By Mark Frauenfelder at 9:24 am Wed, Apr 9, 2008
Funny video shows a dog who won't go through a screenless screen door.
UPDATE Claudia points out that cats (Dutch, ones anyway) are as clueless as dogs when it comes to screenless screen doors. Link
Bubbledragon, my thoughts exactly. Some pavlovian conditioning in play here?
If I try to run through here without my master, my nose hurts baaad… repeat…
No matter how many times I see this on AFV, it still makes me howl every time.
That’s one good dog!
Cats do it too!
like i need another reason to love dogs. This pup rules.
Hilarious. I knew one guy who had a Doberman. Their fence blew down in a storm, but the dog wouldn only go through the gate that was left standing.
The cat’s not Dutch. You can faintly hear someone chastising someone in that video saying, in clear English, “okay, let the poor cat out.” Must be a video from elsewhere used in a Dutch tv show.
The dog is not dumb here, it’s SMART. It’s not a problem in physics, but one of culture and pack protocol.
The dog knows “doorness”. It knows — note that it points with it’s nose to the door FRAME on the OPENING SIDE, that it wants the door opened for it.
The human opening the door for the dog is PERMISSION to go outside. It does not need to be a physical barrier.
With the “invisible” door left “closed”, long enough, with humans not present, almost certainly the dog would eventually cross it, especially to chase a cat, play with a friend, eat food, etc. But with the person there it is obeying local protocol, which is “door open, OK to go out”.
Dogs love pack coherence, and of course most of the time most humans are ‘alpha’ to dogs. (Dogs are heirarchy addicts.)
Laughing at this dog in that way is like making fun of wise elders from $CULTURE not knowing how to use a fork and spoon. It’s silly.
Dogs aren’t stupid — they’re not human. But one thing they learn really well are boundaries — ask any dog trainer about boundary crossing and the release word “cross”. Dogs inherently “get” abstractions like doors, boundaries like curbs, driveways, property lines etc.
And we can’t smell the delicious goodness in delicacies like road-flattened birds. I accept my limitations…
An aunt of mine had a golden retriever who was so conditioned by a baby-gate between the living room and the kitchen that when they replaced the gate with a broomstick the dog wouldn’t step over it. It boggles the mind.
This is my favorite BoingBoing post ever.
Looks like the secretive Cat Command has finally perfected the Doggy Defense Shield – deactivates for humans, because they bring food.
That just isn’t fair. That dog is entirely too cute.
@14,the trick is to wear a dark suit
It’s a very cute dog, but what the HELL is going on in that one frame at the start of the video? It looks like a Yeti wandering around a suburban kitchen.
Reminds me of that scene from Ghostbusters (2?) where Lewis is trying to get through the little door within the large garage door and going round in circles :oP :o)
Hey, but I’m sure that the dog ran into the glass or screen a few thousand times and then learned his lesson to be wary of that door.
(lost my post, reposting!)
I once read about an old psychology experiment where dogs were leashed so that they could only walk on an area of floor that was electrified. When the leashes were removed, the dogs could not will themselves to walk off of the electric floor, though nothing stopped them.
Unfortunately, this is the only thing I can think about when I see this video.
why do I think “electorate”?
#18 is right. My old dog (RIP), when told to leave a room, would cross the door’s threshold and lay down — even if there wasn’t actually a threshold.
She was awesome.
The feline equivalent:
Belief structure (DOGma?) in action.
This reminds me of an experiment I saw in an ancient copy of Popular Science, where they placed kittens on a glass table, with a checkerboard pattern on the floor below. Of course the kittens were petrified and wouldn’t move, or perhaps back into a corner. Then when they instead placed the kittens on a table with two different sized checkerboard patterns printed on it instead of glass (an optical illusion made to look as if suddenly there was a drop off), they of course wouldn’t walk on the smaller pattern for fear it was actually several feet below them.
It also reminds me of how difficult it is to piss your pants (if you’re an adult anyway)– early psychological training and years of habit make it difficult to do on command. (Go on– try it.) ;)
@9: Cousin It stopped by for a visit.
As a degree holder in Psychology, which has come in very helpful over the years (and by helpful, I mean, “not helpful in finding employment”), I’ll add my $0.02:
About the dog with the electrified floor, I think there were several variations on the experiment (which would never be allowed today), but essentially, the dog would be in a pen with an electrified floor where the walls were too high for it to jump out. After awhile, the dog would stop resisting, and simply allow itself to be electrocuted, even after one of the walls was lowered to a level in which it could jump out, and continue to allow itself to be electrocuted. “Conditioned Helplessness” is also a symptom with other animals including humans in the form of battered wives who don’t leave their husbands, etc.
With the kitten experiment, it was more of a physiological phenomenon, as the vertical lines lining the walls and lack of horizontal lines as their vision was developing caused the kittens’ brains to not register horizontal lines at all, so they would bump into things such as tables and what not that were horizontal (parallel to the floor) because they could not see it.
Wow, that wasn’t interesting at all, I’ll just go back to pondering my lack of gainful employment now.
Dave Barry had a column once about how the porch to his house in Florida was ruined after a hurricane. His two dogs always left the house through the door of the porch.
After the hurricane the porch was gone, but the door’s frame was still there. The dogs **still** exited via the door frame.
Are you sure the dog thinks that there’s a screen in the door, and he’s just not waiting for a cue from his owner to go outside? He could just have been incidentally trained to only pass through the door when someone opens it for him.
Not only is the dog waiting for the human to let it out-dogs have a hard time seeing screens and glass even when they are there. So after learning that the frame had to move in order for the door to be open, a dog won’t try to cross the threshold.
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