Showing posts with label Dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dogs. Show all posts

Monday, April 17, 2017

The History of Dog Food

From a facebook post, edited.
Feed your dog good food, not dry food every meal. Even canned dog food is chopped up throwaway parts, fat, gristle.  A good meal for a dog is meat, brown rice and a vegetable. Milk and egg. They really like vegetables, especially cooked broccoli, carrots, sweet potato. You want to baby them? Put a little butter on the veggies.

 Don't forget the fat, gristle, and skin you throw "under the table". Dogs lived on that and other human garbage ever since they quit hunting as wolves.  At some point in history, a subset  of wolves, found it easier to live off the garbage of humans, a pretty messy bunch, who even then left offal, gristle, bones, and half eaten meals in their dumps which were the on the edges of their settlements on non-arable land.  These "follower" wolves lost the ability to hunt with a pack, and avoided humans by barking instead of howling.  They barked to alert the herd, no longer a pack, to intruders for mutual protection, but also alerted the smart, well-armed humans to dangerous intruders animal and human.  The follower wolves kept dangerous wild animals away from the dump and therefore the settlements, lived off of and cleaned up the human leftover food to the mutual benefit of both species.  In the beginning the follower wolves were still vicious wild animals, but learned to avoid the well-armed humans and were tolerated for their garbage collection and warning behaviors. 

 Hat tip to Jon Franklin for much of the above.   From there to The Wolf in the Parlor and under the table you will have to read his book of the same name.  Available at and elsewhere.
 Animal food is the invention of the white flour industry to use the nutritious parts of the grain they throw "under the table."  

 In the late 19th century the big flour mills in the Midwest had a shelf life problem for their traditional whole grain flour.  The shelf life was too short to get the product to the population centers on the East Coast. Their solution was to separate the germ which was the spoilable part before final milling to create the standard American "White bread" flour.  

Once separated from the whole grain the germ spoils rapidly unless processed and the flour mills had trainloads of the stuff to get rid of.  Dumping was not an option as rotten grain germ is a smelly nuisance. Animal food processors and cereal producers had the ability to steam process the germ into stable pellets and flakes for later consumption and white flour became economical to produce. 

 An amusing industry sprung up arbitraging trainloads of short lived germ as they went from the mills to the germ processors.  Neither the mills nor the germ users could afford an interruption in the supply chain, but of course wanted the best price at their end of the chain.  The arbitrage involved the timing of the trains.  Guess right and the processors bought high, guess really wrong and you had a trainload of garbage to clean up.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Gods and Dogs

I submit that you're mistaking a side effect of Duverger's law as being significantly more objective than it is. That's the tail wagging the god.
Like · Reply · 1 hr · Edited
Fox Circe
Fox Circe "Tail wagging the god."

That is perhaps the most appropriate typo I've typed.
Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr
Jonathan Korman
Jonathan Korman I will be stealing that typo in conversations to come, count on it.
Like · Reply · 1 · 30 mins
Carlin Black
Carlin Black No real difference. Gods and dogs will do anything you want them to do if you praise them and give them treats.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Delayed Reward Voice Dog Training

I use delayed reinforcement of a vocal reward as it works at any time whether you are training or simply on a walk or reinforcing social behaviors at home. Use a unique behavior cue for each desired action, and when the action occurs provide a unique short reward word "Haihai" "goodog" or equivalent. Think "Good Dog" whatever reward cue you use, dogs do read your mind. After several cue, action, "goodog" successes take a break and provide a favorite treat after cue and goodog without the action. Try different ones. Hesh will let you know quickly which treat is the right one. For Peter it is 1/6 of a 1/8" turkey (not beef) hot dog slice. He refuses commercial treats. Some trainers use a clicker, but his partner's voice is a better reward. Professional dogs like bomb sniffers etc. are active dogs and a retrieve is the reward. If you prefer treat reinforcement substitute treat for verbal reward.
The first exercise is hand attention training. When hesh is looking at you move your hand. When hesh follows it with herm head give a cue like "look" or "here" then say goodog. After several successes say goodog and provide a favorite treat. Then comes the "look" when hesh is not paying attention and goodog when he looks at your hand. Repeat ad lib until it becomes a game. Hand attention cue followed by another cue once the hand attention cue is reliable is the key to advanced training. 

Social training is next how to meet and greet visitors. I like the natural barking at intruders but once the doorbell rings or the door opens the "park" command is after training to retire to herm mat, stay, and be quiet. This has several good points. Hesh is removed immediately from over-friendly or frightened visitors until they are seated and non-threatening. Then hesh is released with a "greet" cue to smell the feet of the visitors. New over-friendly or frightened visitors are told to ignore this natural behavior until the dog gets acquainted. If the dog is social hesh will then approach an available hand in a friendly manner. If the dog is not so social hesh will normally assume a guard position between the guests and the door. A dog friendly approach is normally tolerated by any dog if the visitor is so inclined. Amusing note, Peter is rewarded at times long after a series of visitors have come and gone with three treats, one for "bark", one for "park" and one for "greet" as I am the trainer and may not be at home or busy away from the treats. He can count up to five visitors, and will expect three treats for each whether or not any cues or goodogs were needed. 

The usual behavior cues can also be trained similarly "freeze," "heel," "wait," and "leaveit" on walks or in the backyard, with the treats after the training session is over. My rule is one treat for each cue no matter how many goodogs happen in the session. Again, "cue," "goodog," then treat.

For meds e.g. eye meds, "Look" then "EyesUp" move your hand slightly up when hesh follows it with open eyes and stays fixated on it "goodog." After that becomes a game add the eye meds, with an immediate goodog and treat. He will start begging for eye meds. Similar with any meds, a cue to present the affected area following a hand movement and be still. 

A note on housebreaking puppies. I use the same procedure, and have either paper trained or outside trained several puppies in less than a day by the simple procedure of devoting as much of the day as necessary to moving the dog to the proper place each time hesh wakes, eats, drinks, or starts to sniff around, with a goodog for each elimination. Again the treat is delayed until the dog has moved back inside, then "goodog" and treat.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The House Dog's Grave : Robinson Jeffers.

The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers, 1941

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dog's Last Will and Testament

A Dog's Last Will and Testament
(Author unknown)
Before humans die, they write their last Will & Testament, and give their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I'd ask....
To a poor and lonely stray I'd give:
My happy home.
My bowl, cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.
The lap which I loved so much.
The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice which spoke my name.
I'd  will to the sad scared shelter dog the place I had in my human's heart, of which there seemed no bounds.
So when I die please do not say, "I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand."  Instead go find an unloved dog; one whose life has held no joy or hope and give MY place to him.
This is the only thing I can give...the love I left behind.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sexist Dogs and Culture Change

It is a well known fact among dogs that men are generally abusers or at best working partners. Women are emotional partners (as are children) that dogs easily bond with and will fiercely defend against any intruder, especially a strange man or a dangerous man (which dogs can instinctively sense.)  According to Jon Franklin in A Wolf in the Parlor it was ice age women that domesticated follower wolves as baby sitters and care givers in the home which are both natural behaviors of pack wolves in the wild. The first dogs used by men were shepherds, which were encouraged to be aggressive to any intruders including the human shepherds who were tolerated as partners and food providers but not particularly liked.  One can assume that Cesar Millan's training methods were standard. 

For thousands of years men have taught dogs to fear them, and cooperate to avoid inflicted pain.  Even "Doggy" men properly do not give or expect trust from a dog. If a man knows dogs he can gain the trust of the most aggressive dogs, but it takes lots of patience. My dog of 7 years will snap at me rather than let me inspect an injury that the female vet can even treat without issue. Dogs are sexist and it is probably too late for men to change their image although it is possible even for men to gain trust and even love from a dog by patient training.

Maybe there is a lesson here about the rape culture as well. In cultures dominated by the Abrahamic religions, women are regarded a chattel, valuable chattel that needs to be protected from strangers to protect her function as the producer of male children as heirs, clergy, and cannon fodder.  The female children are eventual trading assets and useful to the women as assistant house slaves. They learn only women skills and are discouraged from reading or independent thinking.  

In a culture where women are encouraged early to learn to read and think independently, it should be recognized by all that men are not about to drop the privilege of chattel owners willingly or easily even if they intellectually agree that all humans are equal.  Culture change is a labor of love on both sides of the change.  Abusive methods must be recognized as perhaps getting tolerance and cooperation, but respect and love must be gained by other means. 

A major problem on both sides, feminism and the MRM, is that both consider the other side as an enemy trying to coerce changes in behavior often using abusive methods to achieve a desired change. Abusive methods may get behavioral change but the attitude change associated with the behavioral change is resentment rather than ownership and even pride in the change.  If the other is seen as another human with different values and needs, as well as a different body type, it is possible to use reward training to achieve not only behavioral change, but attitude change as well.  

Consider a typical scenario in a bar.  Both the players are presumably interested in a hook-up.  The man leers at the cleavage, it is there for a purpose, and instead of the usual fuck off glare of the feminist, the leer is acknowledged by a body movement, but she becomes intent on the game on the TV. Now the reward hook is set, and a human approach is suggested. If the man is at least aware and empathetic he will notice what she likes about the game and will comment on that.  If he is right a human conversation is started and a human relationship is being built. The reward for both is the desired hook-up, and respect is part of the deal. 

Or: a female career oriented college or grad student that nevertheless has not suppressed her maternal drive. Disclaimer: I married one. Forget the bar as a pickup it will be done at a library, a student bull session for a conference of mutual interest.  The effective pickup line will something on the order of what are your career goals in (your specialty.  You have figured that out already, haven't you stud?) The response soon will be what do you think of working mothers?  The proper response is what do you think of working dads?  Any man who hasn't done household chores, baby sat, changed a diaper and done his own wash, won't even be a player.  Trying to change one who hasn't is Sisyphean. This mating dance eliminates a whole lot of chaff on both sides, and a rare relationship of mutual respect has begun.  No harm done the chaff has all of the social opportunities at any level they wish to play at.  

Or: a single professional woman in business dress on Wall Street or equivalent that is interested in expanding her network of male professional friends.  The construction worker on the scaffold catcalls.  Instead of taking offense and frigidly stalking down the street she rewards the catcall with an attractive wiggle simultaneously mocking the catcaller and attracting the attention of the successful single men she is interested in finding.  The "Hi Babe, how about lunch" common with or without the wiggle is easily countered as is the equally common space invasion.  But a respectful approach will lead to friend based networking.  Everybody in business needs as many friends as they can get.  Most of the bonding experiences among men are not available safely to women but the male-female bond with or without benefits is much more powerful and useful in the business world. If she has put her bio clock on pause to get established the parenting mating dance above can be part of the game.  But in any event the place to meet successful men is in their natural habitat: on the street where they work.  


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Are Dogs Sexist?

I suspect distrust of men is genetic. Men are abusive trainers generally, and are much more inclined to abuse animals in general. Dogs are useful for women, protecting and amusing children, and are naturally protective and nurturing of the infirm.  The nurturing behavior is apparently inherited from wolves.  Big game hunting commonly results in disabling injury to a pack member who is nurtured back to functionality by the rest of the pack.  Jon Franklin thinks that it was the babysitting and nurturing of the ill that got the more docile follower wolves into the parlor.  By the women naturally, the men were too busy beating them into guard dogs for the domestic animals.  The men didn't care that sheep dogs hated everything including the shepherd as long as they protected the sheep.  Herding and hunting dogs needed to work with their handlers, but didn't have to like them.  Guard dogs are unreliable even for their handlers.  I was told by a Doberman breeder how you can tell that somebody breeds Dobermans:  He pointed at the scars on his face and said look for these.

I suspect this trait is why working dogs are generally considered hard to train without abusive methods.  I watched a dog show the other day and noticed that the working group had at least choke collars and one was shown with a prong collar.  These were dogs that were bred for conformation and acceptable docility for shows. 

I trained a purebred German Shepherd using the immediate verbal reinforcement delayed reward method, to acceptable levels of control on and off leash, but he never learned to like men he did not have time to get acquainted with at his own speed.  I had to advise new male visitors how to avoid confrontation.  And I never even tried to introduce strange men "in the wild." Strict control, sit-stay at my side, and told the men to keep their distance.  It was generally not a problem. He was a 75 pound whole dog, and was not friendly looking even in a sit-stay.

Peter was apparently abused by men while he was a stray. We have taught him to tolerate men (even me) but he still trusts only women and children.  He bonded immediately with Sue at the Shelter, through the holding pen door in the not for adoption aisle.   "We will look at Peter."  Sean and I were considering more socialized dogs as a first pet.  It was only my long experience with training puppies and dogs that convinced the placement staff that we should be allowed to adopt the relatively fresh stray. 

It was not easy, even as the source of treats it took him years to trust me enough to proffer a sore paw that he couldn't shake the burr out of.  He still tries that first.  The first time I tried to help he snapped at me even though he couldn't put weight on the leg.  Nonetheless, no adversive training was used.  Always verbal reinforcement delayed treats.  I don't even carry treats on walks or training sessions.  The HSSV noted that hot dogs were a favorite treat, and I found that turkey dogs are the best of the best. Any real meat works, he spits out commercial treats.   

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Painless and Effective Dog Training.

The following procedures paper trained a 6 wk puppy in a couple of hours, an ex-stray, and several other dogs.

The philosophy behind the training, (post hoc) is that dogs are human symbiotes per Jon Franklin's The Wolf in the Parlor and are eager to learn to help. I learned it from a bird dog trainer who insisted that his dog was his partner and not his servant or toy.  For him dominance and control techniques were useless as they produced a dog that wouldn't hunt.  Note that his dogs were collar free while hunting and most other times.  He carried the tags. 

Any dog even a difficult dog will do something right in a training session, short at first.  The first command I train is WAIT. When the dog stops at any time after the command a unique and instant verbal reward is given.  I use "Gooddog" a friend uses Hai-Hai.  This will surprise the dog and in my experience even the first time the dog will look back and get another instant Gooddog.  As the dog continues to play the command and verbal reward are quickly associated in the dog's mind. 

After the training session is over a special self selected treat, in my dog's case a turkey hot dog bit is offered when the dog is called, asked to WAIT just before arriving, gets the Gooddog, looks up, another Gooddog, then the treat.  Note that the treat is offered after the training session.  After a session or two more, the dog will follow to where the treats are kept and look for the treat.  In my case I keep the treats at my desk upstairs away from his food and play areas.  Training treats are special.

I escalate the WAIT training until the dog stops in his tracks whatever he is doing even chasing the neighborhood cat.  The first escalation is a slack leash WAIT.  No training harness, choke collar or other negative reinforcement needed. 

HEEL, PARK, STAY, and other useful commands are taught the same way.  Tell the dog to HEEL in command voice, and sooner or later he will end up at your side get the Gooddog look up and get another Gooddog.  It doesn't take long before the later becomes now.  At that point I end the session, and finish the walk.  I was not surprised when we got home and he HEELed all the way to my desk for his special treat.  He also got one for WAIT which is reinforced every walk at curbs and other danger spots and the neighborhood cat.  Note that every walk is a training session and good behavior of any kind even ignoring the neighborhood cat gets a Gooddog and if he looks up another Gooddog. It is amusing that he seems to count things on a walk that get reinforced and remind me that he needs another treat if I forget one.  Usually ignoring the cat that I didn't notice. 

Like most dogs he will announce the fact that someone is on the property, and since we have frequent visitors, the PARK command is his signal to stop barking, and back away from the door.  He gets a Gooddog for barking, another for parking, and a third for being welcoming to a known visitor.  By now it is routine and he waits until the end of the day to remind me that he has been a Gooddog many times.

I use OK as the release command but if I were starting over I would choose a different word probably CLEAR as an unusual word that he does not hear every day.  It may be a moot point since he seems to respond to my mental state of clear at curbs.  I began to notice after reading Franklin that he was always a fraction of a second ahead of the OK.  I began to delay the verbal command and found that I was catching up to his reaction for most commands including WAIT.

This post like all on this blog is a work in progress, and comments are open.  Suggestions and stories are welcome.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dogs and people.

Afghans generally consider dogs filthy animals and will use them to guard their homes, but they don't treat them the way Americans treat pets, according to many soldiers. There are hundreds of stray animals that must hunt for scraps of food, endure the scorching desert sun and freezing winters, and generally live by their wits. Van Alstine took Chloe into his tent, groomed her daily and fed her his own rations. She was always by his side on the base and walked next to him on every foot patrol.

Read more:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Human Design extreme makeovers

QWERTY - Beliefnet

I'm not sold on the idea it's proof there is no Designer. I AM sold on the idea that it's apparently not worth the trouble to start over from scratch.

According to mythologies Hesh has done that a few times already and it hasn't worked out too well. It is fun to see how in so many mythologies the designer has been pissed and started over. Maybe one of these times he will forget about the thinking thing in Herm own image and quit with the dog."

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Wolf in the Parlor

Facebook | Home: "I just finished The Wolf in the Parlor by Jon Franklin. Ostensibly about people and dogs. He does that well with a radical theory about the relationship. But it is really an autobiography of a science journalist with Pulitzers and how he thinks.

Science these days is really the study of trees or maybe even the branches or leaves. Thanks to the journalists like Jon for exploring the forest. Highly recommended."

His radical theory is that humans and dogs are a natural symbiote that enabled both to survive the early Holocene megafauna extinction at the end of the last ice age. The humans supplied the intelligent control mechanisms and the dogs the basic emotional instincts. His speculation, even he does not call it a theory, is the symbiosis atrophied the cerebrum of the dogs, as humans did the thinking better, and atrophied the emotional centers in the humans, as humans allowed the dogs to distinguish friend from foe, provide the alerts for things that go bump in the night so the humans can deal with them, among other important emotionally based activities. He speculates that this is the cause of a 20% loss of brain mass in dogs, they no longer needed to know how to hunt, think or control their emotions, humans were much better at that, and the cause of 10% loss of brain mass in humans, as dogs were better at handling the emotional pack management issues.

An amusing hint at the end of the book: Zoloft or a dog, take your pick.