05 November 2012

The Wrongness of Dog Training, take home messages from Bob Bailey and Dr. Sophia Yin's lecture.

Number one take home message: Spy dogs get to ride in helicopters!

Number two take home message: Dogs are confused. The wrongness of people trying to train them, no matter what they do, means there are a lot of baffled dogs running amuck. Mine included.

Bob Bailey, head spy dolphin trainer to the U.S. Navy, wants to make sure we get this. Think. Plan. Do. And, if you don't, his scientific data shows that your misplaced, poorly timed, bad postured missteps make it all that much worse. For a trainer with 50% good reinforcement, and 50% bad reinforcement, the effectiveness of the behavior is actually reduced by 50%-75%.

Shall I elaborate in less number-speak? Bad training messes up your dog. Maybe even more than not training it.

So if you are hoping to be able to use your dogs to spy on the neighbors or catch voter fraud in the election, brush up on your mad skilz. Fast. Faster.

Dr. Sophia Yin backs this up the message of Wrongness with video proof. All her videos feature her training dogs excellently and then, bumbling owners training their dogs wrongly. Dr. Sophia Yin has pixie hair and cores and frequently wears a skort. She moves effortlessly backwards and forwards and invents robots. The bumbling owners, they just bumble along. Sideways walking like crabs and everything, so very slow. Their dogs look baffled. I am sorry, owner, sorry you are the footage of Wrongness.

I saw myself right away. This is not a case of Otherness. I wasn't wearing the skort. I was the one with the crabs. Walk. Crab walking. Wrongly.

When I went out to practice, I had in my mind to Think. Plan. Do.

Think: First we were playing ball and I decided to run a course left up from the UKI trial and see if I could hitch Otterpop up to my pants and clicker train her a new trick. And I tried to show Gustavo the running fast backwards thing except I crashd into a jump and he got scared and there was all of a sudden a whole lot of Do and the thinking was Huh? That UKI course had a gnarly ending involving straight tunnel under the dogwalk impossibilities and impending dog crash doom.

The plan?

The plane, boss! It's the PLANE!

Plan: Tattoo! He wore a tiny little white suit. Gustavo is just like Tattoo! But with no teeth. I forgot I had that good ball I found in the street and then we were playing ball again. In the shade. Didn't Mitt Romney mock Obama for promising to slow the rise of the oceans and help fix the planet and he would help families instead except then the hurricane actually hurt all the families and Romney says it isn't climate change?

And Dr. Sophia Yin's reward timing exercises look a lot like what my new friend Dr. Chiropractor has been showing me. Him and my salsa dance teacher. They show me over and over but my back still hurts and I can't do pretty fingers at the same time as I spin. They say I'll get it right someday, but I think I am keeping them in business.

In business! I am keeping Dr. Sophia Yin in business! Viva los robots! And look at her cores. Cores of steel accessorized by the hands free leash in Red. Red leash, blue state.

Bob Bailey might not be able to stop global warming, but train the dolphins right, and they could be your ticket out the next time floodwaters rise. Correct dog training could help us in an earthquake, with the right military expertise. Don't worry though, his dolphins didn't blow anybody up, they just knew how to disable the engines. The parrots can ride bikes and the dolphins found the enemy subs. You know who is going to survive if Romney wins? Bob Bailey, that's who. Lots of military spending to be had. And the gulls will fly him to safety.

Teach a goat to swim, feed a homeless family. It's now 94 degrees in November at my house, if that isn't climate change, I don't know what is. The fires, the West Coast's version of Sandy, should be coming soon.

Do: We will vote. We will click on time. We will try to be less confusing. The problem, it is very clear.


Elf said...

The camouflaged cameras are very subtle. Creative use of existing materials. I practiced running backwards quickly once today. Mostly I've been Thinking all the time since I left Davis yesterday about Planning and Doing. If I think long enough, maybe I'll make it to this weekend when I can just Do agility instead.

dianna walter said...

Very resourceful and creative indeed to use camouflaged cams. But such can't really be useful if there's no dog training.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Yin wears a skort?! Did you ask her if she was friends with Susan Garrett? I wonder.

Thank you for today's laugh. Otterpop is the best secret weapon around since Bob Bailey trained spy porpoises.

Otterpop Groupie from Kentucky

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