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Kay, She-Who-Lives-With-Many-Dogs, has learned to balance a human orientated lifestyle with a canine heaven. Sharing pleasures of country living, stimulating daily activities and a richly demanding need to learn more. Her dogs are always enthusiastic partners in the journey, participating in their individual ways and shaping the agenda.

This exploration is shared regularly with the Learning About Dogs workshops, online courses and travels around the world.

Life is managed by the Collies, style is demanded by the Gordons.


Collies keeping everything under control

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan permalink
    August 26, 2011 8:49 pm

    I look foward to reading your blog!

  2. August 27, 2011 7:01 am

    Thrilled to see you started a blog 🙂

  3. August 27, 2011 8:56 am

    Thank you Kay, great start to your blog. Food for thought as always.

  4. August 27, 2011 4:07 pm

    Very well written, thought provoking and interesting. Thank you

  5. Pam Simpson permalink
    August 28, 2011 10:18 am

    Excellent, I wonder at your ability to fit everything in. I look forward to it.

  6. December 6, 2012 9:58 pm

    Hi Kay,

    I wanted to call your attention to this current news story, found here: One can see that this is a clearly unethical use of clicker training. I hope that you can help increase awareness of what constitutes ethical vs unethical use of our power to manipulate animal behavior and bring it up to these folks in NZ and write to the BBC who has also run this story. Certainly, I’ll be writing the BBC to let them know what I think, but as you have more fame to your name than I do, I was hoping you’d find it in your interests to do so as well. I’ll include what I wrote about this in the comments below, as it’s part of what I’ll be writing to the BBC. I look forward to seeing your talks at ClickerExpo in January, where I do hope you can address this issue for those audiences as well.

    My writing on this so far:

    Overall, I think this is unethical. To use clicker work simply to prove “how intelligent dogs can be” is useless, even if you think you can try and get people to adopt them in doing
    so. People want a dog who doesn’t chew on or pee on their stuff or attack and bite other dogs and people, not a dog who can drive. We can hopefully agree that dogs do not have the complex reasoning available to make judgments about driving like a person does. Did they even consider that if they do adopt these dogs out they’ll have to be crated or belted in back, ever tormented by the steering equipment they will undoubtedly be unable to touch in a new owner’s car? Or that if the dog is loose in the car it is now a potential hazard because the dog will want to touch the steering wheel and gearshift, not understanding how dangerous that would be when driving is really happening?

    These folks should be housetraining, resocializing and obedience training these dogs, not teaching them to drive. If ever they wished to do a service to their community, they would work to create manageable, friendly dogs who can live within a human household. It’s simply unconscionable that they are pouring such considerable training resources and time into something so thoroughly useless.

    I’m sure we can all agree that any dog can be clickered into manipulating items intricately enough to be precise in steering a car because it’s all a matter of degree. It’s essentially a Michele Poulliot freestyle routine, only without very much movement, in terms of skill and clicker work. We essentially already know dogs are this smart. As professionals, I can only hope we have all thought about the powerful tool that clicker training is and made choices to use it for the benefit of the dog in their own right. This reeks of training for the ego of the trainer rather than the good of the dog. I deeply hope I do not see copycat trainers doing this elsewhere.

    If you are in need of understanding how smart dogs are, investigate the works of Dr. Brain Hare, Dr. Adam Miklosi, or Dr. Ray Coppinger. These folks are doing actual science with respect to dogs and their sentience.

    ~Miki Merin, MA, CTC, ANWI
    Canine Intelligence
    Sirius Puppy Training
    Berkeley, CA

    • December 7, 2012 11:30 am

      I consider these behaviours just tricks – as taught by many people in dog sports such as obedience or freestyle and “dog-tricks” competitions or assistance work. I do not think the dog is being caused harm from the behaviours. Marketing terminology, or headlines to create sensation are hardly known for their accuracy. Nor do I think you increase validation for training by using the term “clickered”. What an earth does that mean?


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