Friday, January 14, 2011

Does it generalize?

In the dog training world, generalize means something. Does a behavior generalize? Meaning, what you trained at home does the dog understand it away from home? What you train in the living room - is the dog able to do the same thing in the kitchen? Generalize.

Roscoe seems to generalize, everything! He's brilliant. A savant. Seriously, it is just something we hardly ever have to consider. Once he learns something, he's got it. Solid. He just needs to understand it and he's got it, anywhere.

Spur - doesn't generalize, much. Teach him sit in the house and then ask him to sit in the yard. He might have to think a little. It's not that he isn't brilliant (he's no savant, but he is certainly smart!), it's that he doesn't generalize. So, training him takes longer. He has to learn things and think them through. He learns in environments and changing his environment changes the whole picture. He is so influenced by other stimuli and affected by the situation. And I am not talking the Jersey Shore guy, losers! (if you don't know who that is, then you are not a loser! :D )

It's a learning process, teaching dogs. They all learn differently and for me, with the Pin Heads both being pretty good at generalizing, teaching a dog with trouble generalizing is a learning process. I try to move ahead too quickly and learn I need to step back and do some "generalizing". So, that's what we will do.
Generalize. Spur. Generalize.

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