It’s a sunny morning in Folsom and something odd is happening at the Folsom Zoo. Zookeepers and staff are waving their arms, flailing their legs, and balancing in weird positions. No, they’re not there to entertain the animals. They’re playing the training game. The game where two people collude to train a third person to perform behavior unknown to her.
I used to think that the behavior of just waiting for the human to provide a clue, the way your dog is, was a result of a dog being a cross-over from traditional force-based training methods. Or, that the dog had always been lured such that he never had to problem solve. While this is probably the case to some extent, sometimes it’s more than that.
Do you have suggestions for training in a multiple dog household? Of my three dogs, two are “sitting to say please” to go out. The other dog refuses. I started letting the two go on out and making the refuser stay until she sits. But she still refuses to sit at the same time as the others. How do I reinforce behaviors properly with three dogs who don’t always respond the same way or at the same time? (All three dogs are eleven years old.)
We have a 2 year old female cat (Kachina) who is fully declawed and spayed. She will jump on the bed or sofa with my wife (Liz) and want to be scratched behind her ears/head. She purrs while this is happening then all of a sudden she will turn and bite Liz in the arm. This used to happen 1-2 times every month or so and now it is a few times a week.
I remember in high school math class thinking, math wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the word problems. Now, as an adult, I think, if you can’t do the word problems, which represent math in real life, you don’t really know math. Similarly, with dog training classes, it’s great when dogs know how to sit, and heel and focus on their owners in the controlled class environment but what they really need is to be able to do those things in the real world.
When we last left off, I’d dropped Lucy, the 8 week old Australian Cattle dog with my parents after taking a week to train her through the puppy learn to earn program at my house. Before I brought her down, she seemed virtually perfect. She would automatically sit to be petted, to get her leash on, to go out the door, to have her toy tossed, and even when she greeted guests, including young toddlers.