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View Diary: Doggy Mug Shots (Your Laugh of the Day) Part 2 - Update (152 comments)

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  •  Gotta' argue with you on your first point - dogs (7+ / 0-)

    won't do anything to avoid conflict.  Such as, they won't not do what they know they're not supposed to do but still want to do to avoid conflict!

    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

    by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:45:59 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  If a dog is doing what he (15+ / 0-)

      "Knows" he's not supposed to do, I'd argue that the human has either

      1. Not trained him suffienciently and assumes he knows what he really does not. First, humans assume this whole "guilty look" thing means the dog "knows" when he's broken a rule, which isn't true.

      Second, dogs are magnificent guessers. If a human is standing with a bit of food, walk up to them and sit. If that doesn't work, try lying down. Many dogs don't actually know the commands "sit" and "down." They guess based on context. That's not "knowning." That's guessing.

      You can try that with a friend's dog. Walk up to him  with a treat and say, "Spot, Flower!" (Or insert any other nonsense word.)  See if he sits. Most will.   Training true cue (command) discrimation is an extra step most owners never take. But they're surprised (and often get angry) when Spot doesn't sit in a strange context, like if the human has tripped and is prone on the ground or Spot is across the park from her. So we should be cautious about assuming about our dogs know unless we've tested it repeatedly in many contexts.

      Then.

      2. The human often sets her dog up to fail. If the human leaves yummy  treats on a table her dog can reach (or can climb up to) and does not keep her dog sufficiently occupied by providing equally interesting toys or chews, or does not reasonably contain him in a crate or an x-pen, the owner has set the dog up to fail.

      And even given 2, most dogs can be trained.. (Beagles are notoriously hard to train to leave food alone, and bored under-excercised border collies, JRTs and dogs with separation anxiety may destroy things, so there are exceptions ).

      It just takes lots and lots of time, effort, supervision, and kenneling the dog in a safe place until he has proven reliable -- even if it doesn't happen until he's 17 years old.

      The problem is that every time a dog sneaks something wonderful, he is positively reinforced for it. He learns (via simple behavioral conditioning) to repeat this behavior.  The more reinforced a behavior, the more you'll see it.

      What most humans fail to understand is that punishment is FAR less effective than positive reinforcement.

      Dogs avoid conflict in the moment. But a plate of cookies at eye level is going to be more reinforcing than the potential of a human (who isn't around) who might punish him to a dog who has stolen many plates of cookies before. As soon as he sees that plate, he starts salivating. He gets focused and stops paying attention to everything else in the room as he starts to figure out how to get to the plate  (eye and stalk in the hunting process).  Most people who have interrupted a dog at this stage know the dog is totally committed and focused. You can walk up and he won't notice you.  He's hunting his prey. He's in chase mode.

      Training dogs to choose alternate behaviors -- leave the cookies, and I'll give you a piece of steak and a long  romp in the park (and yes, many dogs prefer romps to any food) -- requires something many owners won't bother with: time, consistency and commitment.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:33:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I kind of meant that as a joke. But good (14+ / 0-)

        information here about doggie behavior.

        'Course, if you want to see a dog who does indeed know what he's supposed to do, but has a mind of his own about what he wants to do, check out a husky.  Incredibly intelligent, wonderful in most every way, but tends to "forget" the rules if there's something he really, really wants and the owner isn't watching.  

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:50:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh huskies. Yeah. (12+ / 0-)

          They're incorrigible.

          There are a few breeds, bred to work independently or regardless of conditions that really don't care what their humans think.

          Huskies are one of them.

          And I had to read your comment about 5 times to make sense of it. It seemed rather covoluted compared to your usual writing. I should have caught that it was a joke.

          You got me.

          ;)

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:00:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My little Jack Russell mix (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Puddytat, NonnyO, The Marti, Munchkn, Smoh

            Is an excellent dog. Well trained and friendly, I can't say enough about how great he is. But...He has a small streak of "I don't care, I do what I want."

            His name is Joey, but his second name is "Scavenger Rat Dog". If you leave enough temptation in his way, he will go for it. His big sister Possum would not steal a steak from right in front of her, no matter what.

            "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

            by high uintas on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:46:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  My best friend from 2nd grade (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, grover, Puddytat

        does positive, reward based dog training and taught me all this...plus I took my first "problem" dog from the shelter to a positive dog trainer who did clicker training.

        I still find these images funnier than shit and assume no real shaming went into the pictures. My dogs also get positive reinforcement from me for doing cute things and being willing to pose for silly pictures!

        Oh, I used to be disgusted
        Now I try to be amused
        ~~ Elvis Costello

        by smileycreek on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:03:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It gets worse with the lights (12+ / 0-)

      off

      Dr Juliane Kaminski, of the University of Portsmouth's Department of Psychology, has shown that when a human forbids a dog from taking food, dogs are four times more likely to disobey in a dark room than a lit room, suggesting they take into account what the human can or cannot see.

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