I have been trying to find the research that discovered that cats, when focussed on a potential prey creature, do not just ignore distracting noises, but show no brain activity that would indicate that they were even able to hear them. It made me realise that my dogs are probably not deliberately blanking me when they fail to leave a wonderful smell when I call, but may be so deeply involved in it that they do not hear me (rather as I sometimes fail to spot their signals when I am absorbed in a PF debate!).
I think everyone probably already knows my views on CM. I agree with Poodlebeguiled.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring- it was peace.
~ Milan Kundera
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“He blew me off!” | Wilde About Dogs “He blew me off!”
I’ve seen it way too many times. An owner has asked a dog to do something, and the dog doesn’t do it…so the owner repeats the request more loudly. (Have I mentioned that dogs can hear a potato chip hit the carpet in the next room? The dog heard the cue the first time!) If the dog still doesn’t comply, the owner gets frustrated, or perhaps even angry. Depending on what the person feels is acceptable human behavior, the dog may then get jerked, shaken, or worse.
Why do we become so upset when dogs don’t comply with our requests? Well, for one thing, we anthropomorphize. We think, He blew me off! Or She’s just being stubborn! The truth is, dogs don’t do what we want when we want for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few possible scenarios:
1. The dog simply doesn’t know the behavior well enough, or it hasn’t been generalized. Teaching a dog how to do something, and seeing that the dog responds correctly, doesn’t mean that the dog is proficient in the behavior. If I was learning French (which I am actually trying to do!) and you taught me to say Bonjour as a “Good morning” greeting, I would then say, “Bonjour” when I saw you in the morning. But the French also use Bonjour for “Good afternoon,” and unless you taught me specifically that meaning, I would not be able to generalize the morning greeting; I would not know that was expected of me in any situation other than in the morning.
If you teach your dog “Sit” means to sit facing you, what happens when you teach loose leash walking, and want your dog to sit by your side when you stop? Often he’ll swing out and sit facing you, because that’s what he’s been taught! It’s our responsibility to teach dogs to generalize behaviors, especially when we expect the dog to do them in different contexts.
2. The dog is distracted. With all the distractions in our everyday lives—wait, was that a Facebook message coming through?—surely if anyone should understand being distracted, it’s us. A dog who normally complies with your requests may suddenly seem as though he’s developed selective hearing. But the truth is, he can’t listen because his attention is being consumed by something else entirely. So get your dog’s attention first, and then give the cue. It sounds simple, but I so often see owners giving the dog a cue over and over while the dog’s attention is focused elsewhere. Instead of asking me over and over again, “Do you need anything at the market?” while I’m trying to work at the computer, you’d do better to call my name first, wait until I answer, and then ask. (I’m thinking this may be why men and women spend so much time saying, “I did tell you that!”—the person was distracted when it was said the first time.)
3. You must build a bridge between point A to point B, and the steps on that bridge should be small ones. You can’t expect that just because you taught your dog to come when you call him from the next room, that he’ll come when he’s running around outdoors. You’ve got to build in small steps between point A and point B so he can be successful. So maybe you practice first in the house, and then practice calling your dog to come inside when he’s out in the yard. Next, you go to a local park and practice with your dog on a long line, and build up to where he’ll come from a distance off-leash. It takes time, but it’s the only way to get a solid response.
4. The dog is shut down. If a dog is so afraid that he shuts down, he is unable to respond to your request. I have unfortunately seen this happen in training classes I have observed, where the methods were harsh and the dogs were overwhelmed. Unfortunately, this lack of response was taken as insubordination rather than the sign of severe stress that it was, which in the trainer’s mind necessitated further corrections.
These are only a few of the reasons a dog may not comply. There are countless others, including that the dog may be feeling ill, or that, believe it or not, the dog simply made a mistake. It happens, just as it does with us. So next time you think, He blew me off! stop and assess the situation to see if there are mitigating circumstances.
Cabryn Chagall CGC
"The Intelligence Of The Poodle gives him that knowledge of his own importance - that vanity, which reflects itself throughout his entire presence. He knows he is a splendid beast, and he is enormously proud of it!” ~ Frank Sabella
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Excellent post Chagallsmom! You hit on so many good points that I completely "blew off." I know about these things and forgot to include them in my posts.
And FJM....absolutely it is true. When their predatory motor pattern sequence sparks into any type of action, they tell the cortex to please hold, the next available brain cell will be with you shortly. I have read in several publications how they can NOT hear you when they're focused strongly on something else, being the predators they are. In fact, I saw a study which was the premise for why talking on cell phones is a bad idea while driving. (of course, so are a lot of other things we do while driving) But anyhow, that multi tasking everyone talks about. It's a myth. Our brains and I'm sure dogs aren't any better at it, can NOT put focus on two things at once. They can switch back and forth, sometimes quickly with humans anyhow but no equal amount of concentration can happen simultaneously. There was a thing on TV about this and they demonstrated what our brains do with the audience...very cool show. Dr. Oz.
Anyhow...yes, and dogs do not generalize behavior nearly as well as we do. So, that reason, one of many good examples Chagallsmom gave us is enough to make me steer clear of harsh punishment for any of my human-perceived reasons. And what for anyhow? There are ways to teach dogs that don't involve coercive, intimidating methods and they work extremely well. On ALL dogs. So why even defend such treatment or entertain the use of it? That's what's beyond me.
Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend.
"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776
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I agree with PatK. I do not agree with the leash yank he does, or the quick kick he does to get their attention. Other than that, I have never seen any "beating" or other behavior that could be considered abuse.
So it's alright to swing them around by their scruffs, intimidate them and bully them as long as he doesn't kick or bear?
I just posted a video of him swinging dogs by their scruffs in an earlier post......
Bullying and intimidation, there's some of that too in the other video in the same post... and in every single video you will ever find from him...
And I know your current pup will never need his or anyone else's service....... but imagine you had one that does.... or your friend has one that does, would you let them call the person who "trains" by intimidation or would you actually look for a trainer who uses positive methods.
I watched the 'kicking' video - I really don't see any abuse. Presumably they've compiled the most egregious examples...I used to watch the show quite often and he's clear that the purpose of the 'tap' is to redirect the dog's focus. Often the dog has very little reaction to it other than paying a little more attention, and even when they yelp it seems more like surprise than anything. I've had my dogs do that just when they've been startled and nothing/no one has even touched them, or if one of the horses walks up behind them too quietly. I have been known to poke my guy lightly in the ribs when he's being a little too excited about something going on outside - it's very effective.
I really think the greatest value of the show is that it makes it very clear that the vast majority of problem dogs are due, solely, to inexperienced owners with very little dog skill...and also that you should pick your breed based on your lifestyle, keeping in mind the dog's original use, not on the colour...
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I actually had not seen that episode with the Jack Russels and no I did not like that method. I had a Vet do that to my 4 pound Chihuahua, because she struggled when he was looking in her eye that had gotten scratched. It made me very mad and I never went back to him. Yes I would try a trainer that used positive reinforcement first, by all means. But what if there was a dog that would be euthanized because he had bitten or attacked someone if it happened again. And the other trainer was not able to get the dog to a calm submissive state. I would be willing to try anything to prevent him or her from being euthanized. The slap, or sharp bite, as he called it, did look rougher than I usually see, and I don't like that he was using a Chicken, as most dogs would be at the least curious about. As I said I don't agree with everything he does, but I have seen good results as well.
Last edited by Grandma's Boys; 05-01-2014 at 10:00 AM.
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