OK Go’s “White Knuckles” …. HA, The Outtakes

On September 20th we detailed OK Go’s White Knuckles video, amazingly shot in one takeAs most of the dogs in this video are rescues, OK Go is donating a portion of all proceeds from the sale of the video on their site to animal rescue. I don’t know who was having more fun, the guys or the dogs.

Lauren Henry, the owner of Talented Animals and head animal trainer for this video, was brought in to make the canine choreography a reality. “They needed to enjoy it,” says Henry. “Otherwise there’s no way you’re going to drag a dog out there and have them do the same action again and again, day after day.”

“We spent a lot of time playing with them … Each behavior is part of a whole game they’re playing,” she explains. “For instance: the dogs running around people’s legs at the beginning. Riot, the little dog on the left, I would have her go around the chair and then I’d throw the ball. Then I would have her go her around the chair twice, and then throw the ball. And then three times, and then add the person.”

Sequestered in a studio outside of Portland for two weeks, the full routine was only completed about fifteen times. “It all gelled the second week of filming. The one we’re using was the first run we did on the second-to-last-day of filming,” Nordwind says. “We’ll work until we fall down, but the dogs needed time to rest. They were done by about 6:30 [p.m.]. They get tired: They want to go home and eat. In that respect I liked working on the dogs’ schedule.”

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Now, here is a great video showing a compilation of the outtakes. It actually brings the whole video together to see how it was made. Talk about team work.

I loved this comment from drummerbill805, one of the folks who worked on the video:

I worked on this video and it was amazing!!! I’m the guy tossin buckets on Dan the drummer’s side. The dogs were all incredible and stayed focused all day. Testament to Lauren Henry and Talented Animals—greatest two weeks of work in my entire life.

Sheeeee’s Baaaa-ack!

Not long ago I posted about Golden Retriever Grace, the adorable, smiling house-cleaner. I’ve since learned that this sweetie is 3-years-old and a petite 54 pounds. Golden Retriever Grace’s family grew tired of picking up after her. Now she picks up after herself. And, with such excitement, I might add.

Here is her dad’s latest posting of Grace cleaning.

I am seriously thinking about buying a similar type basket and teaching Alfie this GReat trick. I will keep you posted.

I commented on the video and Brad, Grace’s dad, wrote this back:

I posted my previous (and first) youtube video without really knowing what I was doing. I was surprised to see that so many had viewed it until I happened upon youtube’s video stats area where I saw that Grace’s fame was mostly due to your link. So THANK YOU for that! I see you viewed her new one that I just posted–you must check frequently for Golden videos. Grace is perfect almost every time at house cleaning, but I posted the new one mainly because I learned how to use the camera a little better and to keep my mouth shut so that people could enjoy Grace.

I wrote back to Brad, who is a clicker training advocate like myself, and told him folks always love to learn more about the dogs featured in videos, as well as how particular tricks were learned. (If you want to contact him directly, just write to bethatdog at yahoo dot com.)

I loved this response from Brad, since my distaste for the old methods such as those espoused by Millan are so repugnant.

If I had to say anything, it would be to your point about clicker training.  I grew up learning training by compulsion using Barbara Woodhouse/Cesar Millan-type methods.  I’ve learned better.  Despite their obvious love for animals, these people are abusing them unnecessarily–and training millions of others to do the same.  Barring a few cases of extremely unstable dogs, anything that you can teach by compulsion you can teach by positive reinforcement, and it’ll be a whole lot more fun for dog and handler alike.

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Please check out further resources here about training, as well as this MUST-READ article/instructive discussion by Dr. Sophia Yin: Dominance Controversy & Cesar Millan).

Confusion with the term “Alpha Dog” and where it originates
Below, Dr. L. David Mech talks about the terms “alpha” and “beta” wolves and why they are no longer scientifically accurate. Be sure to read and download his article, Whatever Happened to the Term Alpha Woof? Dr. Yin refers to Dr. Mech and this article in her discussion of the dominance controversy.