Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
UWPCH, ADPL3(2), ADPL3(GC), NC, NI, NE, SCN, SIN, SEN, CZ8B, NV and NN... 47 and counting...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Learning From TV

Gimme loves watching TV and has definite reactions to what she sees.  She is fascinated by all things cow and will sit straight up, watching with rapt attention when she sees or hears one.  She's not as interested in horses, but is more attentive when she sees one - possibly she's learned horses often predict the appearance of cows (sometimes I watch a lot of westerns).

She doesn't like scary or disaster movies, hiding her head under the covers.  She won't watch cartoons.  She will watch sci-fi briefly, but then heaves a dramatic sigh before laying down with her back turned toward the TV.  Whenever she sees chick-flicks, she will snuggle up to me, suggesting I should pet her more.  Some particularly dramatic scenes elicit an alarm bark or two.  And some other scenes will cause her to trot up to the TV, stand on two legs and check it out.  Weird animals on nature shows are also investigated close up.

Since I've been recovering, I been hanging out at home a lot and thus watching more TV than usual.  To prevent my mind from turning to complete mush, I made it a point to watch several of my many dog training DVDs.  Gimme has a number of opinions about the dogs she sees.  Some she thinks are okay, some she thinks are evil; they are all intruders.  She's learned to tolerate them, because like the cows, they never actually come in the house.

I was gone for five hours earlier in the day and since I've been home its been raining - so our plans for a walk were scrapped.  Then there was the bath I took and time spent on the computer - all time spent engaged in activities other than catering to her every whim.  Gimme wasn't too happy to see me put discs in the DVD player and plop on the couch, despite our earlier training sessions.  I was determined to watch my two Ken Ramirez DVD sets, Solving Problems and Reinforcement Strategies, before returning to work tomorrow.  Every 20 minutes or so, I was treated to repeat demonstrations of her dissatisfaction, shown by dramatic sighs and theatrical slumping onto the couch or floor – through 3+ hours of DVDs.  She occasionally watched the clips of dogs with mild interest – she found the many sea mammals completely boring.

Finally toward the end of the second set, there was a lively clip of a couple black Labs learning to heel, with only tug-play for reinforcement.  Gimme sat up and watched with interest.  She occasionally turned to see if I was watching.  Then she very deliberately went over to toy box number two, knocked the box off it and rooted around until she found her flaming pink, tiger-striped octopus toy.

She climbed in my lap, shoved it against me and then jerked it away.  She poked the toy and then poked my hand. She wiggled and flipped and shimmied it enticingly.

Thirty minutes later I reversed the DVD to see what I missed…


Da Paws Place said...

People are afraid to give animals credit for copying.

Jennifer said...

Gimmie is one smart cookie, that's for sure!

K9-Bootcamp said...

Awww! Such well written blog! It's so enlightening to read. Sad that I will probably never meet Gimme!

Da Paws Place said...

she is a great dog.

A to Z Dals said...

Thank you for all the sweet comments about my blog and Gimme. I live for comments.

I have to say, its been interesting to see how a dog responds to digital TV. I'd read that their brains didn't clearly register the images when TV was all analog. And indeed, none of my others ever paid it any attention, though they did listen from time to time. Gimme is the only dog I've ever had pay soooo much attention to television, then again it may be that she's exceptionally smart. Just wish she learn more from some of the DVDs we've watched about reactivity. I guess its a difference in motivation, eh... get Mom to play vs... whatever!