Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cesar Millan Calls My Dog

Whether you agree or disagree with his methods, there is some truth in the Dog Whisperer shows, and Cesar Millan's method of training dogs.

When I got my dog around 10 years ago, I was clueless.  The dog I had when I was a child, was raised in a very different manner.  Now we're more educated about things like click training or whistle training.  Simply whistle and she will come. 

There is usually some sort of music or TV on in the house.  With something on in the background, it is generally a more pleasant place to be - or so I think.  When you have a dog that is trained to come to you simply by pointing at her and crooking your finger up in the common "come here" hand gesture, there can be side effects.

When I have on a program about dog training and mine is in the next room sleeping, this is predictably going to happen.  Whistling on the TV will get her every time.   Granted with a Mc Nab Dog or many other breeds of Collie and herding dogs, the behavior is almost innate or instinctual.  Of course any loud noise will get an intelligent creature to look and some dogs are more intelligent than some people I know.

So while watching an episode of Dog Whisperer, there was a lot of whistling going on.  This sort of thing eventually taught my dog another thing - TV is Not Real.   Good luck teaching some people that, especially if they're fans of the laughably named "Fox News". 

You see the whistling happened so frequently that after coming to the TV, having a dog lunge at her and bark, and her retreat, there was no pay off.   So whether it was just that there were no cookies involved with her sitting when Cesar told the dog in the center to sit, or she just put two and two together, reality set in.

On the other hand, I'm lucky that she hasn't decided that whistles were "not for me".  I'm able to get her to snap to attention and amble over.  At almost 11 years old, she doesn't run nearly as much as she used to, and her selective deafness is pronounced.

After all, she seems to have decided that an emergency on your or my part, is not necessarily something for her to be all that excited about.  Especially if a good sniff is involved.

Oh and about that sniffing... can we please find a way to limit that?  This morning's mile walk took 45 minutes.

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