Visual Cues To The Extreme

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by charmedwolf, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. charmedwolf Moderator

    Here is a question/debate on how much you could put something on a visual cue. What if you wore a certain shirt every day to train? Would the dog take that as a cue of "pay attention"? Could "competition" clothes prove to give a better preformance if constantly trained with? Could clothes/toys/enviroments really be conditioned as cues for other behaviors?

    I got this as a random thought and then really started thinking about it. I personally believe that certain enviroments can be conditioned as a cue for behaviors, and toys could as well (Tennis ball comes out and no command is given, dog sits/ conditioned response). But could clothes? I don't know. I wish I could try an experiment on using certain clothes to condition a cue.

    What does everybody else think?
    srdogtrainer likes this.

  2. fly30 Experienced Member

    I don't know for the better performance but I'm almost certain a dog can get used to seeing you wearing something and assimilate it to work. Especially if he sees you putting in on. Let's say you put on a certain jacket everytime you are going to work with your dog, he'll certainly know after a while what it means. I know that Fly gets excited when she sees me getting the clicker. So why not a cloth.
  3. Jean Cote Administrator

    I have a jacket that I wear just to go to hike with my dogs and they can definitely tell when I'm wearing it, I guess it makes a different sound rather than it being visual though. Same with boots, if I wear my snow boots they know I'm going outside to work with the snow and I sometimes bring them with me, but if I wear my normal shoes they don't get over-excited. :cool:
  4. sara Moderator

    Absolutely no question. dogs are extremely visual. My deafies know the difference between work boots, and street shoes, and runners. they know the difference between my work hat, and my street hat, and they know the difference between leashes. (leather for training, long lines for play)

    May be smell too. I finish cabinets and have a distince work smell.... (you ever smelled the chemicals involved in making varnish, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about :) )
  5. reveuse Well-Known Member

    We've often used the clothing identification idea as an explanation of why Ro isn't agressive towards ANY of the men who work at Petsmart and also why he is VERY quick to accept and befriend any new men who start there. He only has had one minor barking at a new guy working in the camp area and got over it after about 2 min. (there is actually a new guy that started there today and will be in the camp area mostly so when I pick him up tonight ill have to do an introduction (as he did bark at him twice when I dropped off earlier)... But for Ro that is soooooooo sosoooo minor that it has to be the uniform (guy wasn't in full petsmart gear when i dropped off either , just the pants , which could be why there was some barking)
  6. mewzard Experienced Member

    When my OH puts his jacket on Oka thinks it means "walkies" - he wears it for work though too.

    I got told to use the same treatbag so she would know it's 'training time' - that works ok until the minx got hold of it and chewed off the toggle whilst i was in the loo, and then the clasp for the belt broke - now i'll need a new one!
  7. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Sounds like an awesome experiment! My hypothesis would be that dogs can associate clothing with training. River also gets excited when I put my coat on. When we lived in a small town River would not get excited when I picked up his leash unless I put my coat on too. Now that we live in the city it is changing because he needs to go out on leash all the time and he used to have a lot of off leash time. So he would run to the door when I put on my coat and didn't pick up his leash but not if I just picked up his leash.
    Another example: River knows that if he see's an object on the ground and I point to it he knows that he is most likely supposed to pick it up. He does it automatically. However there is one exception, if he see's a lid he knows that he is supposed to put his paws on it ('press'). He is also very automatic with this behavior as well. He also knows that if he has an object in his mouth and we approach a trash can that he is suppose to put it in the can. Or if I am holding an object he is to take it unless it is a collar then he is suppose to put his head through it. Dogs can associate actions with words (both verbal and written) objects with actions and so much more. Anyway I think that dogs have extreme capabilities and we will never truly know how much they are capable of because we will never be able to try all the possibilities.

    When I was at a chicken training expo the students had trained some of the chicken to do a figure 8 around red cones and walk an oval around the out side of blue cones. Therefore if they switched the cones while the chicken was doing an oval the chicken would automatically change to a figure-8 pattern. I thought this was also an interesting concept and they were purely relying on color to figure out what to do.
  8. charmedwolf Moderator

    I would love to do an experiment on it. Maybe, wearing a certain jacket gives treats but not another. I'll try it sunday and anybody else is welcomed to try as well.

    I believe that dogs would be able to associate clothing with competition as well. With my Dane Kona I always show him in one of two coats. A silver one and blue one both the same style. He seems to always be on his best behavior when I put them on. However, if my mentor takes him (She wears all different ones) he will misbehave unless she is wearing one that is of the same style as my two. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say it could be influencing him.

    Leashes are definitely a conditioned response that the dogs understand, coats and keys as well. Usually means that they are leaving/ exploring outside the house.

    I'm glad I could give the people of the forum a question to think about.

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