Thursday, January 28, 2010

Demo at Duke

We have been very busy lately going to a match, practicing for the Drill Team and hanging out with friends at the dog park. The highlight of the week was going to Duke University (even though we are UNC fans).

You may remember that I participated in a research experiment at Dr. Brian Hare's Duke Canine Cognition Center last fall. It was very interesting and I enjoyed the experience. Barbara, Ambrose and I were invited back to give a talk and demonstration about dog training and handling to the students who work at the center.

The students got rewarded with chocolate for sitting in their chairs! We never get chocolate treats.

They learned about clicker training by practicing it on each other. I think that this student is being clicker trained to do a down stay.

I demoed some of my skills and then one of the students got to train me. She had me go around a cone to practice distance work. Of course I did it very well and got nice salmon treats.

Then it was Ambrose's turn. I knew that he would embarrass us and of course he did by lifting his leg on a plant in the center!! Then one of the students had to train him to go around a chair.

It took a while but he finally got it.

Then Barbara talked about canine body language and calming signals and demonstrated safe handling skills.

We were very happy to meet Dr. Hare who liked us very much and made a big fuss over us. He is doing important work on cognition and evolution. Dogs are part of that and there are lots of questions about how we think that need to be studied.

Please enter our Train Your Dog Contest.

You have until midnight on Sunday, January 31st to enter. We've had some good entries and the prizes will be great. And don't forget to check out the action at Mango Minster 2010.


Samantha said...

So glad we have you on our blog roll so we can see what you're doing! How cool of both you pups to do such a cool thing for those students (not fair you didn't get chocolate, but then... we'd get awfully sick)! A great service and I always like to see stuff about hard workin' doggies!
Hugs xo

Twinkietinydog said...

You did it! You're an inspiration. Thanks to you and your contest and your posts, my family is better disciplined than e-ver. I posted my entries today :)
Thank you for organizing this! Here's a direct link:

Ludo van Doggy said...

I likes the training piccures! Mum wishes she got choclit for being good at training classes. Oh, come on Mum, get my entry in.
~lickies, Ludo

Arikbo said...

Duke University! How cool. Our little community college doesn't even want us. So you think we could train mum with chocolate bits?

wags & wiggles,
Haley and Bailey

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

That looks a cool thing for you both to do. It also looks like you really enjoyed it. It must have been funny seeing those students training each other...hehe :-0)

BRUTUS said...

Hi again from you new pal. I see we have a lot in common! Isn't it great being clicker trained? SO easy to learn new things!! I do rally, obedience, and (more fun) agility so mom & I get to spend lots of time together too :) Something tells me you guys are a lot better behaved - I'd have been sitting in all those students laps & wanting to play tag with them!! Looks like you did a great job training those humans!!

Brutus the Frenchie

Lorenza said...

Hi, Niamh!
Sure you had a pawesome time there again!
Looks like that student was well trained with the clicker!
Kisses and hugs

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Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Yuu-Chan said...

So, Ambrose did it again?!

Lucky students to get to see you in action, Niamh!


Maggie and Mitch said...

How unfAire that you weren't rewarded with chocolate! Heck, you guys were doing all the work!
Obviously the plant needed to be watered! Nice goin', Ambrose!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Oh you 2 are so lucky to get to train those students.. We think that is funny you teaching them, sit, stay, down, here!!!

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Niamh,

You always take part in such interesting things and I love hearing about them!

That looks like a great day and I love it when humans try out clicker training - they can be such clunks! hee! Hee!

Honey the Great Dane