Monday, December 07, 2015

Down Stay

Just two dots in this photo.
The two pups, seen here, are practicing down-stay in a new location. One of the problems with dogs, is that they do not generalize too well. While they may know a trick or command in the living room, they often think it means "do that, on this signal, but only in this location."

Getting a dog to understand
that this same command needs to be followed in the park, on the sidewalk, while out hunting, on the back gate of the truck, on a couch, on a log or stone, etc., is something else.

Practice, practice, practice. Everywhere. Always.


jeffrey thurston said...

Such good doggies! I couldn't trust my guys off leash in a field full of interesting things like that- they're too crazy for the chase. they're like the two dogs on a terrierman's book from the Thirties I've seen on this blog- dragging me along...

Donald McCaig said...

Generalizing? It's complicated. It's not uncommon to put an off-stock down on a Border Collie and have the dog fail to understand the command on-stock. (and vice-versa). On the other hand it would be pretty weird if a dog with a strong on-stock down forgot it because he was in an unfamiliar venue/location.

On the other hand: when I have a dog in the truck and go through the drivethrough, they discover that FRENCH FRIES BE THERE!!!!

And for some of them, every after, when I pause at my mailbox and roll down the electric window they go ballistic.

Donald McCaig

PBurns said...

It IS complicated. Weird even.

On the one hand, some dogs seem to have a hard time generalizing. Not all, but some. But not on everything.

Then there is squaring the "generalization" problem which everyone who trains dogs has seen, with the "superstitious" phenomenon we have also all seen.

Let me add in another bit: We do not get all the cues the dogs get. For example, no human has ever been able to feel the setting I have my dogs on for an ecollar (4 and 5). It generally has to be a 10 before they feel anything at all. And yet, the dogs clearly feel it. It's not a shock -- they just change behavior, sometimes slightly annoyed that they could not blow me off.

So here's the question: If storm energy creates minor static electricity that the dogs can feel, but we cannot, and that very light, annoying static is also cued to thunder, would that be why so many dogs freak out from thunder -- it's not the noise, so much as the noise paired with unending annoying minor (and entirely natural) static charges?