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The Yes Dog!, Issue #005 -- Does your dog prefer you to someone else?
March 15, 2014

Dog Training Excellence

Issue #005, March 15th 2014

The weather has been getting nicer around here and I enjoy going to the dog park so much! I think my favorite is playing with those cute and friendly dogs that will bring you the ball to throw! You can see them going from person to person asking...

In this issue I have lots of interesting things to share with you. Read on for some doggy fun facts, science and training.

Feel free to drop me a line with questions, suggestions or even a theme you would like to see featured here.

You can send me a quick e-mail!

In this issue you will find out if your dog prefers that you throw the ball or a stranger.

Table of Contents

The Science of Dog Training

Dog obedience training is based on scientific principles. Learn about current science research that help us better understand our canine friends! In this issue: The effect of familiarity on dog-human interactions.

Train your dog to...

Walk nicely on the leash - Self-control exercises and rewarding your pooch for walking close to you are key elements when training your canine friend to walk on a loose leash.

Featured Article

"Capturing a dog behavior" - This is a training technique useful to put on command something your dog already does on his own.

Interviews with Pet Experts

Dog trainer Abby Harrison. She tells us how to be pet-prepared for potential disaster events.

Your Questions and Stories

Your question or story could be featured here! In this issue: An event that changed my dog's personality... Read about the story of this friendly dog that lost his confidence after being bitten. You can also add your comments to help the owner!

The Science of Dog Training

The effect of familiarity on dog-human interactions

A Review of Kerepesi A, Dóka A and Miklósi A. Dogs and their human companions: The effect of familiarity on dog-human interactions. Behavioral Processes, Febreuary 2014.

If you ask any dog owner if their dog can recognize him in a multitude of people, the answer will be 100% - Yes! Wouldn’t you agree? But how does the presence of a somewhat familiar or non-familiar person affects your dog’s behavior? Researcher Kerepesi and colleagues investigated this question with scientific methods.

Understanding how a dog’s behavior is affected by the presence of different humans is important for several reasons.

First, it is important to dog owners because everyone wants a friendly dog, right? So, understanding how and why dogs behave differently around non-familiar or relatively familiar people could influence the way we interact with our furry pets and how we train them. Second, answering this question has a lot of value among scientist studying dog behavior. Scientific studies have been done where the owner of the dog is strictly present during testing and other times the owner is not allowed to be present during the experiment. Would this affect the results of the study? Probably, so this is why this type os research is important. Finally, I am a firm believer that scientific research should be free of “purpose”. Human curiosity has led our species to create and discover marvelous things! So, answering any questions with the scientific method always has merit.

As a dog owner you know your pooch can discriminate between you and a stranger. Scientists know this too. Previous experiments have shown that, after a period of separation, dogs want to greet their own person more enthusiastically than a stranger. And this tells us that your canine friend can make a specific attachment relationship to a single individual, you. Similarly, dogs will seek their owner, rather than a stranger, in stressful situations

How do scientist go about testing if the dog prefers the owner or other person? One way is to compare the time the dog spends looking at the owner vs a stranger. However, in this study, researchers created 8 behavioral tests to measure: sensitivity to separation, playful interaction and obedience with the owner, a familiar person and an unfamiliar person (Note: only women were asked to participate in this study because gender also has an effect on dog behavior).

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The results of their experiment show that dogs will almost always discriminate between the owner and any other person. However, their results suggest that dogs behave in a similar manner with the familiar person and the owner in obedience tests but in playful, threatening or other intimate situations they clearly preferred to interact with the owner. In other words, your dog prefers to play with you even though he will play with familiar people too.

Now you know why your pooch keeps bringing the ball to you to throw! But most importantly, when a threatening or stressful situation happens, act as the kind leader your dogs sees in you. Do not punish him or stress him further, simply call him or take him away from the situation.

“Tell us about it!” I would love to hear how your pooch did on these tests!.

Train your dog to...

Walk nicely on the leash

Tired of walking with an animal that is trying to pull your arm out? This article will guide you through the steps necessary to help your canine friend understand that walking on a loose leash is more enjoyable for everyone!

Follow this link for more information and training tips to help you teach your dog to walk nicely on the leash.

Featured Article

Capturing a dog behavior

Ever wondered how an you put on cue that really cute face your dog gives you sometimes? Capturing is the training technique to accomplish this.

The idea is to "catch" your pooch in the act and reward him immediately. The reward will make your furry friend want to repeat this feat more often, which will then give you a change to put the behavior on command!

This is my family dog Naiko, and I love that little face when he thinks something is up!

Learn here how to capture your dog's cute face!

Interviews with Pet Experts

Dog trainer Abby Harrison

Abby Harrison is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer in the Houston, TX area and has helped many dog owners reconnect with their canine friends.

Sneak Peak:"Many things we used to think about dogs have turned out to be inaccurate. Dog training professionals read books, watch videos by various knowledgeable scientists and trainers, attend seminars and we have email groups which allow us to pick other trainer's brains if we need help."

Above is a picture of Abby (left) and me (right) when we met at a dog training seminar.

Read about her tips on how to be ready to protect your hound in case of a disaster.

Interview with Abby Harrison.

Your Questions and Stories

This section is for you to brag about your dog! You can also ask questions (and get answers), tell us your advice or share an interesting anecdote.

Your story could be featured in The Yes Dog! And will get its own webpage that you can share with friends and family. Click here to share!

This issue's featured story is about A dog that changed his personality after being bitten. Mom Nadine is desperate for any help or encouragement you can giver about her situation.

Click here to add your comments to this story!

That is all for now.

Until the next time,
Dog Training Excellence

P.S: Would you like to have your own website? It is easier than you think. I had no knowledge about the web but here I am! You can have yours too... watch the Site Build It! Video Tour.


Copyright © 2012-2014 Natalia Rozas de O'Laughlin. All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized duplication or publication of any materials prohibited.

Not intended to substitute for veterinary, legal or other professional advice.

Consult your vet for advice about medical or behavioral conditions & treatment of your pet.

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