Friday, May 25, 2007

How Bonded to Your Pet Are You?

A recent study by the American Animal Hospital Association provided some pretty interesting results! 1,250 animal owners, who take their pets to AAHA veterinarians, were surveyed and proved just how much pet owners love their little family members.

  • 92% of pet owners say that the recession has not had any effect on the health care that they provide for their pets.
  • 73% say they would be willing to go into debt in order to provide for their pet's well-being.
  • 62% claim to celebrate their pet's birthdays.
  • 47% responded that their pet most often sleeps in their bed.
  • 20% of the pet owners surveyed say that their pet is included in their will.

This is some serious pet devotion - true animal lovers, indeed. If you've ever had a pet as part of your family, I'm sure you feel the same way towards your pet. I wonder if this is why there are better insurance plans for our animals than for us!


Anonymous said...

"There are several common forms widely in use today, and most involve treats as the "bribe" to get the action desired, which is considered "positive reinforcement," and often a clicker to keep the dog focused."

You seem very misinformed here. A clicker is simply an event marker. It isn't used to keep a dog's attention, it is used to mark precisely when a desired response occurs.

Also, giving tangible rewards is not "bribery." Bribery is showing an animal a reward, then asking for the desired response. No experienced positive trainer does this. Experienced positive trainers work to reward only a few responses, not every time the dog does something good.

Christi said...

Thank you for your opinion, however you are quoting parts of a totally different article. I believe you were trying to point out your disagreement with the article Is There a Difference Between Whispering and Training.

In response to your comment, I'll have to say that I agree - but not how you'd think!

You said, "You seem very misinformed here. A clicker is simply an event marker." Yes, an event marker that causes the dog to focus on the specific moment in which the action was performed. Just as I said, it keeps the dog focused. Without the clicker - click trainers would be unable to "mark" that event or bring the dog's focus or attention to that moment in time. Symantics? I think so.

Giving "tangible rewards" for certain behavior, even when done only for specific actions registers that action in the dog's mind as "treat time." There is no point within the article that mentions that the treat is given "every time the dog does something good", nor was it implied.

There is nothing wrong with "positive trainers" or their methods. They work well for certain types of training. There is also nothing wrong with behavior specialists or whisperers, and their methods also work well.