Part 3 of Dogs Notice Everything (The Missed Cue)
This is really the opposite of a missed cue. The dogs are understanding the cues beautifully, but these are cues I’m specifically trying not to give!
Around the time I made the Missed Cue videos, I got very interested in cue discrimination in general and worked on teaching Summer and Zani the difference between the verbal cues for Crate and Go to Mat. Since it is so easy to teach these with hand and body cues, my dogs didn’t really know the verbals, although I used them regularly. So I took a stab at teaching the discrimination and made a video of our progress. The methods in the movie are not bad, but my test of the results leaves quite a bit to desired.
In the spirit of the blog, I present the embarrassing part of the video, where I attempt to test Zani’s knowledge of the verbal cues. The whole point is to refrain from giving any physical indication of which item I want them to go, and I fail utterly at this.
To complete my embarrassment, I’ve turned off the sound for this short clip. Even a human can tell which behavior I am cuing by my body language every time. I not only fix my gaze on the object, but I turn my body slightly in that direction. And dogs are probably 10 times better at noticing those things than we are.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been the whole focus and point of the training!
Does Your Dog REALLY Understand a Verbal Cue?
In case you want to test whether your dogs know a verbal cue, here’s Donna Hill of Vancouver Island Assistance Dogs showing how to do it correctly.
I’m making a goal for myself to teach some cues well enough to pass this test. The first step by itself, teaching the dog to respond while I am out of sight, could be a challenge. This skill has to be taught gradually as well. Since my dogs can respond to some cues at a distance I’m hoping we have a good start on this.
Anybody else aware of cuing their dog without knowing it? It’s so easy to do. Want to share?
Discussions coming soon:
- Living with an old, old dog
- Dog/dog resource guarding
- Superstitious behaviors
- Stimulus control
Thanks for reading!