Zen Generalization: Hole in the Fence

Snowy face Zani
Zani after playing in the snow

Sue Ailsby points out the Zen is one behavior that dogs tend to generalize well:

Leave It for all manner of toddler Zen situations…; Leave It nicely gets my dogs out of the front hall when we have visitors; Leave It helps us avoid a fight at the dog park as my dog heads for another dog’s ball; Leave It says “Stop paying attention to that cue hunky Doberman and pay attention to me!” –Training Levels, p. 441-442

It turns out that Leave It (my verbal signal is “Pas”) also means, “Don’t even think of continuing down that fallen tree trunk and jumping down on the wrong side of the ex pen so you can go through the hole that the root ball left under the fence and visit the neighbor’s yard!”

It even means it when I am 20 feet away and up a flight of steps! Good girl, Zani!

And if you’re wondering why I didn’t just call her, it’s because the ex pen fence was between us. I didn’t know what kind of confusion that could engender. So I cued Zen, talked her back the way she came, and gave her a hand signal to go around the ex pen. Life is good!

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6 thoughts on “Zen Generalization: Hole in the Fence

  1. Add to your list of life’s accomplishments – “Fascinating and informative blogger and filmaker.” 🙂
    Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your world. BTW, I bow to you for the way you so seamlessly handle 4 dogs. Happy New Year!

  2. I have to agree witht he previous comment, you and your smart pooches do manage to make it all look so easy! By the way…it must have really hurt to lose such a beautiful big tree?

    1. Thanks so much, Marjorie. Yes, I’m really sad about the tree. I have lost a total of four trees since I have moved here, either because of actions by the city (two were in easements) or in one case because it was so huge and old it was going to fall on my neighbor’s shed. I don’t like having such a stark yard. I’ll be planting something to provide some shade and bird habitat, as soon as I can figure a long term prevention of CLARA from pulling it up….

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