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Dog's in that nasty claustrophobic tube

Donald McCaig

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None of the real dog people I've been privileged to know over the years would need a scientific test to know what a dog was thinking, to understand that for most properly raised dogs, love and affection trump food treats, that the bond with their person is above anything and everything else and that, yes, of course, dogs have feelings - the thing I said decades ago in Mother Knows Best that made the scientists say I was anthropomorphic.


Dogs can not only read our faces, they read what's inside us, too. The dog who cringes when you come home to find an accident on the rug or a chewed up glove may not remember his mistake, but he can certainly read your anger, even before you open your mouth. And when my service dog lies tight against me to help me release my body's own pain killing chemicals. she is doing something on purpose. She knows when to start and when it's OK to leave. She knows where the pain is and how to fix it. And it's exactly what she wants to do.


My dog's behavior and her expression tell me all I need to know. I don't have to put her in a nasty claustrophobic tube to understand her.

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^^ This may be (and is, of course) true, but if you read John Pilley's book Chaser he explains the reasoning for the use of scientific method to "prove" what we already know.


IIRC, Stanley Coren may also have addressed this in The Intelligence of Dogs.


For one thing, it can provide a pretty convincing rebuttal to those non-believers who need more than what our own experience tells us is real.

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I read the first book, How Dogs Love Us, and enjoyed it. Berns describes the training process ~ it was slow and laborious. In setting up the process, Berns knew that if the dogs were uncomfortable or nervous at all, it would skew the results. They trained slowly and carefully, to make sure the dogs were NOT in any sort of discomfort. They had to test and refuse a lot of dogs before accumulating a few that were suitable for these tests.


Didn't know he has a second one out, will be reading that one, too. I love knowing the sciency stuff behind behavior.


Ruth & Gibbs

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