Selective Attention & Behavior Modification

Watch This…. Then we’ll talk:

Ok….. So……. What does that have to do with Dog Training?

Well, there’s a lot of attention on Kayce Cover’s method lately. And with good reason…… It’s pretty damn effective.

But….. (and I love you Kayce) the amount and style of communication just flat puts people off.

It put me off. I was right away fully into a lot of her method. But, man, that naming everything……. And the staccato style of intermediate bridging she does…… I just couldn’t do it.

Then, I worked with her and her instructors in person. And, it totally worked. I don’t care who you are….. You can’t say that shit doesn’t work. I SAW it. And, believe me…. I was trying not to. I really didn’t want to change my position on it (aka start doing something new).

So…. now I know for sure it DOES work. But…. WHY?

I felt I needed to figure that out.

The obvious argument against it, is that the dogs don’t know what the hell you’re saying. And….. To a point…… I think they may be right.

Look, I think dogs do understand WAY more than the joke in that video. Clearly. I think they can learn a ton of words. And easily make Binary choices. Hell, I’m seeing dogs now giving cognitive feedback now that blows my mind.


I don’t think they fully understand entire soliloquies.

I think sort of like in that Frazier video, they “get” portions of what we are saying. But, I think they know we are trying to get something across to them.

And THAT brings me back to the basketball video.

Us giving a stream of feedback that they partially understand but know is supposed to be more meaningful, gives them a task to focus on. Figuring out what we are trying to say!

You know how people give “Incompatible Behaviors”? You know, if a dog’s sitting they aren’t jumping on you sort of thing.

Well, I think this may be a sort of “Incompatible Thoughts“. As in, if the dog focuses on trying to understand me, they may miss their own gorilla!

I don’t really know. I just process thoughts like this.

Hell, maybe it’s just totally distracting white noise?

But it sure didn’t feel like it. Felt like more. But how much?

I’m not ready to say they got the full English version.

But, I think I am ready to say it’s inducing “Selective Attention”.

Feels right.

We’ll see.

But, don’t take my word for it. Hell, don’t take anyone’s word for anything! Go test.

And learn some shit!!!!!!

(if you haven’t been exposed to Kayce yet, you owe it to yourself to investigate. It’s paradigm challenging for sure, but worth looking into!!! )



6 thoughts on “Selective Attention & Behavior Modification”

  1. I just had a “DUH!” moment – when I’m mentoring people on how to trail dogs to work and pull in harness, I tell them that “the less you speak, the better” – “every time you say something to your dog(s), you are distracting them from what they are trying to figure out” – of course, why wouldn’t speech distract a dog from doing what you don’t want it to do? – certainly worth a try

  2. Good stuff Jay. I always wonder if talking too much just tunes my voice out like the Eddie video. “Wah wah wah Moose wah wah wah sit…good”.

    I bought Kayce’s DVD and every time I watch it I see something I had missed before. I have come to the point where I try to write off nothing as a possibility. The truth is out there young sapling…

  3. I’ve been using Kayce’s techniques now for 9 years (just recently realized how long it has been!) and my relationships with all of my animals, and the animals I meet in passing, and the people in my life have changed fundamentally. It is incredibly powerful on many levels.

  4. Well, I do think it is important to talk to dogs because they do know we are talking to them and the importance of this shouldn’t be glossed over in terms of forming a bond and just relating to each other. Now, I do agree that when you are trying to get your dog to DO something i.e. put out a specific behavior or mind-state or to stop one that words/extra words can certainly get in the way of clear communication.

    Dogs have been living with us for time immemorial and language/speech is super important to us. So important in fact that we risk our lives for it (evolutionary speaking) think how easy it is for a human to choke to death on a small piece of food and think of the large things a dog can swallow and then bring back up. Our voice box and related apparatus is why humans are at such a high risk of choking to death – that’s how important speech is to us.

    1. It may be that when we talk casually to our dogs, it is more our facial expressions that they hone in on, rather than the sounds coming from our faces.

  5. Chuck Eisenmann : Stop, Sit, Think! Training the Intellectual Dog. His dogs were listening intently to his extremely detailed, verbal instructions, picking out familiar vocabulary words in order to figure out what he was wanting them to accomplish. He put an amazing amount of time into his dogs.

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