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Chet Baker: Training Humans

Sunday, February 1, 2015

This dog has us all figgered out. He knows that he gets away with about anything by being himself, which is to say impossibly cute. Most mornings, I find him lying crosswise, right through the middle of the bed, taking up the room of 1.5 humans. And what does he get for it? He gets called Sugar Peanut, and he gets a kiss on his cold little gumdrop nose.

I could pretty much run video and get good stuff every time somebody walks into the kitchen, because wheedling treats from people is what Chet Baker does best. Last evening was no exception. I made my usual rambling pointless dopey dog video. Brevity, I am not your soul. 

But something really cool happened in this little video. I saw Chet employing what amounts to clicker training on his (admittedly rather slow to learn) Daddeh. Chet was consciously giving Bill positive reinforcement for doing the right thing (making motions to pour a little bowl of milk for Chet). And he consciously avoided reinforcing Bill for doing the wrong thing (pouring the milk in the sink). 

When Bill makes motions toward giving Chet what he wants (a wee bowl of milk), Chet woofs and wags. Bill is encouraged to do the right thing.

When Bill makes motions toward pouring the milk in the sink, Chet sits stock-still. Effectively, he's ignoring the behavior he doesn't want. Bill is not encouraged for doing the wrong thing.

Right there, this dog is a better trainer than most of we humans are. No wonder we scramble to do the right thing in Chet's estimation, which is to give him LOTS OF TREATS.

No wonder he is The Cylindrical Pig.

Better keep running, you little rasher of BACON.


Sucking it in. We all do it.

Thanks to Murr Brewster  for inspirato. If you haven't read Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor, well, you should. Right, Murr? Best part: it doesn't just work for dogs. It works on people, too. Ideally.


You guys are just pathetic, paTHEtic. That dog TOLD you 20 times!!

Laughing my butt off!!

I'm laughing my butt off too! (And the last screen really put me into hysterics.) I do think Chet may need to go on anti-psychotics if he keeps living with his current family!! Mether, are you familiar with Catsip? It's a juice-box size of milk for cats (and dogs) that has whatever taken out of it that isn't good for the cats and dogs. Might try that. He could have MORE of it then.

I sure Chet is thinking "If I only had opposable thumbs, I wouldn't need to teach this dumb human anything. There is no dignity in this!"

Posted by Beth Cooper February 1, 2015 at 11:44 AM

I actually giggled! I do not giggle.
We had a bulldog that loved sliced tomatoes.

Chet told me he is just going to get a COW because the whole humans/bottle/counter top/bowl thing is too complicated.

Milk, bowl, milk, bowl. On the floor. How many times must I explain it to you Mether?

"If a Man Answers" was a hilarious old movie wherein the girl asks her mom for advice on getting her husband to do what she wants, and her mom gives her a dog training book. Soooooooo funny! It wasn't the best film ever, but parts of it were were some of the funniest movie-making ever.

Chet's Log, Day 2700:
I feel as though my attempts to train the humans are a failure. They seem to become confused by the simplest task.
They are smarter than cats though.

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