I really don't know much about the experiments that Pavlov performed, and Wikipedia provided a little more info. Apparently this guy wanted to study the digestive system of dogs and later children, so he conducted experiments with dogs and their salivary glands. Anyway, my thought was that he noticed that dogs can be taught anything if you give them food at the end.
With this in mind, I began an experiment on a female Husky that I purchased with the idea of mating her with the male I already had. I am not a professional breeder, however, I just wanted to get some puppies from this male. Here's what I learned from her.
The experiment began due to the fact that she is always finding a way to get out of the fence. She is on the small-side, and I wonder if she is actually full-bred, even though I do have AKC papers on her.
Since she was getting out so much...one time, her first escape, she actually wandered down the road and somebody spotted her and picked her up. I put a sign in the local store the next morning and within an hour I had a call. It seems the young couple probably wanted to keep her, but according to them she howled all night so they took the $50 reward instead.
Well...obviusly I couldn't keep shelling out 50 bucks, so I put her on a chain. This made me feel guilty, so I figured I had to at least let her off the chain once a day, and I decided that in the morning when I went out on the front porch to have my first cup would be a good time. The experiment began when I had to find a way to get her back on the chain after she had time to exercise and stretch her legs.
Before I would turn her loose, I would put the male on the chain so she could have freedom and not be harrassed by him, who only had one thing on his mind. When I was ready to put her back on the chain, I would find some scrap food that they really like, anything with meat in it, and I would take it to the male and let him see it. This would induce "talking" by him, and my plan was that hopefully she would hear this and come get her share. This would allow me to catch her and change the chain back over.
Well...it worked to perfection...for a while. It seems that not only can dogs deduce that certain sounds mean food for them, but they can take it a step further, as in her case. After a while she began realizing that the food was there, but it also meant back to captivity. So, what I learned was that they can learn to the point that they can realize that this action means this but it also means something else, so now they have to make a choice.
So my question would be if Pavlov took his experiment to the next step.
Another experiment I started a long time ago involved the male. I have been talking to him like he was a person ever since he was a 10 week old puppy. I figured it couldn't hurt, and I have never assumed that dogs couldn't understand what we were saying. I have always assumed they could.
One thing I know for sure. Rocky, the male, has a huge vocabulary. I think the first word he really picked-up on, as a lot of dogs do, is "walk". Since that time, the following are words I am relatively certain he knows.
kitty, chicken, pizza, mama, bus, stick, Adie (female's name), and down-set-hut. When we play down-set-hut...it is a sight to behold. When I say down, Rocky gets down in his stance with his front feet lowered and him looking up at me. I, of course, get in my stance, too.
When I say "set"...he stays still and watches. Now I have to admit, that if I make him stay "set" too long, he gets tired of waiting, and in his voice will say, "set, hut" and the game is on.
Usually, however, he stays put...and then I say "HUT!" This part is hilarious because I do my best O-lineman pass protection position and a fierce growl, and he runs at me full-speed, and he is very fast, and then at the last second will cut one way or the other. I really need to get this on video tape.
Sorry for the long post, guys. I was interested if you guys have any funny pet stories and would like to post them here. I can't speak for everyone, but you can be assured that I will read them.
This may generate Pavlovian responses ... careful! :awe:
I have a cat that like to sleep a lot.
My dogs also learned what "walk" meant and would immediately run to the leashes hanging on the wall when I asked them if they wanted to go for a walk.
The male black and tan coonhound I had at the time wouldnt go out the front door if I didnt have his harness on him correctly!!
Dogs are amazingly intelligent animals.
Used to have two Dogs...Elvis and Willie. Elvis was older...Willie the young punk. Elvis dug himself a hole in the flower bed and liked to lay there and watch the world go by. Willie was always running, hopping, tongue hanging out, yapping...very hyper.
So one day Elvis is laying in his hole and here comes Willie. Yapping, twirling, tongue wagging. I was watching from the porch. I could tell Elvis was annoyed, but Willie kept on keeping on.
So Elvis eventually gets fully annoyed and stands up slowly, stretches, and looks around. He stood there for a minute or so...developing his plan. And it was a good plan...
He walks about 10 feet from his comfy hole, Willie bounding around, excited and bothersome. Elvis slowly and purposefully leans down and picks up a stick. Of course Willie goes for it immediately, and of course Elvis knew he would. So Elvis, playing his game to perfection, doesn't want to make it obvious. He turns his head, first one way then the other, preventing Willie from gaining the stick.
After a minute or two of this and no more - once Elvis had convinced Willie that the stick was something worth having, he turned and tilted his head just enough to allow Willie to get the end of it in his mouth. Willie growled. Elvis resisted, but not too much. Just enough...
To finish the ruse, Elvis allowed the stick to slip from his grasp. Willie, glorious in victory, spins and spits and hauls off with the stick around the corner of the house.
Elvis, glorious in his own victory, meandered back to his hole, assumed his position, and went to sleep.
My grandpa and I used to sit on his porch and just watch the dogs. We've had several over the years of course. They think. They reason. Some are leaders and some are followers. Some are very smart. Others are pretty dumb. They are very much like people.
The smartest dog I ever knew, my Blue Heeler named Rocker, passed away last year on my birthday. He was SO smart. You could just see it in his eyes. He was a reincarnated devious 40 year old Texan, probably from the 50s era. Nobody will ever convince me otherwise. That dog was amazing in so many ways. So devious. So thoughtful. So jealous. So demanding that he was people too. I could tell a thousand stories over the decade that I knew and loved him. The only things that rate higher are my kids, and nothing and nobody else is remotely close. I miss my Rocker. My Fat Boy. My "Big Man".
Dogs, in my opinion, are amazingly underrated. Many are simply brilliant. If they had thumbs humans would be in trouble. LOL
NOVA | How Smart Are Dogs?
Your story about Elvis reminded me of a cat I once owned. She made a trip with me and my brother-in-law from the Gulf Coast to Los Angeles. Her name was Elvira. It wasn't until we took her to the vet one day after we got to the West Coast that we found out Elvira was a boy...so we renamed him Elvis.
Sorry to here about Rocker. My dog Rocky from the story was a Husky we got after we lost our first male, Max. After 10 years he developed bone cancer and eventually passed. He was a great dog, too.
Wow, SF... I just watched that video. That was amazing.
>>The smartest dog I ever knew, my Blue Heeler named Rocker, passed away last year on my birthday. He was SO smart. You could just see it in his eyes. He was a reincarnated devious 40 year old Texan, probably from the 50s era. Nobody will ever convince me otherwise. That dog was amazing in so many ways. So devious. So thoughtful. So jealous. So demanding that he was people too. I could tell a thousand stories over the decade that I knew and loved him. The only things that rate higher are my kids, and nothing and nobody else is remotely close. I miss my Rocker. My Fat Boy. My "Big Man". <<
I also had a Heeler who passed away a few years ago. We had 10
of the best years I'd ever known together. I do believe those
are THE smartest dogs on earth. Hands down. Friends would
tell me my dog was "like a person". No way. That dog was
better than people could ever hope to be. In fact, I feel like
I learned more about being a good person from spending
10 years with that dog, than I ever learnt anywhere else.
Texas Heelers-- ain't nothin' in the world like 'em.
I really do love dogs more than 98 percent of the people I've encountered. My dog, Rocker was sitting with me the night the Saints re-opened the Dome against the Failcones.
I developed a system, and every time we needed some mojo I gave him some scratchin'. Of course we all now know that it worked. He was a great animal and I miss him. I too have no doubt that heelers are among the smartest dogs in the world.
I had a cat too LB. Name was Tokyo. Elvis didn't take right too her and would harass her endlessly. Then one day he chased her onto the ping pong table. He stuck his nose a bit too close and she swiped him. It was instant respect and they were best friends from that moment on. They even slept together. Damnedest thing you ever saw man. LOL
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