|Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 1:45pm PST |
|I'm not quite sure I understand the question...
They did not see you wash your hands and think, "Well, since she's cleaning her hands to remove the food residue, she's not going to be sticking her fingers back in the food so we won't be getting any more treats."
If all of them wandered off at the exact moment you begin to wash your hands with out you saying anything, then it's likely they've picked up the cue from your routine. I think most of us wash our hands after handling food or treats of any kind, so it's not too surprising that a dog would pick up on and generalize the idea of washing hands = no more treats.
I suppose that would make it a habit. Still, it's something that was noticed, remembered, and applied back to life - that's how all of us learn outside of direct instruction. If you practiced it regularly, you could bring it to a point of being done without thought, but it still requires brainpower to get there.
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