Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Learning and Personalities

I have heard it said that dogs typically don't learn by example (ie showing them what you want them to do). Rather they learn best by positive reenforcement of behavior that you catch them doing. In training I believe this is largely true however I suspect that a new dog may follow the lead of a more experienced dog.

Meet Warrior

Warrior is a member of our little greyhound/dog-park group. For some reason I am having some resistance to calling it a play-date group. Probably it is a man thing. I digress. Warrior came to stay with us for a few days. He is a very affectionate boy who gets a little excited when you arrive and depart so you have to watch his whipping tail. Warrior doesn't have that much experience on hard floors. This combined with his excitable nature made him cautious navigating our house at first.

One of his challenges seemed to be our stairs. We have two sets of stairs. They both look pretty daunting from the all fours looking down perspective. Warrior was hesitant to travel down and seemed trapped forever. Gentle verbal encouragement from me did little. Kassa, realizing his partner in slumber had not yet joined him, returned to the base of the steps. After discovering Warriors dilemma Kassa returned up the steps, turned 180 on the top step right in front of Warrior and returned down. This was all the encouragement Warrior needed and he tentatively came right down. We repeated this process going down stairs into the garage.

We saw a few other examples of Kassa showing Warrior the ropes of the house. Although when it came to sitting for treats Warrior at first was somewhat directionally challenged :)

Warrior has quickly worked his way into our hearts and now our extended pack. We will miss him when he returns to his folks tonight.


houndstooth said...

I always found that our fosters picked things up very quickly from our own hounds. People who adopted them raved about their manners, but I really never felt like I taught them a lot! They just followed the lead of Treat and Hawk and sailed through life.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Kassa is looking good... I could see a hint of ribs in one of the photos! :-)

Greyhounds CAN sit said...

I wish Frankie would take note of Beryl walking beautifully on a loose lead ... but I guess I should be grateful she doesn't emulate his countersurfing and that he can't reach the back of the counter, she sure could!