Dogs are man’s best friend, they say. But I’m completely sure that it’s much easier to be best friends with a dog that listens to you and has sense.
When you think of sensible dogs, what comes to mind may be German shepherds, poodles, chihuahuas or Lhasa breeds, but what about our local Nigerian dog breeds, the Ekuke and the Bingo?
They may not be the best guard dogs, but no be person born dem?
Let’s teach you how to train your local Nigerian dog so it’ll have sense:
Put on your best Sola Sobowale impression
A calm tone may work with German shepherds, but your local dog will do its best to disgrace you. Better shout out the commands if you want them to pay attention.
Feed it eba
You know how professionals include food treats in dog obedience training, right? When you’re teaching your Ekuke or Bingo to sit, make sure to feed it eba too, for motivation. That’s their own treat. That way, it’ll learn how to sit and also have the strength to defend you at night. Win-win.
Give it a name like “Agumba”
Local dogs are typically friendly — sometimes too friendly — and can follow any stranger home if they offer your dog a treat. You don’t want that, so throw away ajebo names like “Snowy” and give it fear-inducing names like “Agumba” so that it’ll sit up and stay focused.
Teach the dog your Nigerian language
Sure, “Sit!” is fine, but imagine if you teach your dog Yoruba or Igbo, you can get the dog to bark at intruders in your native language to confuse them.
Take it outside
Don’t say it’s because we said, “All dogs matter,” that you let your Nigerian dog spend all day on your bed. If you don’t want your dog to design your house with poo, take it outside at scheduled times, so it can learn to control its bladder.
Don’t do all that “dog toys and blankets” nonsense
Are you raising an ajebo or a potential protector? Also, why would a dog named Agumba play with dog toys and blankets?
Teach them not to chase people
Remember all that shouting and feeding them eba? Use those strategies to teach your dog impulse control so it can focus on you and resist the urge to chase your neighbour’s children.
Give it freedom… and hope it returns
Your Nigerian dog needs to interact with the environment, so they’re not excessively aggressive when they meet new people. Just make sure it moves around within a safe environment and is vaccinated unless you’ll spend all your money treating its poor victims.