The Undetectable Command: How You Might Be Undermining Your Dog Training Efforts
I was being in the waiting space of my regional HMO with a sinus infection and happened to get the recent problem of Outdoor Life magazine. In fact, it was the only thing to check out, but that didn’t bother me as most searching publications normally include a minimum of one short article on canine training.
I was fortunate, as this month’s pet training short article was intriguing enough for me to connect into this week’s e-zine issue.
On page 36, sandwiched between the ‘Professional Bass Competition’post and the “His camo-painted truck and ‘Kiss My Bass’ bumper sticker are the only endorsements you’ll ever require” advertisement, I discovered a story by veteran pet dog man, Larry Mueller.
Mueller recants conference 82 year-old James Evans, of Naruna, Va. who owned an 11 year-old Lab-weimaraner cross that might allegedly increase numbers!!!
Mueller states that, “Evans chose to teach [his] dog to count to 10 … ‘Exactly what’s the very first number?’ One bark. ‘Exactly what comes after one?’ 2 barks. And so on. [His] canine counted backwards, too, in addition to correctly answering what comes before or after any number not going beyond 10.”
As an expert dog trainer, I hear remarkable stories like this all the time. The only issues is that upon more investigation … they NEVER end up being true.
Mueller composes, “Evans began to suspect that [the] pet dog read his mind.”
However, anyone who has actually studied the canine’s mind (and canine behavior in general) knows that:
1.) Canines can’t read our mind. They read our body movement.
2.) Dogs can’t do math. Especially multiplication.
Mueller needs to have pertained to the exact same conclusion as I did, because he chose to review numerous video tapes of Evans and his pet dog performing their multiplication trick. However it wasn’t until he really met with Evans that he had the ability to ascertain how the canine was figuring out the mathematics issues.
“All I knew for sure was that James Evans was no trickster trying to trick the general public for gain,” and that the old male had actually would like to know how the pet did it, as much as anyone.
Mueller continues, “I studied the video tape and recognized that the word,’ Exactly what’s’ could be the hint to begin barking. I believed the signal to stop may be Evans withdrawing his hand from his pocket with a kibble benefit. However it didn’t correlate, so I asked Evans if I could rig something to tell us the approximate location of the hint, if there was one.”
To make a long story longer, Mueller discovered that when the pet might not see Evans, he stopped getting the responses ideal! After additional study, Mueller noted, “I observed a practically imperceptible jerk– a reflex action like a blink occurring without conscious idea … I asked Evans to stand still. He discovered it tough, and [his] pet’s barks in response to his questions [ended up being] random.” When Evans wasn’t permitted to unconsciously cue the canine, the dog was no longer able to come up with the proper answers.
In sum, the canine was counting on his owner for the responses. Which, in and of itself is a pretty remarkable accomplishment, even if it isn’t really similar to knowing your multiplication tables!
Here’s 2 examples that probably apply to your day-to-day training:
1.) Numerous owners tend to begin bending over prior to telling their canine the, “Down” command. Since of this, the dog starts to hint off the owner’s body language (just as Evan’s canine did) and lays down anytime the owner flexes over … however not if the owner stands up directly and provides the command!
Service: Constantly offer the command FIRST, before flexing over and making the pet do it. This way, the pet dog will connect the behavior with the command, instead of with your body movement.
2.) Amateur handlers have the tendency to tell their pet “Heel,” and after that stroll with their shoulders angled back towards their pet, so that they can take a look at their pet while they’re strolling.
The problem with this is that the dog reads your body language and attempts to align himself with your shoulders, hence dragging the owner, instead of walking in the heel position (aligned with your left heal.)
Option: Keep both shoulders easy as you stroll. If you have to take a look at your pet dog (you must)… cock your head, without angling your shoulders. This will keep your pet lined up right alongside you.
That’s all for now, folks!