Who is “Bella”?
Why does “it sit” and “give paw”?


The name “Bella” is among the most commonly used names for dogs.12

sit down

The command “sit down” is typically the first trick that dogs are taught.13

and give paw

The request “give paw” involves the dog offering one of its most sensitive body parts to a human.14

The Rover blog on companion animals recognizes Bella in the second position of most popular female dog name in a worldwide envision.

Rover,  “Top 100 Most Popular Dog Names.” The Dog People. Rover.com, Accessed November 17, 2022
In Yi-Fu Tuan’s words “The single most important trick taught to a dog is instant obedience to the order "sit" or "lie down, working as a bridge for more complicated commands to happen”

Tuan, Yi-Fu. Dominance & Affection:  The Making of Pets (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016
Dog paws are filled with nerve endings, allowing them essential actions such as digging, scratching, walking, and grasping. Since these tasks require a dog to use its paws, that sensitivity triggers the dog's instinct to protect itself and not wanting to have them toucher or manipulated

F. Turner Josie, “Sensitive Dog Paws - Causes and Treatment.” n.d. Animalwised.com. Accessed February 7, 2023

Those terms are part of the daily bread of “Cuido lo que más quieres” — in English “I care for what you love the most,” a company that provides educational and caring services for companion animals in Ciudad Real, Spain —a city with a human population of 74.743 and 17.039 officially registered dogs. Merche, the owner of the business, receives a continual influx of requests for her services.

But what is her reply?
Sorry, we don’t have capacity, we even have a lengthy waiting list.

The notable demand for such services suggests that individuals often seek to outsource the fundamental education of their dogs to enhance their interaction with them. In this context, Merche satisfies the human desire for a well-behaved and obedient “Bella” that adheres to the established norms of dog-to-human interactions.15 Nonetheless, in line with her ethical stance towards dog educational approaches, she also provides instruction on how to place the dog as the subject of human-led command interactions:

In HAI research (field of human–animal interaction) dogs are too often operationalized, it is a quiet partner, useful only for the effect their presence has on the person, and rarely considered in and of themselves.

Horowitz, Alexandra. “Considering the ‘Dog’ in Dog–Human Interaction.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8 (2021)

Bella, sit down, paw”: ☞

On the one hand, this phrase indicates the achievement of a successful training process. On the other hand, "Bella" has come to associate these words with her favorite reward: food.

Good girl! *Human gives a treat to Bella*”: 

On one side, it refers to the human’s self-rewarding pat on the back. On the other, it highlights Bella’s motivation for complying with these actions, namely to receive a snack.