Three Dimensional Dog

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I enjoy working with and training my dogs.  I’ve read a ton of books on dog training and attended several different training schools with my dogs.  However, the book “Three Dimensional Dog” by Aaron McDonald is different from anything I have encountered up to this point.

It was eye opening and changed my entire approach to dog training.  While I was reading the book, I was wondering why didn’t I think about these issues.  It seems so obvious now.

The first part of the book explains the differences between trick training and cognitive behavior training.

Most dogs are trained to perform an action for a treat.  The training is focused only on the outer behavior of the dog.  This is known as trick training.

Cognitive behavior training looks at the whole dog.  It addresses the inner mind and emotions of the dog and uses that information to teach the dog how to live peacefully within the family unit.  The three dimensional approach to dog training is based on cognitive behaviorism.

The first dimension that needs to be addressed is the dog’s emotional needs.  Does the dog feel safe and have appropriate boundaries?  Are the dog’s physical needs being addressed?

The second dimension is concerned with what the dog is thinking.  Before a dog does anything they will develop an intellectual plan.  Paying attention to the dog’s body language will tell you how the dog is feeling and give you insight into what the dog is thinking.

The third dimension involves action.  It is everything the dog does with their body.  This is where traditional training methods actually start.

Addressing the dogs physical, emotional, and intellectual needs will allow the dog to reach a state of actualization.  Also, focusing on the three dimensions help the dog achieve a balanced emotional state.  This allows the dog to reach their fullest potential and be a functioning member of the family unit.

Australian Cattle Dog by Hilary Lewis

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Hilary Lewis describes Australian Cattle Dogs as loyal, tenacious, intelligent, independent, active, hard working, protective, courageous, possessive, suspicious of strangers, aloof, stubborn, and as having a dominate personality streak.

Australian Cattle dogs are great, but before you decide to adopt one you need to know what to expect.  They are not easy dogs.  Without proper training, an Australian Cattle Dog can wreak havoc in your life.

If you are considering adopting an Australian Cattle Dog, I highly recommend this book.

I have an Australian Cattle Dog, so I was laughing and shacking my head the whole time I was reading it.

 

Dog Park Disaster

Gwen and I decided to take Joey, Ben, Buddy, and Blue to the dog park.

All of our dogs are well trained.  Joey earned the Canine Good Citizen Certification from the American Kennel Club.  Blue is in advanced classes.  Ben and Buddy are at the intermediate level.

However, sometimes they act like a pack of wild crazy dogs that have never had a day of training in their lives.  Today was one of those days.

  • They were involved in several disagreements with the other dogs.
  • Joey got into a fight.
  • Three of the boys managed to escape the park and create a ruckus by running around and barking at a group of people with their dogs.

Due to their behavior, we had to leave the park early.  The boys still managed to have a great time and are rather pleased with themselves.

Oh well, they are cute and we still love them.

Congratulations Little Boy Blue

Today is Little Boy Blue’s third adoption anniversary.  Blue is an amazing dog.  He excels in all his training classes.  He is a great traveling companion.  He has a strong nurturing instinct, which drives him to look after and protect his brothers.  He is loyal, friendly, and loves to play.

Happy Adoption Anniversary Little Boy Blue

Three Reasons Why Dogs Are Amazing Pets

Dogs unique abilities and traits that make them amazing pets:

  • Dogs have advance social skills.
    • They understand the concept of fairness.
      • If you give one dog two treats and another dog three treats, the dog with two treats will complain about the situation.  He knows that he was cheated out of a treat.
      • I was watching Ben play with a toy one day.  Blue walked up to Ben and took his toy away from him.  As you would expect, Ben was angry about the situation.  However, the other two dogs in the room also got mad at Blue.  They all braked and growled at him for stealing the toy.  Blue dropped the toy and walked out of the room with his head hanging down in shame.  A few minutes later, Blue came back into the room.  He walked up to Ben, with his head still down, and licked Ben on the nose.  He was trying to apologize for his behavior.  Ben wagged his tail and returned the favor by licking Blue on the nose.  All was forgiven.
    • Dogs have a unique ability to understand body language.  Obviously, dogs can understand the body language of other dogs.  What makes dogs unique is their innate ability to understand human body language and to respond appropriately to human facial expressions.
    • Dogs are the only animal know to yawn, as a sympathetic response, when their owners yawn.
  • Dogs are extremely intelligent.
    • Dogs are born with the ability to understand the concept of numbers.  Scientist have preformed numerous experiments to prove dogs have this ability.  The dog is shown a certain number of treats, the treats are then covered with a screen, when the screen is lifted the number of treats has decreased.  The dog will take the treats and then look for the missing treats, until it has found all the treats it should have.  Most dogs were able to figure out how many treats they should have, until they numbers reached double digits.
    • The average dog can learn between 100 to 200 words.  Dogs with an above average intelligence can learn even more than that.
    • Dogs have been known to exhibit critical thinking skills.  Manufactures have even started making dog toys that require the dog to interact with a toy before it will distribute a treat.  The toy may require the dog to turn it a certain way or to move pieces on the toy to get the treat.
  • Dogs exhibit superior emotional skills.
    • Dogs react with compassion whenever someone (human or animal) they love is sick or injured.  When I was really sick with an infection in my mastoid bone, Blue refused to leave my bedside.  He would not even leave me for food. Gwen started bringing his dinner into my room so he could eat.
    • Dogs grieve the loss of a family member.  Years ago, I had two dogs named Max and Bud.  When Max died, Bud spent three days in a corner of the yard.  He would make pitiful whimpering noises and refused to eat.
    • Dogs are instinctively protective of their family.  A few years ago, we took all five of our dogs to the dog park.  Norton, who only weighs 14 pounds, was run over by a larger dog.  Norton let out a cry, which caused all his brothers to come running.  You should have seen the look on that dog’s face when he saw Ben (who weighs 120 pounds), Joey (who weighs 100 pounds), Blue (who weighs 45 pounds), and Buddy (who weighs 40 pounds) running over to protect little Norton.

Dogs have a set of abilities and skills that are unique in the animal kingdom.  That’s what makes them amazing pets.

Proud Puppy Parent

We took all five dogs to the groomer today.  I was a bit nervous as to how they would behave, so I gave them a lecture before leaving the house.  I told the boys to act like good dogs, and don’t do anything that would embarrass the Thaler family.  I also reminded them of all the training classes they attended over the years, so there is no excuse for acting like wild crazy dogs after I leave them.

At 3:30, we went back to get the boys.  I am proud to report, the dogs did a wonderful job and the workers were pleased with the boys behavior.  I felt so proud of them.  The boys all got extra treats for being such wonderful dogs.

They are an amazing group of dogs.