Early in my career, I became involved in training service dogs for the physically handicapped. I have trained dogs to pick up dropped items, pull wheelchairs, open and close doors, operate light switches, and a variety of tasks specific to the disability of an owner.
One of the organizations involved in our field boasts of teaching each dog over 90 commands. This sounds amazing, however on further investigation, the list of commands contains dozens of commands that are redundant or have little to no meaning. For example, a different command is used when the dog is opening the door and when he is closing the door. However, this is the same action for the dog. His job is to grab a string and pull the door. It doesn’t matter to the dog whether the door is opening or closing.
For example, I use the command “Kennel” to mean (a) get into your crate, (b) get into that kennel run, (c) get into the crate in the van, and (d) get into the kitchen. I do not need four commands...
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