Thursday, May 26, 2016

One Piece Setter

Off to the doctor this morning, just finished a course of heavy antibiotics for cystitis, but completely zonked by the incredibly heavy meds. Not sure I like the clinic, the doctor did not explain the severity or not of the situation or why he chose such heavy antibiotics, nor did he warn me of side-effects and give me unlike my wonderful vet, Koyamasensei, I wish I were Claire. I'm in two minds to just not go, but I guess I'll give it another try... 
On a different note, I was at a workshop yesterday about learning, and to make the point about the difference between learning and training, the presenter used a slide of a sitting dog before her finger-wagging owner for training. It seems such an outdated understanding of animal intelligence...on the contrary, dogs like humans have individual personalities with aptitudes, preferences and inclinations, which are simply not recognized in this stereotypical view. 

I would say dog training is very much the same as human training: it is indeed a learning situation, in that you are offering the dog a new scenario, they choose to explore it or not, ruminate on it later, and if so inclined, actively engage with the make it their own. Dogs too explore the new materials together with a trusted and respected mentor, be it a peer (some dogs learn well from peers and some are natural teachers) or their teacher/handler, and you can tell which dogs are gifted and enjoy things, and which would best let be. No so-called training or treats in the world can get my Nobu excited about a ball, dog training is not about blind obedience to a rote skill under pressure. My babies are wonderful students who love exploring their environment, and learn actively. 
Although I did point this out to the speaker, I had no time to expand on my reasons for disliking the slide, as I had to go off and train/offer a positive learning environment to my university students...
Photos by Lelantos at Miruphony+Dog in Nasu. The hats were kindly lent to me by a local shetland sheepdog group: check out their blog. See how the shetland babies wear their hats , and scroll down for some secret snaps of Nobu and Claire in costume! Thank you Karin mama, Mugi and Kina mama, great to meet you! 

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