Dog training.

… we also want to take advantage of the early childhood development of the [students] and help to see if we can’t influence their brain development in a way that’s going to make them happier doing their job, more resilient to the stresses that they face, because they’re not stresses anymore because this is just their normal life.
They’re used to going to work for eight hours a day.
They’re used to going in all sorts of places.
They’ll be taken on field trips.

Did I fool you by editing this quote a little?

Is this person providing us with the latest manifesto for a proper approach to childhood education?

Or…dog education?

Yeah. Be happy with your 8-hours days, your job stresses and your field trips you…dog.

Or…person…or…dog…there seems to be some confusion about which is which?

Here’s the quote in context:

GROSS: What do you hope to learn at the new center, the new training center that you’ve set up for dogs, either about how dogs smell or how they can best be trained in detection?

OTTO: I think one of the most unique aspects of our program is that we’re bringing our puppies in at eight weeks. And those puppies are first of all living with foster families during the rest of their lives, but from Monday through Friday, from 8:00 to 5:00, they come into our center and they get their foundation work.

It’s kind of like a puppy college.

So they’ll be in class during that time, and part of what we want to do is we want to figure out what are the best techniques, what can they learn at what age.

So one of the most challenging things that we have is all of the information
that we’re capturing. So this is about collecting data.

We are recording how often they are trying to do a behavior, how successful, how fast,
how many repetitions. Do we have to ask them more than once?

And then that will allow us to kind of plot the progress and the success and combine that with different behavioral tests, genetic tests, and that – those pieces of knowing when we can look back and say, wow, we knew at 16 weeks this dog was destined to become this, because right now there are no good tests when they’re puppies to tell if they’re going to be successful.

So we want to collect that information, but we also want to take advantage of the early childhood development of the puppies and help to see if we can’t influence their brain development in a way that’s going to make them happier doing their job,
more resilient to the stresses that they face, because they’re not stresses anymore because this is just their normal life.

They’re used to going to work for eight hours a day.
They’re used to going in all sorts of places.
They’ll be taken on field trips.
They’re going to go all over the place as they’re young.

Cynthia Otto, veterinarian who created the Penn Vet Working Dog Center.
As interviewed by Terry Gross on her NPR show Fresh Air, on 11 September, 2012.

This was Terry’s featured interview on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

Trained dogs were used at the site to search for human remains.

I don’t believe they found very many.

But that’s another story.

I was struck by how the goals of dog training seem to match the current goals of human training.

Let’s end with some contrasting quotes that I hope will reveal some of the ideals that we are in danger of forgetting.

The whole object of education is…to develop the mind. The mind should be a thing that works.
Sherwood Anderson (1876–1941) American novelist and short story writer.

Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing–the rest is mere sheep-herding.
Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972) U.S. poet.

True education makes for inequality; the inequality of individuality, the inequality of success, the glorious inequality of talent, of genius.
Felix E. Schelling (1858-1945) American educator

The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done.
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) Swiss cognitive psychologist.

No man who worships education has got the best out of education… Without a gentle contempt for education no man’s education is complete.
G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) British author

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer.

Here’s my source: Donald Simanek’s page at Lock Haven University, Pennsylvania.

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4 Responses to “Dog training.”

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  4. Susan Bergeman Says:

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