Active Behavior and Conditioning

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Click on the photograph above to see the Silver Husky with motions on.

In addition to having Fido follow your commands, he can also choose his own commands! So if you're not bossing him around, he'll find something to do on his own. Here are the commands related to this:

  • motions on
  • motions off
  • active
  • passive
  • good
  • bad

Motions

VKC Dogs created after 2010 have multiple variations of the sit, stand, down, bellyup, beg and shake poses and the motions system means that they will switch between the variations creating a far more lifelike look for the dog. So if your dog is sitting, he will switch among the variations of sit.

The default setting for the motions is on and the dog will use the motions even in passive mode. If you really want your dog to keep still (perhaps for a photo) you can say

fido motions off

and he’ll be still when he sits, stands, lies down, etc.

To restore these natural little movements, you can say,

fido motions on

and he will shift his position naturally and randomly while he sits, stands, lies down, etc.

Active and Passive

To start Fido acting on his own, say:

fido active

When he is in active mode, he will respond to his environment, choose his own actions, and generally behave like a live animal.

When you want him to follow your direct commands only and not choose his own behaviors, say:

fido passive

Passive mode is useful for times when you want Fido's full attention, like when  you are training him, attending a VKC Class, or photographing him, or any time you don't want him to think for himself or get distracted.

Blink

A Yorkshire Terrier caught on camera in mid-blink.

You blink, I blink, even VKC Pets blink. It prevents dry eyes, naturally sweeps bits of dirt and dust out of the eyes, and looks more natural than staring with unblinking, open eyes.

But nothing is quite so frustrating as having someone or your pet caught in a photograph with his eyes closed. If only there was some way to hold the pets eyes open for the photograph…. Read on and you will discover how.

To turn off blinking, say,

Fido blink off

To restore blinking, say,

Fido blink on

After we introduced the blink feature, we discovered that some folks were seeing the pet's face textures as scary-looking and blurred, as though the textures were stuck somewhere between open eyes and closed eyes. If this happens to you, it is a simple matter to turn off the blink reflex and your pet's face be normal and handsome again.

The blink command applies to all Pathfinding-enabled (Series II) pets.

Conditioning

The first thing Fido does when he's active is greet any person or thing near him that he hasn't met before. Fido remembers anyone or anything he greets, and they affect what he decides to do. After he's greeted everyone and everything new to him, he starts choosing tricks to perform. When someone or something he knows shows up, he notices that and reacts to it. That means you can condition your dog to fetch a toy when you come home, for example, or bark at the neighbor. :)

If he does something that you like, say:

fido good

That makes him more likely to repeat that trick in the same situation. Alternatively, you can give him a command, then immediately say "fido good" and he learns that you like him to perform that trick in the given situation. That's how you condition Fido.

Good is a very powerful command. You use it to shape your pet's personality. So choose wisely. If you always praise Fido when he sits, you soon will have a pet who sits around a lot. If you praise him for everything he does, then he will never figure out what pleases you.

If Fido chooses a command you don't like, you can say:

fido bad

When Fido hears that, he knows you don't like him to do that trick or instinct in the current situation so he's more likely to pick another one. Sometimes you have to reprimand him more than once to get him to stop the behavior.

As people and things move closer or further away (or he does), Fido will pick other commands and you can continue to condition him with good and bad. He applies that conditioning to new situations, so after you've had him a while, he'll generally start to behave the way you want. Whenever you teach him a new command, he'll occasionally try that one out, so you can condition him to use the new command the way you like.