Human in canine training Dogs


Understand the training as a one-way procedure may, in my opinion, constitute a comprehensive way to conceptualize interaction organismo-medio:

Assume that during the training sessions, our dog is subject to the rules imposed by the operant conditioning but we do not, is a simplistic view of the events

Put another way, having the “power” of applying the laws of behavior in an explicit manner for our part entails, sometimes, to think that we are only a donor source of orders and reinforcements.

This suggests that you rules humans apply control the conduct of the dog, and even if true, it is not except for the fact that these rules are formed and molded on the basis of the same laws that make them work.

I could tell a friend: “have you seen? I control the behavior of my dog; “if I want that I paw you just have to give him a piece of food then”. As well as my dog could tell a friend: “look, can you see my owner? I control your behavior; “if I want that I something to eat only have to lift the leg”.

The fundamental idea of all this is that there is a two-way relationship in training – as well as all the interactions of life in general – which makes possible the socialization intra and inter-species.

This reasoning may be evident as a theoretical concept, but its practical meaning fades as it enhances our perception of threat to self-esteem. Think that our actions are governed by the of an animal is not accepted by all, though to deny that we are making it really…

On the basis of which all animals (human or not) we attend the same laws when it comes to behave (although the topography of the responses differ among species), we can say that just as it is possible to functionally analyzing the terms of contingency involved in the acquisition, maintenance and termination of canine behavior, it is also possible to do it with our :

What are commonly called “signs” or “orders”, which are discriminative stimuli for a dog that receives them, are also an issue of behavior as any other on our part. Such conduct, as such, is subject to the same rules which make it become a discriminative stimulus for the dog.

Therefore, it is likely to be more or less likely, extinguished, modified, or occur only in certain circumstances.

Taking this perspective, if the conduct of “an order” stays is because doing so is reinforced by observing a change in the behavior of the dog.

Here we have that you response to certain circumstances (discriminative stimuli for us), humans make the conduct of “an order” (discriminative stimulus for the animal), which is reinforced by the conduct of the dog. Such behaviour (the dog), also functions as a signal so that we premiemos him (which is another distinct behavior on our part).

It is not surprising, therefore that a dog be able to extinguish us conduct “give a certain order” if it ignores us or punish us offering us an alternative behavior that we have not asked him.

All this makes that end up looking for those moments in which “are confident” that we will ignore; What happens here is that certain keys of the environment (the time of the day or the attitude of our dog, for example) will provide the necessary information to know when the conduct of an order must issue and when not. Such circumstances would have the role of discriminative stimulus before us, and end up acquiring the same psychological value that have our orders for dogs. Nothing changes… we control the behaviour of our dogs as they control ours.

I think that having a minimum knowledge about this relationship, understood as a dynamic set of functions estimulares, you can get to optimize the training, or what comes to the same thing, you can get to get a better education for our dogs and (neither less nor more important) for ourselves.

Yet this analysis, moreover, can be applied to any new element that we introduce the sessions of training, as for example the clicker.

In the specific case of the clicker, we add a term of contingency more to our model of operant conditioning. This can make us a bit more complex to analyze to what extent that element represents a stimulus with a specific function for us, humans.

As we all know, the clicker ends up becoming (after successive pairings with a booster primary as the food) a conditional – or secondary – Enhancer “marking” the exact behavior that we consider as a criterion to strengthen the conduct in question.

However, pressing the clicker is also conduct on our part.

Many errors associated with the use of this powerful training tool can be explained if we attend to the bi-directional perspective which I do reference in this article. Very common errors such as for example “in the timing”, may be to predict and control on a proper functional analysis from the perspective of the human during the sessions.

There are probably certain stimuli which acquire throughout our history of learning a discriminating function to conduct press the clicker. If we are able to identify them and have the knowledge to know what we should do to change its function, it is very possible that each time we sharpen more and get one much higher level of performance.

It is (thankfully) quite accepted the idea that if training is not all that should not is it because of the dog but our.

However, there are few explanation attempts on our part to give answer to the question of “why they do it wrong”.

Had been an important step when it comes to describing problems, that is, assume that what happens when we have some unplanned training sessions is our fault. In addition, most of the time professionals come to realize what exactly they are doing wrong.

Once at that point, the interesting thing would go further and give an explanation of why that happens happens, with the purpose to predict it and control it in the future.

The key is to attend the stimulation that controls our behavior and that, therefore, is responsible for our actions. You have to be aware of that when we are training, the dog is not the only one who is learning, and according to certain rules; We also do it.

If we know why we do things badly and were able to prevent it, the work will be much more fluid and our relationship with the dog will be in much more pleasant result. Their behavior will become increasingly more reinforcing for us, as it will be the fact to solve our bugs based on that we know where they come from.

Reflections and final considerations

There is a broad debate within the canine world (which I will not come), about the different possible theories that explain animal behavior. I am much surprised that all them, in some way or another, are treated in a way that is poorly linked to psychology.

We know, after decades of scientific studies, psychology has been able to give explanation to a wide range of organisms (human and non-human animals) behavioral phenomena.

We also know that psychology, as a scientific discipline, it can provide basic explanations of animal behavior in general, and more specifically in the case that concerns us, the dog in particular.

My conclusion is that any theory about canine learning that can be considered purely speculative and not with an empirical nature, besides not being Science (given the impossibility of its refutation), just focusing on some abstract aspects that do not lead anywhere and bypass that in addition, 50% of the training relationship to not take it into account. This 50%, of course, are the people. The training is what it is thanks to the reciprocal relationship between 2 individuals, dog and man (or man and dog).

Finally, I can only say that this article is only informative and opinion, which is based on subjective ideas and has no intent to replace or contradict the different points of view that might have other authors or readers.