Monday, October 11, 2010

Bo, lead us!

American Thinker article : Obama fails as 'pack leader' says dog expert
by David Paulin

President Obama's approval rating is at a record-low among Americans - yet he remains popular abroad and at the United Nations. What accounts for this perception gap? Obama is popular abroad because he is weak -- and so is America under his leadership, noted the London Telegraph.

More evidence that Obama is a pushover is now being provided from an unlikely source -- the first family's dog "Bo." Recently, dog expert Cesar Millan of the "Dog Whisperer" TV show observed that Obama has failed to assert himself as a "pack leader" with Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog. Millan pointed out that when Obama walks Bo on a leash, it's obvious that Bo is in charge because the dog walks in front of the president and leads him along. In other words, Bo is taking Obama for a walk - not the other way around.

The British press, no fan of Obama since the president removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the White House, is having a good time with this revelation. A headline in The Independent chortled: "Leader of a superpower, led by a dog called Bo."

Dogs, of course, have an uncanny ability to sense weakness, as anybody knows who owns a dog or grew up with dogs. Generally, dogs respect those who are firm yet fair. Dogs behave badly with family members -- children in particular -- who fail to assert themselves as pack leaders


An interesting article, but I'm not taking sides here. Wait, yes I am. I'm on Bo's side. I usually do side with the dog. Alright then, Cesar Millan has noticed that President Obama walks behind Bo when they are walking.

Millan is right about many things regarding training/handling dogs. For instance, give a dog lots of exercise he is likely to stay out of mischief. The old "tired dog is a good dog" theory has a leg to stand on, if you will forgive the phrase.

Dogs are designed to move, much like people, squirrels and small mouth bass. When deprived of activity they become antsy. Whether the antsiness expresses itself with a bouncing leg while seated or pacing across the floor, it's a body that wants to, has to, move. Thus, walking is beneficial for man and beast and presumably for assorted creatures inhabiting air and water.

Returning to the matter of Bo on the leash. Millan asserts that in order to maintain order in the man/dog relationship, man must lead, dog must follow. True. Someone must be in charge and it ought not be the dog. (Coming soon to this blog: When We let Dogs Lead We invite Anarchy!).

So according to Millan, while walking with your dog on a leash the dog must remain behind you, or at least not in front of you. That's fine when you are walking in the dog show ring at the confirmation competition. Or when walking down a crowded street, it is courteous and safer to keep the dog at heel. But in real life; most of the time walking your dog, such uptight restraint is unnecessary and so not fun.

The average leash is six feet long. Normal people let their dog have that room to walk comfortably beside them with slack to stop and sniff interesting stuff or to lift a leg. After all, it's a walk, not a parade.

Whether Barack Obama is a good leader is not something I will comment on at this time, other than to say that our President's relationship with his dog Bo is not a significant factor.


  1. Love your article. My little miniature dachshund used to pull my 250lb husband around.
    Nappy ( Napolean) was only 13 pounds of pure doggie steel gluts and abs. How did he do it?
    Did we let him, or did he really have the strength in those three inch legs? Maybe Obama lets Bo ahead of him out of some kind of courtesy rather than weakness. I get the feeling his grandmother raised him very well.

  2. When it come to the leash- size is not a factor in leadership!!