One fact that’s wonderful about dogs is that whether they’re a pampered pet from America, a trained competition dog in Germany, or a street dog in Bali, the language is the same. So no matter where I go, I know I’ll be able to communicate with them.
Tag: training tricks
Ever since that great video featuring Tyson the skateboarding bulldog hit it big on YouTube, skateboarding has become a standard dog trick that owners attempt to train. Most owners start by using some basic method of luring the dog onto the skateboard with a treat or pointing to the skateboard and hoping the dog will get on. If he does, then they praise and pet him like they would a child who has finally managed to ride a bike without the training wheels. They may even give the dog a treat.
Scenes from a Saturday morning cartoon? A twisted scheme of some sort? Neither of the above. It’s the assigned mission at the August 2000 Advanced Operant Conditioning Workshop (a.k.a. chicken training camp), taught by Bob Bailey and psychologist Marian Breland-Bailey. Nine animal trainers from the U.S. and Canada, including myself, are here to meet the challenge. We have five days. Sounds like a joke, but it’s serious business. We’re here not just to train chickens. We’re here to learn the intricacies of a universal mechanism of learning called operant conditioning.