Looking into the mind of your dog

Ghost Town

Back in the day, I was working on grad level research on memory. I was interested in implicit memory. I came across the work of Loftus and her findings on eyewitness testimony. It seems that when we picture a place we often add or subtract what we expect to be present. Like a stop sign at an intersection which in reality may or may not actually be there. So, who cares what does this have to do with my dog’s mind?

Dogs are often reported as not obeying the commands of their handlers unless they are in certain places and the command is given with very similar body posture. These common observations were similar to two prominent psychological theories. One is the work of Loftus, picture like memories filled with our expectations and two a phenomenon called state dependent learning or memory. A theory of canine memory and learning was born.

Dogs memory

Episodic elaboration dog behavior training. The first time I posted about this theory was in 2012. Basically, the analogy would be a tiny movie or a dream. Episodes that the K9 remembers in their own way. There is enough scientific evidence that dog’s dream. Just like us it is highly likely that it is also experienced in a visual format. This is an example of episodic memory at work. Dog research focuses a lot of verbal information. It is interesting but, dogs do not rely on vocalization much. An example of elaborating and episode for your dog should explain.

When teaching your dog a given command the number of different environments is far more important for leaning then is repetition. Repetition maybe required for proofing commands but, even these rehearsals should be randomized. These episodes eliminate irrelevant cues in the memory, such as your body posture. It also improves your dog’s understanding of the sound, not the word but the sound each command makes. So, use words for commands that send the correct nonverbal comms. A simple way to see into the mind of your dog.

Dog doing research

We had to wait for others to replicate similar findings but, currently the body of legit scientific research supporting my theories and practices is growing and growing. I left academia because I am not a writer but, not too bad at applied behavioral sciences. I am finally about to verify that Motley Dog Training is designed by a behavioral scientist that just loves to work with dog behavior.

Unlock Your Dog’s True Potential

Unlock your dog's potential

The mind is the product of the functions of your brain and body. Kind of the product of your physiology and biology. Genetics gives us potential; experience can give us greatness. Current memory research overwhelmingly demonstrates that memory of humans and animals is nothing like a recording of information or events. This means that memories which are the product of learning is malleable.

That is correct the most effective method of behavior modification is to use nature’s gift of the plasticity of memory. This is the basis for the selection of psychological theories and techniques we use to help your dog. Like cognitive reframing. Not a dog training buzz word but, we use behavioral sciences and psychology around here.

Can’t wait to meet you and your dog!


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