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How to Raise a Jewish Dog Paperback – September 5, 2007
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About the Author
Co-authors of the bestselling Yiddish with Dick and Jane and Yiddish with George and Laura, Ellis Weiner has been an editor of National Lampoon, a columnist for Spy, and a contributor to many magazines, including The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and Barbara Davilman is a writer for television and movies. Both live in Los Angeles.
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Top Customer Reviews
January 21, 2008
This book was way too funny! HOW TO RAISE A JEWISH DOG is a manual that teaches us all how to raise our dogs Jewish. In Chapter 1, the age-old question is brought up:
"Why is a Jewish Dog different from all other dogs? A Jewish dog has three important traits that an ordinary dog doesn't have: an exaggerated sense of his own wonderfulness, an exaggerated sense of his own shortcomings, and an extremely close relationship with his master."
This is a good indication of what the book is like, and for those who can't see the humor in this, then maybe this isn't the book for you. Filled with photographs and charts, it's a how-to for those who want to raise their dogs Jewish. I also discovered after reading this book that I'm definitely a Jewish woman -wanna be. Very scary, how much my behavior matched those depicted in the book. (My own conversations with Alice our cat, as I go on and on asking her, "Why you do this to me? Why? What did I do to you to make you behave this way?" is a clear-cut example of my Jewishness).
I'm definitely recommending this book to those who can appreciate the humor. It certainly made my day.
The authors of "Yiddish with Dick and Jane" have written a more insightful book which can be used to raise dogs, as well as families; for are our dogs not our children? It seems as if there is a rabbinical seminary started in Boca (BCTS: Boca Raton Theological Seminary, serving neo Revisionist Progressive Reform Trans. synagogues), but they figured out that in addition to Tanakh, they were very good at training canines (Barbara's cousin's roommate's sister's boyfriend's therapist turned the authors onto the seminary's success with their dog, Sam).
So..., nu, and how do they train them? And "Why is a Jewish dog different from all other dogs?" In the spirit of Jonathan Segal Chicken, they train dogs the Jewish way. These rabbis teach us that we should tell our dogs how it hurts us when they do the wrong thing, and how we should compare them to other dogs who behave properly in order to guilt them into the proper behavior. Jewish dogs do NOT need dog whisperers. No. With a Jewish dog, loudness and over the top unconditional (sort of conditional) love and doggie treats and scrambled eggs are allowed. Jewish dogs don't get scolded, they get guilted. Most dogs are trained to follow commands and be good dogs. Jewish dogs are trained to be perfect so as not to disappoint those who love them. They are trained to fear lunatics, and be paranoid of those who are not part of the family. Jewish dogs should possess an exaggerated sense of its own wonderfulness.
In addition to tables and so much training information, there are great pictures of dogs and their owners(?), masters(?), Jewish parents(?). There is a listing of pure breeds, mixed and cross breeds and their abilities to be Jewish dogs. Did you know that a German Shepherd-Springer Spaniel mix is a Jerry Springer? Or a St Bernard-Alaskan Malamute mix is a literate Bernard Malamute? (and there so many more).
The authors discuss the inner monologues of owners, conventionally trained dogs and the Jewish trained dog. You will learn so much from these sections and learn to empathize with dogs and others. You will learn that you must be trained just as much as your dog must be trained. You will learn the importance of unconditional love, but also conditional-unconditional love. Remember that a Jewish dog already knows what it is supposed to be trained. You should act accordingly: you should be tentative, with an implied "but" when you say "Good boy/Good girl." And you should say "so, sit" or "nu, sit" instead of just "sit." Remember, some Jewish dogs will try to assimilate and act like other dogs. They are like German Jews, not Russian Jews. It is a natural evolution.
There is so much more in this book. It will keep you entertained and enlightened for weeks, perhaps years. And why not? You will die laughing. (And actually, your dog should know that if it dies, you would die as well.) It includes chapters on diet and exercise, obedience, traveling (traveling by jet is a killer section), aging, and emotional health in addition to just physical health.