In what appears to be another positive outcome of the #metoo movement, obedience schools around the United States are now welcoming boys and young men ages five and up into their dog training programs.
According to Wendell Gilmore, the head trainer at the Paws-Off Obedience School for Boys and Dogs (POOSBAD) in New York City, the new program sets out to teach the boys something that their schools and parents tend to ignore: boundaries.
“We go over the basics, like displaying good behavior without expecting a reward. We also teach them how to listen to a full command without interrupting, and to stop begging at the table no matter how good the food looks and smells,” Gilmore told me. An assistant trainer chimed in: “People say ‘boys will be boys’ like you can’t do anything to change it, but I’ve never heard anyone say ‘dogs will be dogs.’ Nope, we train our dogs and bitches to behave themselves, and we need to be giving boys that same attention.”
But some parents are concerned that the programs have a sexist undertone. “I wanted to send both of my snotty children to these training classes, but I was told that my daughter wasn’t welcome. This is just one more example of discrimination against wealthy mothers,” said one worried Upper East Side resident.
Other parents disagree with this sentiment, citing that most girls already receive obedience training from their parents and teachers. “These programs are actually [SIC] anti-discrimination because they are providing an opportunity for our sons to be educated to the same standard as our dogs and daughters,” said Olivia Salamander. She also told me her son’s behavior has shown clear signs of improvement since enrolling in the obedience school and that “now, when he takes something to play with, he always brings it back.”
Sarah Jenkins sent her son to POOSBAD as soon as she got word of it. According to Mrs. Jenkins, her daughter was learning to slut-shame her friends at the age of five while her son, a twelve-year-old, was still insatiably fascinated with the baby sitter’s crotch. “Little Joey is a good boy now, and he’s only been to four training sessions. We have a lot of hope for him,” she said as she patted her pubescent boy on the head.