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Unconditioned Cow Crackery

Unconditioned Cow Crackery

November 10, 2010
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 4 minutes

So you're probably already thinking, "WTF does that title even mean?" Well if you've ever met Loki, you know he's a cracked out mess with anything that he's never seen before.

"Ya, I see the cows, but they better not look at me!"

Without getting into positive versus correction-based training, (is anyone else out there as sick of the debate on that as I am?),  I will say that although I use correction as one of my training tools, all of my fear-based training is done with either positive operant or positive classical conditioning. With positive operant, you would likely give the dog an alternate behavior under a stressful or fearful circumstance and reward him for the performed correct behavior. However it's much too hard to do that when you're walking 2 dogs, so I go with the easy one, classical conditioning: simply get out the food and start feeding the cracker whenever I think something may make him cracker. Therefore, when he sees cows, before he goes cracker, I simply just feed the food. Cows = nommy nommy = good feeling.   Over time you fade the food and before you know it, they don't need it. And guess what? It's working. The first time Loki saw a horse or cow, we couldn't get 500 feet away before Loki erupted with crackery. Now we can heel right past them without a need for a treat, no issues.

In the beginning, I'm able to get them to calmly sit while I take photos while on leash. Eventually I do it without the leash. Though Loki typically sounds like the more cracked out dog, and would appear the "problem" dog, between the two of them, it's Juno, the quiet stealth dog that I would never trust off leash with livestock. Loki is usually planning his escape from the large monsters while Juno is busy planning what kind of sauce would go well with her catch of the day.

"So would beurre blanc or beurre vin rouge be a better sauce for la viande de boeuf," asks Juno.

In another farm we encounter pigs. Oh those little piggies  just LOVE us and run right up to the fence to greet us, much to Juno's delight.

"Oh boy, they're practically LEAPING into our mouths Big Boy!"
"Princess, that momma pig doesn't look too happy with you saying such things!"


I don't know what Wild Dingo readers think, but that look on Juno's face... it's trouble.

In yet another pasture, a horse prances about while the dogs stay on a down and watch.

"They look like big dogs, but they don't smell like big dogs!"


"Daddy-O, I'd like to go give that horse a nice Siberian Bonjour if woo know what I mean!"
"No Princess, I don't know what you mean. But then again, I frequently don't."

"Maybe if I don't look at them they will go away!"

"Daddy-O, why don't you do what you were born to do and wrangle us up some boeuf?"
"Princess, I was born in a city in Tawain. What is it that I was actually 'born' to do exactly?"

One of those cows has horns--not exactly the kind of cow you want to mess with!

On one of our walks, in the middle of nowhere, we come across a different type of animal. Fence fighters inside the building. This had Juno mesmerized.

"Oh man Big Boy, that just looks like heeps of fun."

"Maybe next time boys, I'll be able to come play with you!"

"Hey mom, it says there are eggs for sale. Let's go buy some eggs. Paaleeassse?"

Like I'd fall for that line. Do I have the word "Sucker" on my forehead? Look at that stare. Ears forward, piercing eyes. Good thing for the fence. That chicken would be Siberian stew if you know what I mean.

"Cow alert! We're coming up on some cows Mom!"

"Hey Princess, what do you call a grumpy cow?"
"Hush up Big Boy, I'm planning my dinner menu."

"Moo-dy! Get it?"

"Big boy, don't quit your day job."

"Sigh. How unfair it is to tempt a Siberian in this manner! I demand retribution!"
"Oooo. That sounds great Princess. What flavor does retribution come in?"


"Daddy-O did you notice that Mom isn't attached to us? I'll distract her. You go do what Shepherds do best: herd us some steak!"
"Princess, thanks, but I'm ok right here. I just ate an hour ago."

The other day I was on my bike and had to stop for this below. Try to contain yourself. This is real Swiss excitement!

The movie leaves you with the age-old question: why did the cow cross the road?

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18 comments on “Unconditioned Cow Crackery”

  1. Mom says she doesn't know how you manage to walk there at all - we would all be on the rampage for food, food, food.

    Love the shot of Loki "not looking":)

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  2. That chicken would have been stew for me too! I just dream about the chicken and duck on the other side of my fence! 🙂 Bali really doesn't care about them!

    I am amazed that you both can sit there not attached to anyone! I would be running for dinner! 🙂


  3. That movie sure was LOUD. Kind of reminded me of Norwood and the dumb bell he wears to school. What's up with the foodables running around all over the place over there?

    Loki! Snap out of it. Herd that meat on the hoof in Juno's direction next time. You two would make quite a team (and that would solve the raw food diet issues, eh)?

    Listen, I got scared by Juno's face just over the internets. She looks like the scary wolf that is in my CGC class.


  4. Oooh! Steak on the hoof! Sign us up! We'll be right there. (As soon as we can get AirFiona working again... it hasn't been right since its encounter with Godzilla....)

    *kissey face*
    -Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

  5. I was having such a crummy day until I read this. You movie seriously cracked me up. If that is't worth an Oscar, nothing is.

    I'm glad Loki is doing better with the cows. Go Team!

  6. Note to Khyra:

    I am told by the Maman that poulet tastes like crocodile; it's rabbit that tastes like chat. How she knows about those things I can't tell. The mind shudders...

  7. Juno does have a lean and hungry look in those photos. She's being held back by the weak link on her hunting team. What Juno needs is a dog like Abby whose prey drive is every bit as intense as hers. Abby is fast on the corners, relentless up the stretch, and not to be distracted by anything paltry like mama yelling "Stop! No! Bad dog!" We can only conclude from the casual way the dinner on the hoof wanders the Swiss streets that: large Swiss animals are suicidal; Switzerland has no dogs or SUV's; or Swiss dogs are disturbingly denatured.

    Jed & Abby

  8. I'm not sure I could contain myself with all that mobile food around! And, the SMELLS!!! You must be in heaven!


  9. I actually thought that was kind of cool. And to think we are having chicken tonight for dinner. I should of went for beef.

    That's more action then our small towns seen since the carnival this summer.

    Matt and Morgan (and the greyhounds of course)

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