As food for thought, I am going to share something that happened just this morning. I have a space heater. It is Winter. (My lizard blood is incompatible with cold.) Its filter needed cleaning. It is recommended that you use a vacuum cleaner and a brush to clean it. The process took several minutes. I am just finishing up cleaning the filter as I sit right next to my dog who likes to eat vacuum cleaners when they are on. I am vacuuming, and my dog is totally ignoring the vacuum cleaner. Nothing, no reaction from the dog. At the very end of my vacuuming, I was going to tell my dog it was good for not attacking the vacuum and, in so doing, I made the mistake of looking at my dog. Our eyes met, it saw my “what are you doing look” that was about to morph into my “good dog” look. My dog did not think twice. It interpreted my look to mean I thought it had missed something. It immediately turned into guard dog supreme. At this point, I actually got really harsh for us and uttered “hey” in a normal tone of voice. He immediately settled back in beside me and ignored the vacuum again. There is no way I can possibly describe this conversation, and it was a conversation, adequately to convey its depth and complexity to anyone who does not have that level of communication with their dog. Clever Hans effect or true communication? You be the judge

Donna Malone
Behavior Consultant and Trainer
(901) 488-9238