[VIDEO] This Retriever Smiles For The Camera

video retriever smiles on cue
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What a fun thing to show off to your friends!  The Golden Retriever in this video actually smiles for the camera.  His name is Dior, and he has become a celebrity online because of this unique talent.  So Dior is sitting in front of a camera at home, looking a bit serious.  His Mom says to him, (translated from Chinese) “It’s time for a photo, Dior.  Don’t be so serious.”  “Quick, give me a smile.”  And Dior DOES.

This Pashmina scarf would make a lovely gift for Mother's Day
This Pashmina scarf would make a lovely gift for Mother’s Day

If you ever have ambition to teach your dog this very same trick, an article by Kayla Fratt will be very helpful.   In her article, Kayla first went into explaining that smiling is just not something dogs do.   So it has to be taught.  And since it is more involved using Kayla’s approach, this is better used by someone more experienced in training dogs to do tricks.

How to teach your dog to smile

Karla explains 3 types of “smiles” by dogs when they show their teeth.   One is deliberate training by humans to smile.  Another is a scared grin, which means they are nervous and are acting submissive to deescalate the situation, although this is not the only way dogs deescalate a situation.   Still another is a snarl, which means they mean business, and don’t mess with them.  Make sure you can tell the difference in your dog which of these he’s doing.  Now, on to the training itself.  Kayla uses a clicker.   If you use a different method, apply the principles.  She teaches the dog to associate a click with “a reward is coming next.”  She tickles the whisker of her dog to bring out a half smile.  Then she uses the clicker and reward system to bring about consistent results.  Gradually help the dog to associate a verbal cue with that tickle, and replace the physical cue all together.   You can read the entire process here.

Kayla emphasizes that keeping training fun for your dog is paramount.  Keep it short and sweet, like 5 to 10 minutes.  If either you or the dog gets frustrated, stop.  Go do something else–play tug, run.  Make sure that the session always ends in a successful note for your dog, so she’ll want to train some more next time.  Enjoy this really really short video.  It’s just lovely to see a dog pose for the camera.

Article source:  Kayla Fratt

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