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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

I'm sure we've all seen dogs put on really impressive displays like this, and I think it's awesome. But it really makes me wonder, what are these dogs like day-to-day? Could you take them for a walk down a city street and have their full attention on you like that? Is that practical?

Can any of those kinds of tricks be used practically, for any breed? Could my 3lb chihuahua do back flips off my leg, and if she could, what would we use that for? lol Ok, poor example, but I think you get what I mean.

And I'm not saying they HAVE to be practical, hey, tricks are fun! I'm just looking to open up a bit of discussion on this.
 

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Hm.. gotta be honest, if I was a better trainer and had more patience for trick training Marge could probably pick up alot of those behaviors too. I'm not trying to brag about my dog or anything (she is a fearful mess LOL), my point is that she could still learn these things, yet she is relatively low energy for her young age.

Some dogs are just more driven to do these kinds of things than others. In keeping with this idea, my Marge enjoys Agility training, which is a high-energy sport.. yet she's not bouncing off the walls during day-to-day life. These dogs may having a training session like this and then crash on the couch for the rest of the day. Who knows?

Alot of those things aren't practical per se.. but they do lay a nice groundwork for training. Alot of people teach parlor tricks to work their dog's mind and body, and then go on to things that carry a higher level of "importance" I guess.

That attention CERTAINLY is a benefit.. while you probably wouldn't typically ask your dog to look at you like that during every walk, the fact that you CAN ask is very good in certain situations I'd imagine.
 

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Cool video!

I would almost view it as cruel NOT to train cool tricks like those for a dog that has the mental capacity to learn them! I think that dog would be a horror to live with if it wasn't given a "job" to do - it would be bored out of its mind.

And the dog is probably just picking up on body language and verbal commands during the video. Taking it for a walk is probably no different than taking other dogs for a walk.

As for practicality, a cool trick can go a long ways towards brightening someone's day. I often tell Kit to say "hello" or "goodbye" while giving the hand signal for speak - it never fails to illicit a smile, even from adults. One of my favorite uses for Kit's trick repertoire is to distract a crying kid. Nine times out of ten they're so fascinated that they forget all about whatever they were crying about. And if they're really good, they get to give the commands and feed the treats!
 

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The cool tricks people train their dogs to do have indirect benefits, if not any practical application. Dogs like those in the vid will find something to do if you don't give them something to do. You probably won't like what the dog settles upon. The more you teach a dog, the easier it becomes to teach new things. The old saw about old dogs/new trick is only true for dogs who were not taught much as youngsters.

The more training you do with a dog, the more compliance becomes a habit--a natural state of being. I believe (disagree if you want to be wrong) that a dog's ability to generalize is improved with training. They also learn to chain new tasks more quickly if they have learned other sequences in the past.

The more you train a dog to do, the easier it becomes to train 'em to do stuff.
 

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I agree, MM. I started training my heeler mix right away, and he's the mentally quickest dog I've ever seen. Still stubborn to an extent, but I think training him to do silly things like close the door behind him, and wave out the car window help.

I also agree that not training a dog that smart is cruel. I can't imagine a dog like those without training or excersize.
 
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