Wow, I wonder what happened to the poor guy. That’s not just a quirk.
My 70 lbs tree climbing, fence jumping cuddle monster couldn’t climb or descend stairs till she was six years old.
I wonder if he was ever owned by someone who used “invisible fencing”.
Now that’s what you call reverse psychology!
My son did something similar as a baby. He would get down and touch the ground in front of him when the flooring changed. He had a lazy eye that precluded depth perception. Artie may have similar difficult telling if two different surfaces are at the same height.
My dog is trained not to go into certain parts of the house, and had the same reaction to some borders (not the backwards walking) during the early training. It didn’t require any kind of abuse or invisible fencing, just some verbal correction. Most dogs are pretty quick at learning appropriate territory.
Good job! But his people missed the opportunity to re-enforce his decision with something he loves: treats, his favorite toy, etc.
Someone on the YouTube comments was assuming the same thing (albeit much more rabidly). I knew a friend’s dog who absolutely refused to go down stairs into the basement, and he was most definitely never abused or hurt in any way. Abuse or some traumatic past experience are certainly possible explanations, but sometimes animals DO just have quirks.
The dog is using some of the same kind of logic that religious people use.
Somehow Artie has made a mental connection between crossing onto the carpet, and Bad Things Happening. We can’t know how this came about, or what his theory of the situation is. But B. F. Skinner described some bizarre mistaken learning in pigeons which he termed “superstition.”
Backing over the boundary might help Artie cope either because (1) he thinks its safer somehow, or because (2) his anxiety is reduced if he doesn’t have to watch himself doing the scary task. Either way, it’s not bad ingenuity for a dog.
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