Archive for March, 2011


The following is a reposted from Dec. 1, 2009 originally posted on my old blog.

I recently participated in a month long study of Karen Pryors newest book Reaching The Animal Mind. One of the things the book answered for me was “WHY” is the dog more responsive to the mechanical “click” than to a spoken word. I knew it was, I have seen it time and time again amongst the dogs in class who’s owners use a mechanical click vs those who use a word paired with the reinforcer. The dogs with the mechanical clicks learn faster and work differently…more “sharply” and possibly with a bit more focus. But I couldn’t explain the “why’s” beyond the possibility that perhaps the owners timing was simply off. (it has been proven that the timing of the click Is faster than the timing of a spoken word)

This book discusses the Amygdale, the small area of the brain that is a common factor in all animals right down to the smallest/simplest of creatures. While I’m not a believer the evolution theory, I do believe all living beings follow a similar “blueprint”. The book explained that a part of this blueprint is the inclusion of the Amygdale even in living creatures who’s brain is fairly simple. Apparently the mechanical sound, triggers a response deep down in the brain (at the Amygdalia) which has a fast, lasting effect on the animal.

Here is an explaination, in Karen Pryors words, that I hope will also help explain the speed and enthusiasm that develops in the Clicker trained dog.

All animals, right down to crabs and fish, anything with a nervous system, pickup on the importance of the message in conditioned reinforcers, because of the way they work in the brain. That click, properly used, goes through theamydgala, creates chemical changes, neural changes, memory, AND a feeling ofexcitement that stays with the learner, no matter what the species. Moderntraining, using a marker, taps into a very old system that we normally only reach when we frighten the animal—and then it’s a completely different kind of message, going through another part of the amygdale and creating chemicalchanges, memory, and a feeling—a bad feeling, never quite forgotten. – K. Pryor, as written to DogRead 2009

Dog Sense Students and friends had a great weekend at the Celtic Cluster in York, PA. This cluster of dog shows began Wednesday Mar. 16 and ended March 20. And offered both Conformation, Obedience, and Rally Obedience classes.

Student results from Conformation are still trickling in, however congratulations are in order to Sherrie and Barry Bixler And their Weimeraners. Puppy Cash picked up his first point at his first show, young Jazz Picked up two single wins in the beginning of the cluster followed by a 4 point major, and their week ended with Diva picking up a 3 pt major win on Sunday! Can anyone else top that level of success this past weekend! Whew!

Also a huge Congratulations to Kaye Ames and German Shorthair Pointer Dana…Dana completed her championship Sunday with her final major! Dana is still a youngster, not yet 1 yr of age and has taken the show ring by storm!

In the Obedience and Rally rings smiles and successes were common. The weekend started off with Bob finishing the CD on Rottweiler Storm with a 2 nd place in Novice A. Luanne and French Bulldog Edison won the crowd over and a 4 th place in Novice B Saturday to earn their 1 st leg towards their CD. Pat and Rottweiler Coach also earned their 2 nd leg towards their CD with a 2nd place in Novice A with a 2nd place! In Rally Advanced congratulations is in order to Sid and Judy Erb. Their Doberman Tucker completed his RA title and in doing so completed the Requirements for his ROM (register of merit) with the Doberman Pinscher Club of America. Thank you for allowing me to play a part in that achievement! I really did enjoy showing him for you!

Also in Rally advanced, Erin and Newfoundlands Blitz and Maeve both completed their RA titles. In Rally Novice A, Susan and Collie Magic completed their RN. Also in Rally Novice A Roxanne and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Nikki completed their RN title with two second place awards, and Amanda and River completed theirs with a second place and a first!

Congratulations to all of you, I am so proud of you for getting out their and proving all of your hard work by stepping in to the trial ring!

It has come to my attention that most of the students for tomorrow evenings classes will be missing due to attending the Celtic Cluster Dog Shows. With that in mind, and the fact that I will also have a long day at the show tomorrow I’ve made the decision to cancel the evenings classes. As it’s not a weather related cancellation, I will be making every attempt to reach students by text, Facebook, email, and phone. If you see this post and I have not contacted you yet, please send me a message confirming that you saw it. That will save me some time and worry trying to make sure everyone receives the message in a timely fashion!

For those of you showing tomorrow in Obedience, Rally Obedience, and Conformation…Good Luck and Have Fun!

For those students and clients who havenever attended a show before, this is a great opportunity to check out the dog show world! There are shows all weekend. Obedience and Rally are held Thursday through Saturday. Conformation is Wednesday through Sunday. There are specialties and supported entries for Bernese Mt Dogs, Siberian Huskies, German Shorthaired Pointers and more! Plenty of vendors for shopping too.

A complete schedule can be found at Jim Rau Dog Shows (at raudogshows.com) go to Show Programs and click on the day you plan to attend. Once you have the schedule you will see a list of all the breeds with the number entered, the time that breed will be showing, and the ring it will be showing in. Keep in mind that several breeds are usually scheduled for the same time in a ring and so the breed you are looking for may not be in until breeds before it have shown.

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