Sometimes mistakes in parenting also cause something incredibly sweet. A dog trainer from the USA can tell you a thing or two about it, because the video of her cute mistake went viral on TikTok.
Dog trainer Sugako Sasaki (@happystretchdogtraining) from Burien, Washington, USA, specializes in positive reinforcement in dogs to solve problem behaviors. How well she succeeds "positively" is shown by this cute video, which has recently become a viral hit on TikTok. So far, over 2.3 million TikTok users have watched the clip in which Sugako confesses to a mistake in the training of two puppies - which many now surprisingly want to imitate with their own four-legged friends:
You can see two cute puppies pressing their little snouts together like a kiss before they get a treat from the hands of the trainer as a reward.
Sugako Sasaki writes: "Learning to share space, food and toys with friends is hard. I originally worked on reinforcing any appropriate behaviors when two puppies sit next to each other during mat training, but I accidentally taught them to kiss for treats. Ups. But it's a cute kind of oops." ❤️
What had gone wrong with behavioral training?
At first, the dog trainer didn't even notice that she had made a mistake when training with the baby furry noses. It wasn't until she was stunned to discover that the two were constantly "kissing" that she noticed the mishap. But what exactly did it consist of? In an interview with the US news magazine Newsweek, the owner of "Happy Stretch Dog Training" said that the two had learned that kissing meant cheese to them. What happened?
Sweet kisses: dog training overlaps
While the black Labrador retriever puppy Lewis was originally supposed to learn to sit down on command and keep still despite distraction, mixed breed puppy June was all about teaching her proper behavior. Little June had behaved aggressively towards other dogs until her training, barking at them or even pounced on them. "The goal was to change June's emotional response through the presence of another dog, while reinforcing appropriate behaviors," says trainer Sugako Sasaki.
For the training that Sasaki wanted to use with June (differential reinforcement of other behavior), she needed another dog and decided on little Lewis as a positive role model for dog lady June. Sasaki told Newsweek, "The goal was to change June's emotional response through the presence of another dog, while reinforcing appropriate behaviors."
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To reinforce June's positive behavior, the dog trainer worked with treats. Provided that her teeth did not touch Lewis, the little mixed breed dog was given a piece of cheese as a reward. The two interpret their trainer's command differently and felt that the cheese was a reward for touching their noses. "Since they got treats when they 'kissed', they kissed more and more often instead," the American explained. "At first it was a cute accident, but the puppies clearly repeat the process, and that's just adorable." In the end, the training of different behaviors probably led to the sweet kisses among the young four-legged friends.
"I'm teaching Madge and Sherlock to do that."
The video of the "failed" parenting has received over 300,000 likes so far. In the comments, users agree that they now want to teach their own four-legged friends how to kiss cutely:
- "I'm sobbing, that's so cute. 😭"
- "Ok, but that's the cutest thing ever! 🥰"
- "I'm going to teach this to every single pair of puppies I work with in the future."
- "I need to know how you did it."
- "I want to get two Hundis so I can imitate that. Charming! 🥰"
Not only the Internet is happy about the heartwarming result of the training, but also the owners of the two puppies: "Their owners thought it was totally cute," Sugako Sasaki told reassured.