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Thread: Learning by osmosis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Learning by osmosis

    I've never had two dogs before and I also have never had or minded a dog as smart as Banjo so this is new to me.

    Our guest dog, the JRT x, doesn't seem to know many cues, but he does know "On your bed", which is something I've never bothered teaching Banjo (because the whole house with everything in it is her bed ).

    After telling the JRT "on your bed" a few times to make him settle, whenever I now say it, Banjo will promptly plant her big bottom in his tiny basket. And looks so very pleased with herself. It's quite hilarious because her bottom really fills up the whole bed.

    I wish the osmosis would work the other way too, but there is little sign of that happening.

  2. #2
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    I know for a fact osmosis works in my household..we have done very little training with Lukey, but he sits in on all sessions I do with the girls, because he likes sitting and staying on the box.

    I do a lot of lion style training...three dogs on the boxes, one doing stuff. be it heeling, some tricks or whatever. Well the others all watch. And sometimes with new stuff the first dog will take a while, but second and third will be quicker. An even Lukey has learned to do stuff.

    So yes I am a great believer in it LOL........with some dogs
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
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    Apr 2012
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    I have my 12 week old puppy at my sisters house while I house sit. There is an elderly bull terrier cross called Tilly in residence who is very dignified and does nothing in a hurry any more. She is also toelerant and only growled when the Pup tried to filch a bone out of her mouth! I am astounded by the respect my mad Maggie gives her (normally) and she has already learned to get into bed like Tilly at bed time.
    I did find the pup chewing on a peacock feather she had filched from a decorative vase and the older dog sitting next to her with a "I told her it wasn't a good idea but she didn't listen" expression on her face. I am hoping that this more decorous way of being is learned by osmosis but I strongly suspect that I may have to wait many years for Maggie to slow down.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2011
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    Logan, Brisbane QLD
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    I 100% believe it it. I use Molly as a training tool for Rex, i teach her all the commands first (with him around to watch) because she is so much faster at picking cues up than he is & he just when he can see her get rewarded he kinda parrots her moves & we go from there. My first cat was terrible at using the litter, but my second cat was bloody awesome and taught the first one what the litter & cat door was for.

  5. #5
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    Osmosis for sure works. The only dog I have ever made a concious effort to train, was Chevy.

    She was my first dog at 17 and went everywhere with me so it was only natural that alot of effort went into her. The rest have all learnt by example. Obviously I do the odd thing, it would be a lie to say I dont do ANY training at all, but its pretty minimal. Apart from extra tricks that the other dog doesnt do, e.g. Barney high fives, Pippi dances, spins and walks.

    I also think osmosis goes from person to dog too. I just fnd that eventually my dogs pick up the cues I am giving them and just eventually seem to get the idea and do it.

    Arent they just fantastic creatures.

  6. #6

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    Yes, I agree it works well - if you have the 1st dog under control and teaching good stuff - but it becomes a real PITA situation if not ! So it does definitely go both ways !
    Last edited by RileyJ; 05-28-2012 at 06:24 AM.

  7. #7
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    May 2012
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    Gold Coast
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    hmm i will have to test this theory out, would be great if it works!

  8. #8
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    It definitely happens. Dogs will learn from other dogs and from humans - where the good things are.

    I think, Beloz, you might need to have a specific mat or bed for Banjo - because it's a bit hard for JRT to go to his bed if Banjo is already in it.

    Really good treats for success, and starting close to the bed helps. Frosty knows what "crate" means. In fact she volunteers it quite a lot and I forget I'm only supposed to reward when she does it on cue. She's smarter than me sometimes.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2011
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    Rural Victoria
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    Yes, sure it happens.

    Unfortunately osmosis also works with bad habits - for example I once rehomed to a family who didn't want a dog that dug. All of their previous dogs, including the one they currently had, dug holes all over their garden so it resembled a giant rabbit warren. So they adopted a 4.y.o kelpie cross that had no history of digging, and no attempt to dig while it was in foster care for 2 months. Yep, you guessed it. Within a week of arriving at the new home she became a worse digger than her new kennelmate. The rabbit warren turned into an open face mining quarry....

    It took about two solid months of behavior mod attempts before we finally managed to confine the digging to one "permitted" section of the yard.
    Last edited by RuralPug; 05-28-2012 at 06:49 PM. Reason: remove typos

  10. #10
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    I agree ruralpug...

    I always think it's best to have a nice solid recall with the first dog before getting a second dog or you will have two dogs that don't come when you call them.

    And my brother is waiting for his current dog to die (or be PTS) before he gets another because the dog before that taught this one not to bark when people come to visit... And she has a number of other bad habits he doesn't want a puppy to learn.

    Frosty meantime, likes teaching the puppies at dog club to grovel and roll over for belly rubs...

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