Ladies and Gents, we are delighted to introduce you to the newest member of the Education Mascot team, the wonderful David Attenbarker.
David Attenbarker; renowned anthropologist and human behaviourist recently released a series of short documentaries for us. We sat down with him in his garden (far from his bed, as he is very clear that dogs should not be disturbed while they are sleeping or resting) and he gave us an exclusive interview on his motivations behind these films, his relationship with humans, and which truly is better−chasing balls or catching frisbees.
Mr Attenbarker, what a pleasure it is to meet you. Congratulations on your three new documentary shorts. Can I ask why did you decide to create them?
Thank you. Yes, I’m very pleased with how they turned out, and the reception from both children and adults alike has been very positive. I released these films for a variety of reasons. Despite humans and dogs being best of friends, I fear we occasionally fail to understand each other. It is my hope that these films can bridge that gap.
Can you give us any examples of humans misunderstanding dogs?
Oh yes. Well for instance, I think most humans know that dogs should not be disturbed when they are eating or when they are sleeping, but so often I speak to children who say their own dog is different, and has never growled at them, therefore they can break this rule. We know however, that this is stressful for all dogs, so we must keep spreading this message to make life safer for everyone.
And what about when dogs misunderstand humans?
Yes, this is common too. Occasionally a dog may chew on a stray slipper, or the edge of a carpet and then human will find out much later. Many humans will shout at the dog and project a “guilty” look upon the dog, but the dogs will not understand why the owner is angry. They will just feel stressed about being shouted at. So we should never shout at our dogs, and it goes without saying, we should never slap or hit them.
Your three videos are all excellent. Do you have a favourite?
Oh I couldn’t pick, though filming the second one was lots of fun, because we got to go to a park. There were lots of other dogs there, and lots of children. One little boy who knows my owner was very polite, and asked if he could pet me. Unfortunately, not every child knew the etiquette, and one girl was so excited to see me, she ran over and tried to pet me without asking, or letting me sniff her first. I found that a little bit scary.
Oh dear. Yes its important to always pet a dog correctly. Did you get to play with any other dogs in the park?
No, I was on a lead for the shoot, but there was one dog running around off lead. He actually ran up to a little girl and I think the child was a bit scared, buts she was obviously a fan of Dogs Trust, as she preformed the “X Factor” technique. We were lucky enough to catch this on film. Its so exciting to catch these behaviours from humans in their natural habitat.
It sounds like you’re one busy dog. I hope you get plenty of down time Mr Attenbarker.
Oh Yes, I have a lovely home life, where my family play with me all the time, but are careful never to veer into teasing. As mentioned in Video three, dogs don’t like being teased, just like humans, so I’m lucky to live with such an understanding family.
And finally, do you have any words of wisdom to share with our readers?
Stay safe around dogs, A dog is for life, not just for Christmas, and above all−
At this point a squirrel ran across the garden and Mr Attenbarker darted after it. I wonder what he was going to say?
We hope you enjoyed the interview, and the videos.