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Old 04-18-2014, 09:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unintentional Training

Thinking about it the other day about certain things I didn't intend on teaching Titan but due to me repeating certain things always at the same times, he's learned a few things..

Like in the morning before I feed him, I didn't realize I ALWAYS said "Hey buddy, want some breakFAST?!!?! Go to bed!" And the other day I just asked if he wanted breakfast, and he bolted to bed. Same with "Want your Dinnerrrr?"

Another is at night, apparently I always say "Let's go night night!" as we are going into the bedroom before bed. So I realized I can tell him, "go night night" and he'll run into the room and lay in his bed waiting for his bedtime snack.

Oh and then there's the unintentional "Um, Excuse me!?" When we are training or when I ask him to do something and he doesn't do it. That apparently means go back to whatever you were doing before you did just that!

Anyone else? I think it's cool that they can pick up on things like that! They are just so smart!
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No doubt dogs are capable of associating certain words/gestures/movements and "rituals" with pending activities. I believe dogs are most certainly creatures of habit and can quickly assimilate all the antecedents which are related to pleasurable events.....perhaps, unpleasant ones as well.

Routine in a dog's life seems to be desired and they are quick to pick up on our idiosyncrasies hinting at the pending fulfillment of the "routine".

I found that when I would go to the front door to go outside briefly...get the mail, shovel the driveway, etc, that my dog would react in a fashion which suggested she was getting to go with me and crowd the door a bit as I would exit and she would wait patiently for my return, at the door. However, when I would leave for an extended period of time, before I would exit the front door, I would always say " guard the house". In short order, whenever I would leave for awhile and said "guard the house" before opening the door, the dog would not crowd the door and remain in the living room wherever she might be. I never intended for this to be a command of sorts but she definitely knows the difference ....an "unintended" response to the simple words "guard the house".

I think what you are seeing...as you are so well aware of...is GSDs can be some incredibly smart and observant creatures....quick studies at times.

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Old 04-18-2014, 11:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's just super intriguing to me. I love the intelligence. I never thought about the leaving thing. He ALWAYS follows me to the door every other part of the day except in the morning when I leave for work. Like he just knows he's not going.

He's also picked up on the fact that when I come home from the gym in the mornings he gets to go to the dog park and is usually patiently waiting by his collar and lead.

I love it..
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I discovered that Gracie (RIP) could discern whether we were going to the dog park or I was going to work by which shoes I put on in the morning. If I put on my runners, it was a dog park day and she was pretty excited and stick to me like glue. If I put on my "work" shoes, she knew she wasn't going anywhere and would have this sad look on her face and go back to bed.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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How funny! Have you ever put your running shoes on for other reasons and her still think you were going to the DP?
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes. To Gracie running shoes on equalled her right to be included in whatever you were doing and wherever you were going. She would get to excited! Good thing I did not wear them in the house! But she would be so offended if I left without her ... say to do groceries, etc. My husband would say that she wouldn't leave her post at the door till I came back.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graciesmom View Post
Yes. To Gracie running shoes on equalled her right to be included in whatever you were doing and wherever you were going. She would get to excited! Good thing I did not wear them in the house! But she would be so offended if I left without her ... say to do groceries, etc. My husband would say that she wouldn't leave her post at the door till I came back.
reminds me of my parent's dog.. she knows which tennis shoes exactly mean she's going for a walk. My mom says that she gets excited when he puts on shoes in general but will always sniff them.. if they smell right, she gets excited, if they don't she huffs and walks away. lol.

My BF says that when I leave Titan sits at the door and whines when he thinks he should have gone too... finding out now with him being Deployed, that Titan will randomly wait for him too.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Every once in a while one of my dogs gets to go to work with me. A normal morning they just sit around, watch me get ready for work, the one that is kenneled waits in her kennel for me to close the door. But somehow they know when it is a go to work with mom morning. I don't tell them, but there must be some small change in my routine that they pick up on because they won't leave my side and prance around waiting to go.
They are so smart and pick up on the littlest things.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default "Spread out"..."Be nice"...

"Spread out" meant to be a stay out of my way due to work or carrying something became a command to back up and let me go through the door first or just to back up in general.
"Be nice" a term I use for the dog when he is a little zoomie became a way for Hoby to make physical contact with me. In the car when I say "be nice" from the back seat he places his chin on my left shoulder between the car's b pillar and the head rest. It was a very nice surprise the first time. In the house when I say "be nice" Hoby puts his chin on my knee when I am sitting down. Otherwise be nice with the right body language has a calming effect on Hoby.

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Old 04-18-2014, 01:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The dogs at the kennel that are board and training all learn the sound of my car when it pulls into the parking lot. As soon as I step out I can hear them get excited. When my feet hit gravel in front of the building they get even more excited. I go in through the front door and I walk down the hall and reach the door of the training room and then there's dead silence. They know not to get loud when I'm coming in because nobody gets out until the room is quiet. They also learn fairly quickly I'm not big on noise. They learn that set of events very quickly partially because of social facilitation from the dogs that have been there longer. I'm pretty sure there's some back chaining going on too all the way back to the first stimulus that lets them know something is about to happen.

I've been experimenting more and more with training less with markers and operant and classical conditioning and more with cognition and relationship building. Just talking to the dogs and providing verbal feedback for everything and then playing and not just some **** bent over reliance on markers and food.

It's been interesting and informative and helped me further develop my dogmanship. It's not all about the markers.
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