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Can Dogs Really Not Generalize?!!

July 7th, 2011, 01:47 PM
I just started thinking about this..why I don't know. Using Bayley as an example, when we lived in SK, I'd take her out to the old army base to run and there is a road that town people use so there aren't many cars going by, maybe one or two if it was garbage day. Anyway chasing those cars was one of her things..yes I know very bad.

So anyway, if I have her out for a walk onleash, she shows absolutely no interest in cars and trucks going by. I can have her sit at the corner to wait for the light and she doesn't even acknowledge the traffic. At the park when we're going back to the car, I don't always put her leash on and she doesn't bother with cars there either, she just heads for her car and waits for me. It's not a really busy spot that we've been to but there are vehicles.

Any thoughts?

July 7th, 2011, 02:01 PM
I think it's a good thing she's showing no desire to chase any more cars. :o Other than that, who knows? :D She may only feel the desire when she knows she can satisfy it--like when she's off-leash. Or are you saying that she'd lunge after cars while on-leash at the old place?

July 7th, 2011, 02:13 PM
I think only at the old place, if I had her onleash in front of the house or on the street, she'd sometimes try. In town, she never bothered, maybe cause she figured there were just too many to effectively chase?! :) Ahhh dogs!! Who knows what goes on in those little brains!!

July 8th, 2011, 12:37 AM
The usual thing I associate the comment that dogs can't generalise is when they are having a barking fit, my shelties I'm talking about. A blanket "Shut up!" or "Quiet !" doesn't work, each dog needs to be told "Gemma, shut up!", "Dundee, shut up!" "Bo, shut up!" etc.(X 6 ). My sister said hers are the same, and if a dog digs a hole it's like "But I didn't think you meant that none of us can dig a hole", as you go through the list of dogs taking their turn to make the hole bigger. (sigh) For a smart breed they be stoopid at times. LOL. (Or determined?) (Or attention seeking?)

July 8th, 2011, 09:15 AM
Or smart? :laughing: Sounds like a really smart way to get what they want, GF! :D Ours do it, too...which is why our hole collection keeps expanding. :p

July 8th, 2011, 09:31 PM
What? They reckon I might get sick of 6 commands each time? LOL. Must admit that in a weak moment, when I'm really frazzled, I have been heard to say "Well, go on, BARK!!" Hey, now there they do generalise and think I am telling them all to bark. (sigh).