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Monday, 20-Feb-2012 12:16 Email | Share | | Bookmark
How Talented Is Your Dog?

Maybe you have seen them on the television or on YouTube: dogs who act, paint, sing and do other tricks that a dog shouldn't know how to do. The latest of these incredible canines is Uggie, a dog who is said to know how to act. Well, if you are one of those people who just isn't buying that dogs are actually talented, consider yourself to be pretty darn smart! But if just can't let go of the idea of your dog's name on the marquee, read on.

The Truth About Talented Dogs
Dogs aren't actors. They certainly aren't painters and they cannot sing. That is just the bottom line. Dogs are animals who must be trained to perform specific jobs. Just like you train a dog to sit and roll over, you have to train a dog to play a specific part in a movie or to paint a masterpiece. While it is possible for a dog to pick up certain skills on his own, it is highly unlikely without considerable training.

Training a dog
When Uggie was training to become an actor, he spent upwards of 15 hours a day working on his skills. The skill that took him the longest to learn was the one that got him the Golden Globe. Learning how to play dead and stay dead was the last skill Uggie mastered before his audition. The training he needed was so intense that Uggie left his humans and moved in with his trainer to get the job done.

Teaching a dog how to paint isn't really all that difficult, especially when comparing it to playing dead. Of course this depends on how you want Picasso to paint. If you want him to paint with a paintbrush in his mouth, you will have to teach him how to hold the paintbrush and how to dip it into paint. The way to do this is through repetition. You have to place the paintbrush in Picasso's mouth, move it to the paint and then onto the canvas. The easier alternative is to place thick socks on Picasso's two front paws. Have him walk into some paint and then walk around the canvas. You can even teach him to drag his paws to make lines.

Dogs who sing, well, that is just plain old silly. Many dogs will howl and make noise when a song is played. If you play the song enough, the dog will start to pick up on the melody of the music and over time, his howling and noise will start to sync up to the music. There really isn't anything else to this masterful display of 'talent'.

When Talent and Natural Instinct Meet
There are some dogs who have 'talents' that fall in line with their natural instincts. Sasha, a Labrador mix competed in a talent show by leaping over a moving obstacle. Sure, it was cute, but that wasn't really talent. Sasha's natural instinct is to jump over obstacles. Dogs who are roaming the wild have to jump over obstacles frequently to avoid getting injured while on the move.


Monday, 20-Feb-2012 12:13 Email | Share | | Bookmark
How Talented Is Your Dog?

Maybe you have seen them on the television or on YouTube: dogs who act, paint, sing and do other tricks that a dog shouldn't know how to do. The latest of these incredible canines is Uggie, a dog who is said to know how to act. Well, if you are one of those people who just isn't buying that dogs are actually talented, consider yourself to be pretty darn smart! But if just can't let go of the idea of your dog's name on the marquee, read on.

The Truth About Talented Dogs
Dogs aren't actors. They certainly aren't painters and they cannot sing. That is just the bottom line. Dogs are animals who must be trained to perform specific jobs. Just like you train a dog to sit and roll over, you have to train a dog to play a specific part in a movie or to paint a masterpiece. While it is possible for a dog to pick up certain skills on his own, it is highly unlikely without considerable training.

Training a Dog to Show Off a Talent
When Uggie was training to become an actor, he spent upwards of 15 hours a day working on his skills. The skill that took him the longest to learn was the one that got him the Golden Globe. Learning how to play dead and stay dead was the last skill Uggie mastered before his audition. The training he needed was so intense that Uggie left his humans and moved in with his trainer to get the job done.

Teaching a dog how to paint isn't really all that difficult, especially when comparing it to playing dead. Of course this depends on how you want Picasso to paint. If you want him to paint with a paintbrush in his mouth, you will have to teach him how to hold the paintbrush and how to dip it into paint. The way to do this is through repetition. You have to place the paintbrush in Picasso's mouth, move it to the paint and then onto the canvas. The easier alternative is to place thick socks on Picasso's two front paws. Have him walk into some paint and then walk around the canvas. You can even teach him to drag his paws to make lines.

Dogs who sing, well, that is just plain old silly. Many dogs will howl and make noise when a song is played. If you play the song enough, the dog will start to pick up on the melody of the music and over time, his howling and noise will start to sync up to the music. There really isn't anything else to this masterful display of 'talent'.

When Talent and Natural Instinct Meet
There are some dogs who have 'talents' that fall in line with their natural instincts. Sasha, a Labrador mix competed in a talent show by leaping over a moving obstacle. Sure, it was cute, but that wasn't really talent. Sasha's natural instinct is to jump over obstacles. Dogs who are roaming the wild have to jump over obstacles frequently to avoid getting injured while on the move.

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