TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) – a scientific conference organized by the American non-profit Sapling Foundation. Goal - popularization - as the motto says - "ideas worth spreading". Ideas, thoughts, visions that can change the world.
On September 6, 2013, we also took part in the Polish version of Ted – TEDxRawaRiver with our two projects. Both concerned the world of animals, but in combination with what we - humans can get out of it positive for ourselves and how this world can enrich our lives and our inner being.
The first project concerned the language of dogs - the language of conflict resolution (the language of calming signals) that trainers, zoopsychologists and behaviorists try to pass on to dog owners.
We humans can only read those familiar signals - growls, tail wagging ... Meanwhile, the communication language of dogs is more subtle, albeit legible - as if dogs were talking to us in small letters.
Dogs talk to us at every step, although not in the verbal sense, but they can use a developed system of body language. And through signals such as licking his nose, turning his head, yawning, squinting, lifting a paw, lying down and others (28-29 in total) our dog is trying to tell us something. Not only us with the rest. By sending these signals, the dog tries to calm himself, the environment, the noises, you and the other dog. In a word, avoid problems - do not lead to conflict.
Dogs inherited this ability from their ancestors - MASTERS OF SURVIVALwho saved their energy for hunting and foraging rather than for destructive conflicts. We could learn a lot from animals here.
What dogs have - how many times have you overslept to work? We get up already nervous and we still have to take a walk - a quick pee with our dog. And when we call him (raised voice) he starts to slow down and sniff the ground. "What a stubborn man, he wants to spite me." NO! He doesn't want to get angry! By slowing down and sniffing the ground (2 consecutive signals), the dog wants to help you - to calm down his aggression. Don't lead to a conflict.
We pass this knowledge on to adults, but what if we pass this knowledge on to pre-school and early school children, regardless of whether they have their pets or not? What if these kids lived in that language's infiltration?
Children see the world from different perspectives and have an amazing imagination. At school, we learn poems by heart, the multiplication table by heart, the rules of spelling and punctuation, and does school teach us to observe, draw conclusions from these observations and introduce them into our own lives?
We study and discover what is unknown, scientists for example - ways of communication of marine mammals. Meanwhile, interactions take place right under our noses, but why study them, after all, most owners know their dogs: they can be mean, stupid, jealous or envious. So... human. Meanwhile, children are little scientists and growing up observing this language will certainly translate into their future.
I don't know yet how, because children have an amazing imagination, but I believe it will be.
Project number two "First train the savage" concerned our communication skills. The way we communicate with other people. How much criticism is in our communication, how many threats, announcements of punishment or manipulation.
Inhabited in this language, we do not realize that it can be otherwise.
First, we hate these structures as children, then it becomes all we know (and we promised ourselves so many times that we would behave differently). Since we cannot reject them, we accept them as ours and pass them on to the next generations.
In interpersonal interactions there is too little feedback and if it is bad, it is negative.
What if someone took away our ability to use the language of criticism, anger or manipulation overnight? Many of us would become communication disabled.
Then we would have to get something in return - some new structures. And maybe that would be our best chance.
I decided to play the role of a guinea pig and take up the challenge myself - what will I learn from animal training, will animal training help me develop other, better structures for communication with other people?
For the experience, I choose a rabbit. A hen would have been even better, but somehow the villagers were afraid to borrow their belongings. All in all, I'm not surprised. These days, organic chicken comes in handy.
So why don't I choose a dog for the experience? Because dogs, horses and humans are probably the most harmed species. The reason lies in their behavior - they come, apologize, forgive, they are easily manipulated (SIT AND PRESS THE DOG'S RUN FORCING HIM TO PERFORM THE TASK)
With a rabbit or a hen it will not be so easy for me - the possibility of punishing and criticizing is taken away from the spot. After all, how do you reprimand a chicken or a rabbit? Shout once at the hen and you will hang and one chance lost. Imagine if we had this one and only chance with a man?
Since all the standard tools used so far are taken from me, I have to develop new ones - I START THINKING CREATIVELY and adapt to the world map of the training facility. I can only reinforce it positively - NOTHING ELSE.
Can it be otherwise? Yes you can. Experience notes can be found here
The adventure with TEDx was amazing, although the door to the wonderland has only just been opened ;)
First Australian Labradoodle Kennel in Poland