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But My Dog KNOWS That!
Have you ever found yourself saying "But My Dog KNOWS That!" If yes, you are not alone. It is a common lament from dog owners. You ask your dog to sit when you are home and he aces it! You then take him to the park, cue the sit, and nothing happens. Your dog is happilybouncing around the grass, jumping up on your friends and strangers, and you are yelling ‘sit, Sit, SIT, SIT’ to no avail. Is your dog being disobedient, stubborn, or worse yet dominant! Actually no. Your dog is just being a dog and dog’s must be taught to generalize.
What does it mean for a dog to generalize?
Generalization: the ability to apply a concept to a situation different from the one it was initially learned in.
This is second nature us. When you learned to write, you didn’t have to relearn the process when you went from school to home, changed from lined paper to blank paper, or switched from pencils to pens.
Humans generalize more easily than they discriminate.
Discrimination: the ability to focus on the details.
Dogs are master discriminators. “Sit” doesn’t necessarily mean “put your bottom on the ground” to a dog. Sit may mean “Put your bottom on the ground when you are by the door, facing mom, and she has a treat in her hand.”
Dogs discriminate more easily than they generalize.
Dogs must be taught that what they learn in one room, applies to all the rooms in the house, to the backyard, the front yard, the street, and the park.
How do you help your discriminating dog to generalize?
You introduce variety when you practice a skill. Some of the ways to do this include:
Once your dog can generalize a few behaviours, you'll find that all subsequently taught behaviours tend to generalize more quickly.
A few pointers to help you set your dog up for success when you start to generalize a behaviour:
Understanding why your dog may not be listening to you will help you find positive solutions to this struggle.
Watch this excellent video by That Dog Geek called Why Dogs DON'T LISTEN Around Distractions
Download the free F.O.C.U.S. ebook from Absolute Dogs to learn how to grow your dog’s focus when you are out and about.
Download the free Ditch the Routine ebook from Absolute Dogs to learn how to reduce high arousal and how conversation starters can help.
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AREAS WE SERVE
Proud of My Dog is located along the shores of Slocan Lake in beautiful New Denver, BC
In-person we serve, the North Slocan Valley, Nakusp, Kaslo, and the Village of Slocan.
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Currently all of our in-person group classes are held in New Denver and Nakusp.
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