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Does your dog do tricks? venting!!!

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Sure, any dog can learn to "shake" and so maybe that's not very impressive to people who have truly trained dogs

 

You never really know what went into teaching "shake", though.

 

Speedy had major paw issues and this trick was "impossible" for him for a long time.

 

To teach it to him I had to free shape him touching a board lying on the floor with his paw, and then I changed that to a dowel which was still lying on the floor. Once he was comfortable with that, I gradually raised it and put the move on cue.

 

Once he knew "paw" on cue, I subsituted my open palm for the dowel and he finally did it. Some other more impressive things like leg weaves came much easier to him!

 

It may not look impressive to anyone who had a dog that learned it through simple channels, but to me it is one of Speedy's most impressive moves since I know what went into it.

 

You just never know how much time, training, and work went into teaching anything to any dog.

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With fearful dogs like I have, doing "tricks" has really come in handy. A new person comes into my home and I have the dogs show all of their tricks and even instigate having the person interact w/ those tricks and VOILA....new person becomes something not so fearful anymore and vice versa for people who generally are afraid of dogs. In fact, one of my son's friends was terrified of bigger dogs until I incorporated their tricks into meeting said friend...now he is no longer scared of bigger dogs and rolls w/ them on the floor just like my kids...all because of my teaching my dogs tricks and making them useful.

 

With that being said, I KNOW I am the kind of person that can't train a service dog to do the things that they have to learn and I respect anyone who can teach in that fashion all the more. More of the reasoning (that I find from experience anyway) behind WHY people ask if the dog can do tricks is because its a way of allowing them to play w/ your dog. Who can resist wanting to interact w/ wonderful animals like dogs, and asking if the dog can do tricks is a polite way of asking w/o just barging rudely in like alot of us (me included) complain about.

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I guess I am having trouble figuring out what the complaint is? Are you upset because someone asked you if your dog does tricks, and the answer is simply, "No"?

 

Oh, can your dog shake. NO- I DO, that's why my dog picks up things for me and keeps my balance.

 

My dog shakes. So do I. He also picks up whatever I ask him to ... a useful "trick." (I wouldn't lean on any of my dogs for balance, though. If I needed that type of assistance, I would go for a larger, sturdier dog, like a Lab.)

 

no matter what a##hole you are

 

Is there something wrong with someone wanting to see a Border Collie (widely known as one of the smartest dogs on the planet) do a couple of tricks in the bar? So what if your dog doesn't do tricks? Why is the guy at the bar an a##hole? Simply because he's in a bar? Um, weren't you at the bar, too?

 

No- my dog does obedience and that's why he's not jumping in your lap and clawing at you.

 

My dogs do NOT do obedience, yet they are not allowed to jump in anyone's lap and claw at them either.

 

A month ago, you were complaining that you have a Bored Collie. Why NOT teach him a few tricks? Maybe he's bored with all the boring obedience? Maybe he wants to do stupid pet tricks for the a##hole drunks in the bar you take him to.

 

Hmmmm...

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I agree than any real work or obedience (done well) is more impressive than (most) tricks, but I don't understand the viewpoint that tricks are "undignified" or not worth teaching a dog.

 

Not sure if you are referring to my use of the word, but what I meant was that it seemed undignified for a SD to be doing tricks merely because I asked them to see some, while the dog is actively working. Like I said, if an SD owner *offers* to show me some, great!

 

I think it's totally worth teaching my dog tricks - I even think it's worth teaching cats tricks! Although to be fair, most cats DO feel the whole proposition smacks of a lack of dignity. I am a cruel master. :rolleyes:

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I do teach tricks, and consider all training I do with Ling, tricks, agility, obedience, etc, to be a way of establishing communication with her. I think we ALL agree that this is important. I do love that I can talk to my dogs in every day language and they understand a lot of what I say to them... ie. "stop that" or "leave that", "go get a different toy" "back up" "go get in the car" "get your ball and come inside" (not that they always *do* what they know I want :rolleyes: ). Those aren't really tricks, it's just having a dog who is easy to live with and I assume most people on this board have that type of communication with their BC, or will eventually.

 

For those of us who need to create work for our pet BCs, tricks can also fill a very important role. I don't have sheep and Ling was disinterested in lessons, so that kind of work is unavailable to her, and I don't need a service dog either. I admire both of those kinds of work, but I need something else for my dog to DO. I hear all the time from people who's dogs don't do tricks that the kinds of tricks Ling does are "beneath" their dog. I don't get that. Many of them involve complicated behavior, as has already been described here by many, and teaching them has really helped me understand how Ling thinks and learns. Going through the process of understanding each other also strengthens our bond, and she really has fun doing it.

 

I think if I was impatient or frustrated, or didn't take the time to go slowly and figure out what would work for her, she probably would shut down and not learn anything. But for a lot of dogs, including mine, learning tricks is a great way to spend 30 minutes a day playing with their person!

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Not sure if you are referring to my use of the word, but what I meant was that it seemed undignified for a SD to be doing tricks merely because I asked them to see some, while the dog is actively working. Like I said, if an SD owner *offers* to show me some, great!

 

Actually that comment was more in response to Lenajo's comments about a British v. American mentality on tricks. But I have heard the sentiment at least a couple times recently in other threads (and I can't remember where exactly) that tricks in general or a specific trick are "beneath" people's dogs or not worth teaching, etc. Of course, people can teach or not teach whatever they want, I just wanted to point out that there's not much difference between teaching "tricks" and teaching other behaviors and that there is lots of value to be gained from teaching tricks.

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I would like to see Kat's input here... :rolleyes:

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My posts about the British thread referenced another Board that I'm on. As I noted, I am pondering whether that attitude was just something that was limited to that Board based on their poster's experiences; or if it really is culturally different between US, UK and Europe how we view tricks?

 

I have some dogs that do parlor tricks, and often I end up regretting teaching it because I find it's not so cute when they get in the habit of it. Tweed's well conditioned paw wave behavior taught as a puppy for example, sucked majorily on his obedience fronts as an adult. Claire also finds doing her combo downnflipnspin quiet rewarding if she doesn't understanding what I want in Agility. We will spend more time squashing that behavior than I ever did playing around with the clicker teaching it.

 

And I cringe whenever I hear anyone teaching "speak". That's such a self rewarding behavior that I know very few that can it limited to when cued later.

 

I think, to answer some of the questions between what is 'trick" and what is "obedience", is that the difference is a trick tends to be when the dog is asked to do something with an anthropomorphic twist for human amusement ( I.e. shake hands, speak, dance). Obedience is simply that - the dog is under control because he is doing what he was taught. He's still doggish, "not a furry kid". A dog who is shaking hands is being shown to be "like a human". A sheepdog that drops into his down promptly on cue is simply an obedient working dog.

 

They are taught the same way in the end (that is the dog doesn't know the difference, he does what works for him); its the attitude of the one that tends to offend more purist owners who don't anthropomorphize and find such behaviors objectional.

 

 

 

Actually that comment was more in response to Lenajo's comments about a British v. American mentality on tricks. But I have heard the sentiment at least a couple times recently in other threads (and I can't remember where exactly) that tricks in general or a specific trick are "beneath" people's dogs or not worth teaching, etc. Of course, people can teach or not teach whatever they want, I just wanted to point out that there's not much difference between teaching "tricks" and teaching other behaviors and that there is lots of value to be gained from teaching tricks.

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I'd like to see Kat's input, also. I go to this "doggy bar" because my BF goes there all the time and we know people. No, he doesn't drink either- it's been 5 1/2 years for him. I like the idea of "He's doing one now". People have commented that he is the most well behaved dog there, but that is what is expected of him. That's his job. Yet it's the one place, where the vest comes off and he gets to be a "regular dog". Hard to explain.

I guess I'll have to re-train him how to hold the biscuit on his nose, so he "appears" to be a regular dog. Yea, hanging around drunks isn't my favorite thing to do. But it's Nascar season.

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Yea, hanging around drunks isn't my favorite thing to do. But it's Nascar season.

 

:rolleyes::D

 

Ok, so most of my dogs (excepting Linc) know a few tricks - some more than others. The only reason Nick knoes a few (like dead dog) is because I taught him a few when he was laid up with an injury. But yes, I think the general US population expects a border collie to know a few tricks. *shrug* Maybe you should teach him how to pout or put his head down, and ask him to play like Jeff Gordon. Oh, my. Bad me. 'Pologies to JG fans out there. Just pulled that one off the top of my head.

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Maybe you should teach him how to pout or put his head down, and ask him to play like Jeff Gordon.

ROFLMAO!

 

Now I totally have to teach this to Lou! It will be his first and only trick!

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It may not look impressive to anyone who had a dog that learned it through simple channels, but to me it is one of Speedy's most impressive moves since I know what went into it.

 

You just never know how much time, training, and work went into teaching anything to any dog.

 

Good point! One of my dogs took months and months and months to teach to retrieve a ball. First I had to shape him to take a step towards the ball, then sniff it, then put his mouth on it, then pick it up, then hold it, then take a step towards me.....it went on and it. It was really quite difficult and frustrating.....

So now whenever I see him run after a toy and bring it back to me(!!!!) it is still very impressive in my own mind, much more so than the complicated tricks he's learned.

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My posts about the British thread referenced another Board that I'm on. As I noted, I am pondering whether that attitude was just something that was limited to that Board based on their poster's experiences; or if it really is culturally different between US, UK and Europe how we view tricks?

 

Oh, I realize that. I didn't mean to imply that you agreed with any particular view.

 

I think, to answer some of the questions between what is 'trick" and what is "obedience", is that the difference is a trick tends to be when the dog is asked to do something with an anthropomorphic twist for human amusement ( I.e. shake hands, speak, dance). Obedience is simply that - the dog is under control because he is doing what he was taught. He's still doggish, "not a furry kid". A dog who is shaking hands is being shown to be "like a human". A sheepdog that drops into his down promptly on cue is simply an obedient working dog.

 

So then, it's not the tricks that are undignified, degrading, etc. After all, the dog who is told "shake" and the dog who is told "paw" are both performing the exact same behavior. It is the mindset that is perceived to be the motivating factor for teaching those tricks--the anthropomorphic notion of dogs as furry kids--that is offensive. For me, whenever I give my dog any command he is "under control and doing what he was taught." My dog is very much a dog even though he knows several tricks, and I think that would be still be true even if my "paw" cue were "shake hands" and even if my "up" cue were "dance."

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I shape a new behavior every few days with my dogs. They mostly turn out to be silly tricks, like putting toys in a box, turning lights on and off and whatnot-- but it's fun and is not only good mental stimulation for the dogs but also good practice for when I want to train something serious.

 

Putting toys away silly?!?! Perish the thought! For years I've wanted a dog who would do this useful task and Quinn is making excellent progress. I feel like an evil training genius. :rolleyes:

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I think Usher's greatest trick is escorting people at the "doggy bar" to their own seats. He is, after all, the walmart greeter. He "knows" the regulars and heels perfectly and takes them to their own spot. Waits for them to order their choice of beverage and then comes and lays down by my feet. He only does this for about 10 people, as I have been going to the "doggy bar" since I moved to Idaho. He has no toys there. I guess I will have to "belly-up" and teach him one trick so he can amaze his fans.

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Along this topic, when I was telling people in my agility class last night that Z was accepted as a SAR dog in training someone said, "cool, this means you can get a tracking title on her!" and it took a whole lot of self control to keep from laughing. I'm doing SAR for SAR, not to get a title - saving a life or helping a family/law enforcement is the ultimate goal and a title really pales in comparison.

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maybe if you teach her to shake they'll understand....

 

:rolleyes:

 

Along this topic, when I was telling people in my agility class last night that Z was accepted as a SAR dog in training someone said, "cool, this means you can get a tracking title on her!" and it took a whole lot of self control to keep from laughing. I'm doing SAR for SAR, not to get a title - saving a life or helping a family/law enforcement is the ultimate goal and a title really pales in comparison.

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I'm doing SAR for SAR, not to get a title - saving a life or helping a family/law enforcement is the ultimate goal and a title really pales in comparison.

 

For some people, getting titles is a big part of what they do with their dogs. She was obviously thinking in terms of what she finds rewarding.

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For most dogs, those that are really helpful- they don't do tricks. Some are pets and their job is to keep them busy with tricks. I admire Kat and Dazzle. But my dog serves his purpose by helping me. NOT getting titles, not herding, just by being there for me and helping me. Obedience is part of his job. He needs that. He doesn't need to sit at the perfect point. He just needs to sit when I stop. I love my dog. He loves me. That's what teamwork is all about.

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But my dog serves his purpose by helping me. NOT getting titles, not herding, just by being there for me and helping me. Obedience is part of his job. He needs that. He doesn't need to sit at the perfect point. He just needs to sit when I stop. I love my dog. He loves me. That's what teamwork is all about.

 

That's great. That is what teamwork means to you. Again, great. A dog isn't better (or worse) because he does (or doesn't) have titles. Titles, tricks are just something some people do with their dogs and it might be the height of rewarding for them personally. That's also great, isn't it? When you think of all the dogs in the world that aren't loved, aren't trained to do anything and languish in the backyard or are rarely given any attention or worse? I don't think we need to defend what we do with our dogs. Or what we don't do with them.

 

For the record -- as if it matters or anyone cares -- my Lhasa is like a circus dog with his tricks. It's incredibly easy to train him because he is always trying to get my attention and other people's admiration. He loves it. His absurd cuteness makes me laugh.

 

I never saw Quinn as much of a "trick dog" until I started doing disc dog stuff with him. Now he has a bunch of tricks that makes the game of fetching a Frisbee more fun and challenging for him. He loves it. His intensity and joy make me smile -- a silly, doting smile to be sure, but a smile nonetheless.

 

Years ago, my Sheltie learned to roll over and give me 10 , but the only thing she really wants to do these days is stun me with her beauty and overwhelm me with her sweetness. Trying to train her to do a new trick is an exercise in frustration for both of us. She has not overtaxed her brain these past 10 years. :rolleyes: But she delights in being my practically perfect Sheltie and she makes me smile simply by being who she is.

 

Usher sounds like a great dog, one you should be proud of and one you obviously love. I don't think you need to defend him to anyone. But neither do I think any of us need to defend or feel bad about how we spend time with our dogs, what we train them to do and what we personally find rewarding about our relationships with these great creatures.

 

Vive le difference and long live this great breed -- eh?

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Along this topic, when I was telling people in my agility class last night that Z was accepted as a SAR dog in training someone said, "cool, this means you can get a tracking title on her!"

 

Sure, except for the fact that air scent SAR dogs don't track... :rolleyes::D

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BTW, I do agility too and like titles on my dogs in that sport - I just thought the juxtaposition between lifesaving work and titling was amusing. Maggie knows about 90 words, many of those tricks or skills for playing agility and Z has a number of tricks herself. :rolleyes: I like my trick dogs who work.

 

And Maralynn I thought that was interesting too - we don't know if Z will go into trailing, air scenting, or cadaver detection but I'm thinking that much of the training we'll do might actually be counter to what you'd have to do to get an AKC title. Instead of laughing, I explained those possibilities.

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BTW, I do agility too and like titles on my dogs in that sport - I just thought the juxtaposition between lifesaving work and titling was amusing.

 

I file that sort of thing under Typical Dog Person exchange. :rolleyes:

 

Congratulations on being accepted into SAR. That is an admirable calling.

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