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A very Scientific(ish) Experiment

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by LinznMilly, Oct 5, 2020.


  1. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Abstract;
    An experiment to find out The Girls' favourite treats.

    Introduction;
    Whilst on our evening walk tonight, armed with 4 different types of training treats, I decided to see which treat The Girls preferred.

    Participants;
    Me: Scientific . . . Person. Age:. Third Decade (real age listed elsewhere)
    Milly:. Canine. Female. Lurcher X Dustbin. Age: 10. Weight: Carrying lockdown pounds. 20kg
    Honey:,. Canine. Female. Chihuahua X Princess. Age:,. She won't tell but I believe about sixish. Weight:. 2kg.

    Items Used;
    1 Dinner Plate
    1 Small Food Container lid
    2 blobs of squeezey cheese. Brand:. Primula
    3 small cubes of cocktail sausage
    2 small cubes of chicken
    3 small broken pieces of Schmackos.
    2 smudges of Ham and Beef Paste.

    Method;
    Arrange various food items on plate (Milly) or food container lid (Honey). Ideally far enough apart for preference to be determined. For Milly, maybe that would involve my whole living room instead of a dinner plate. (See Conclusion).

    Put plate down on kitchen floor and call Dog 1 - Milly. Ignore Dog 2 - Honey who's looking a bit put out at kitchen door. This won't take long. Let Dog 1 choose what she likes. Make note of order of preference.

    Let Dog 1 out and call Dog 2. Tell Dog 1 she's has her turn and Wait. Block off Dog 1 and try to get Dog 2 in kitchen without Dog 1 barging in. Give up. Do acrobatics by placing food container down in front of Dog 2 while blocking off Dog 1 and hope she doesn't realise there's a gap between you legs through which she can scoff Dog 2's Selection Tray too. Freeze in place whilst Dog 2 finished her Selection Tray. Make note of the order of preference. Repeat Dog 1's experiment because it was inconclusive and you missed out the Ham and Beef paste.

    Shut both dogs in living room and make bed. Fight with duvet cover. And the urge to leave the dogs in living room and sod off to bed before publishing data. :p

    Conclusion

    Honey has a clear preference for chicken.

    Milly has a clear preference for whatever is closest to her mouth.

    :D
     
  2. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    Hah, I love it!

    With Milly if you're wanting to really know, my suggestion would be to set up a game where she's only allowed *one* thing. It takes a little while to teach the rules of the game, but once they understand it you really easily see favourite foods. And you can stack the game so first it's a choice of 4 things, then a choice of 3, then a choice of 2 to get rankings. Cad used to be exactly the same and it was all food, whatever food he could shove in his mouth the fastest. He'd hoover and gobble and have more food going in before the stuff already in his mouth was chewed and swallowed. But now he'll take his time sniffing and deciding.

    Here's a video from yesterday for if the visual makes more sense:
     
  3. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Well . . . Let's put it this way, the tube of squeezy cheese is enough to divert her attention from her nemesis - running cats, so I suspect that's a strong contender for preference. This is more for fun. :)
     
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  4. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

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    Great :D

    I have two types of chew for Bungo and I tried out an experiment a few times where I had chew one in one hand, the other in the other hand and let him choose, thankfully his mouth is so small he can only fit one in his mouth so I felt safe that he wouldn't manage to take off with both, each time he chose the same chew, hardly any hesitation either.
     
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  5. LittleMow

    LittleMow PetForums Senior

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    Great idea, Bodmin's zooplus order arrived today (finally), so may give this a go later. I predict that wet treat wise squeezy cheese will be top, not sure about dry though.

    @Torin. can I ask how you taught Cadvan that he had to pick just 1?
     
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  6. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    Longterm I've just given him a choice of 2 things in my hands. Cad already had "gently" for taking food nicely and in a considered way for human fingers/ skin, so I used that cue to slow him down. And after a bit I started doing that on the floor with my hands cupped over each thing, rather than held.

    The way I did that with the smaller stuff was sneakily :Angelic

    I only started doing the whole range of treats thing in lockdown, when a friend gave me random small bits of various stuff that were unsafely small for DogFriend. Suddenly rather than having a couple of things in bulk I had one or two tiny bits of a whole range of stuff. We weren't doing walks (where I often get him to make minor choices on which way) so I wanted to add some variation to his life.

    Angle 1: Set the environment up so that he'll want to grab-and-dash
    I have one room in my house that Cad will leg it to if he's been given a really good treat, and he's much more likely to grab-and-dash if it's a bigger treat rather than a mouthful. So I started off in the nextdoor room to make that more likely rather than him staying to shovel everything into his face. Nowadays he'll stay where he is, but it was useful at the start so he couldn't practice inhaling everything.

    Angle 2: Put the less good stuff nearer him
    With the whole grab-and-dash his previous automatic was to just take whatever was nearest. But with his sense of smell as good as it is, he should know fully what's on offer before release? It only took one go of using a full stick of dried tripe (usually I cut them smaller so that's a real huge amazing thing) at the far end that he missed out on for the little cogs in his brain to start turning!
     
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  7. LittleMow

    LittleMow PetForums Senior

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    This is great, thank you, I like the subtle manipulation :D. Bodmin does the grab and dash thing with the larger high value stuff (though his dash is more of a plod at time), really enjoying seeing Bodmin pausing to make choices, looking forward to trying this out.
     
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  8. Magyarmum

    Magyarmum PetForums VIP

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    I had to laugh because you sound like me trying to get only one dog out of the house for a walk.

    The idea is that you scatter some treats on the floor to distract the dog being left behind whilst you smartly nip out of the front door with the chosen dog following behind you.

    Unfortunately it doesn't quite work like that because it always seems to be the wrong dog that makes a dash for the treats, whilst the dog you don't want to take out, heads for the door.

    [​IMG]
     
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