Thursday, January 6, 2011

Can a dog train its human owner?

I think so. After all, you give a dog more slack with a longer leash and he or she winds up straining to walk or run past the limit. Or the dog begs at the table or barks to be allowed back in the house. The human, in turn, thinks that is amusing and obliges the dog by throwing out a table scrap. The dog devours the scrap and promptly forgets that he or she can be rewarded as such with repeat performances.

Same thing goes for a dog's insistance on pulling or refusing to move because it came across something very ineresting on the lawn or sidewalk and intends to explore it as soon as possible.

I'm not an animal psychologist by any means. I could have only considered Pavlov's dogs and their activities and rewards.

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