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DogRelations Dogs are Educated

Mya and Elias

One of the most amazing things I am discovering is not only how eagerly dogs learn but how quickly they accomplish things that seem quite counter intuitive to a dog. A prime example for this is the exercise “leave it” where I place cookies on the paws of dogs who live together. They will not touch those cookies until I give them a signal that it is all right for them to devour the coveted treats!

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The following videos are behaviors Bebo loves to do and enjoyed learning so much. What I love particularly about the second video is that it shows that he has such a good understanding of every single behavior that we can string them together in any order.

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Opening and closing cabinet doors!

Jumping through arms!


Maddie and Ellie

Maddie and Ellie are senior members of a five dog household. Both of them are pretty hobbly and were beginning to lose some fine motor skills. For instance Ellie would have trouble aiming her head which must have been particularly frustrating to her when she was trying to take an offered cookie and missed the cookie. Maddie who is a less enterprising creature than Ellie who can definitely make her wishes known was beginning to resign to the fact that she could not participate in fun activities any longer and just made the effort to get up for meals but spent the rest of the day sleeping.I decided that teaching them to touch objects with their noses could be fun and beneficial to them. Maddie could even do that while lying down and it might help Ellie improve her fine motor coordination skills. It took a couple of sessions for them to even dare touch the poochie bells. Now, a few months later, they are enthusiastic about the activity, they run across the room to touch the poochie bells and get their rewards and Ellie does not miss any of her cookies any longer. Maddie can ring the bell with her head to both sides whereas before she could only muster turning her head slightly to the right.

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Cosi is a Briard with lightening fast reactions and movements. She keeps me and everybody in our household on our toes

  1. […] post Rethinking Reward Based Training appeared first on NYC Dog […]

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  2. […] When I walk around the city I see all these dogs trained with different approaches. Putting aside the sad fact that there are way too many pinch collars and choke chains around there is an encouraging number of dogs who are taught with reward based training… or let’s say: a version of reward based training. Here is where I still see that there is a missing link of understanding at least in the way I see reward based training really working. Read More > […]

    Pingback by Rethinking Reward Based Training | Lifestyle Okanagan Blog on June 12, 2017 at 4:25 pm