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Routines and the unexpected

Funny. The last pee and cookies bedtime routine is the one thing that Stella will come and stare at us for or stare at us and go get her Ellie she takes to bed every night. She likes a certain amount of routine but she knows how to roll with it too. But this is interesting to think bout




( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2014 03:32 pm (UTC)
I loved this article, and I'll book mark it for further use (as in ... send students there). I actually spend a good deal of time talking about the pluses and minuses of routine when working with a dog. I think that generally dogs adapt pretty quickly, and they'll shrug off one routine in favor of another without looking back. But all in all, routine IS an important factor in their lives and it gives them a starting point at which communication between the species can grow. When your dog reminds you of a routine, that's REAL communication right there, you KNOW what she's asking and she knows how to ask for it. I think this is especially rewarding to puppies, who are just starting to ask for "communication" in their new home.

Yesterday I took Rumble up to Washington to watch the regionals of USDAA. He's never been there before, but I expected him to react to "being at a trial" the way he has been at home (here, in venues he recognizes) . He did not! He was first really concerned about the weird smells and sounds, and stuck close to me and didn't notice the agility at all. Later I took him into the barn where the agility was "happening" and he hardly noticed it. He enjoyed saying hi to all the people and checked out the dogs but was willing to reconnect to me and get cheese and really was NOT interested in being all "in the action" which was surprising to me. He didn't see this venue as exciting... the way he did a few weeks ago. Interesting.
May. 25th, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC)
Interesting. He didn't react to the trial like trials he is entered in because your prep routine for the trip was different ? And you were different, not in competition ready mode?
May. 25th, 2014 07:00 pm (UTC)
I do think that could be really Key. I was all chill, he was all chill. I didn't have the competition face on, and neither did he. Now, how to affect that in a real trial situation... hmmm.
May. 26th, 2014 01:55 am (UTC)
Good article. I'm always trying to find ways to explain to my students that they need to vary their rewards--even when we're talking about food. So often we get into the habit of using the same rewards and even though they may be very high value, variety increases the dog's interest.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )