Soon, your human will throw the object, and the game has begun! Run wildly after the object, pick it up, and bring it immediately to your human and drop it at his feet. This action will give your human a sense of involvement, a key to playing fetch. 

Repeat the preliminary steps, and once your human throws the object again, get it and bring it back to his feet. By now he should be anticipating you dropping it at his feet, which is just what you want. As he reaches for the object, pull away from him with the object still in your mouth. Your human will follow. Let him get close, then move again, let him get close, then move again. Soon, you will have your human chasing you trying to get the object from you - you're playing fetch! See how close you can let your human get before you pull away -the closer you can let your human get to you without catching you, the faster you can make him run. Its favorable to get him running alongside for ten and twenty yard sprints, then change direction. If you're doing it right, he'll be right there with you, mimicking your every move! 

Don't overdo this first session. If your human begins to sweat profusely, slow it down a little. Since you can always outrun your human, its a good idea to let him catch you once or twice during a game so that he won't lose interest altogether. If the veins in his forehead begin to bulge and he starts to yell in an angry tone, don't worry, this just means he's REALLY enjoying the game! 

Maintaining the Upper Hand in Public

The whole idea behind human obedience is to keep your human in his proper place - serving and providing for you. But, on occasion, smarter human breeds will begin to try to exercise some form of control over you. This is a natural instinct, and a harmless one if kept in the proper perspective. Around the house, its perfectly normal to let your human ask you to perform tricks or tasks for him. In fact, you should humor him once in awhile and abide by his commands. This will help him gain confidence. 

In public, however, this is not the case. Outside the confines of your home, you need to have complete control over your human. If your human ever attempts to display his superiority over you, it is time for a lesson to remind him who's the boss. Frequently, this attempted superiority display will come about when a group (or pack) of humans runs together. A human will signal for other humans to gather around and watch you do tricks for him.

Human: "I've trained him myself, watch! Sit!" 
Remain motionless 
Human: "Good dog, sit!" 
Look the other way 

Your choice — turn off music or keep on.