From instinct to mind

From instinct to

It is said that Ivan Pavlov, the great Russian physiologist, founder of the theory of conditioned reflexes, once enraged for evermore to his assistants: «What do you work out like parrots: reflexes reflexes … Where is the intelligence and the mind?»

The basis of the behavior of all animals, including dogs lie instincts, conditioned reflexes and cognitive behavior, including an elementary rational activities. (Doctrine of the latest developed by Russian scientists LN Krushinsky 70-ies. XX century, while Western scholars stood on the positions of behaviorism and animals were regarded as living arrangements.)

Instinct, or the unconditioned reflex, – the experience of generations, ie, «Memory type». Instincts are the animals from birth. This is obviously a well-known standard response to the situation. Instinct has two main features: a simple stereotype of action and stimulation (caused by a certain stimulus).

So, all predators, which include dogs have an instinct fleeing persecution production – they rush in pursuit of any moving object. The object that stops moving, ceases to be a prey. (Here, by the way, to pretend to be dead and habits of some animals, for example, raccoon dogs.)

All instincts are divided into three groups: vital, zoosotsialnye and instincts of self-development. Vital (food, drink, defense) service direct physiological functions.

Zoosotsialnye (sex, parental, territorial, hierarchical, emotional resonance or empathy) regulate communication between individuals of the same species. The instincts of self-development (research, gaming, simulation, manipulative activity) helps adapt to changing environmental conditions.

Zoosotsialnye instincts and the instincts of self-development – This is the material basis on which might appear rational activity.

Conditioned reflexes – This personal experience of the animal, which is produced in the process of individual development and training, and is adaptive in nature.

Education and instinct – two ways to provide adaptive, i.e. adaptive responses to environmental conditions. Every instinct demands «finishing» with the help of a conditioned reflex. For example, a newborn puppy tends to crawl to the nipple and begin to suck.

This instinctive behavior, but with experience the puppy gets to the nipple faster and sucks milk more successful.

There is a whole classification of conditioned reflexes. Thus, the latent learning occurs in a latent form, without visible reinforcements: dog explores new territory for her research by the reaction.

From instinct to mind

The dog learns new routes of transportation. We are primarily interested in operant or instrumental learning and insight. Instrumental training due to positive or negative reinforcement when training dogs. Education depends on the sensory capabilities of the animal. In addition, the speed and the quality of education affect the age, type of incentive and reinforcement.

Young dogs are trained better than the old. Dogs with the prevailing food reaction are trained to treat, and if you play behavior prevails, then a reward is better to use the game.
Insight training, or «illumination». – instant learning. For example, a well-aportiruyuschaya dog can learn how to open the door by pulling the handle. If the door is opened immediately, the reflex is produced without retries.

The difference between the elementary rational activity and insight, on presentation of a number of authors, is that in the first case the situation arises once; animal, has decided it is successful, the conditioned reflex is not produced; in the second case, a conditioned reflex produced from the first and the repetition of the situation persists.

Hunting dogs often have to work without rights and to deal with extraordinary situations, using cognitive behavior.


 The differences in the behavior of dogs of different breeds and individual animals within a breed often conditioned by the degree of excitability of the nervous system, hereditary, physical, sensory systems. However, none of the previously proposed systems characteristics of the nervous system of dogs is not yet satisfactory. The question remains open.

Flair – One of the main qualities of hunting dogs. We usually mean by intuition ability to distinguish odors. Traditionally, it is divided into upper and lower; it takes into account the distance. But the quality of the hunting language it is interpreted widely, switches on the ability to use vision and hearing. How to understand than when riding verhochutaya Laika spying squirrel enjoys a greater degree? I smell? Slight scratching claws on the trunk of the animal?

Fallen down hairs or scales of cones pogryzennoy? A nizochutye or trace? As newly-fallen snow, they not only chuyat, but also see the trail.

The success of the search depends on the temperament of the dog, personal experience (as far as  well it is trained and how often her go hunting) and elementary rational activity, including extrapolation – the ability to predict the trajectory of the production! Temperament (and hence – the manner of the search) and the fineness of scent inherited, all the rest, as they say, from God!

From instinct to mind

Only one group of dogs having flair, uses mostly sight. This course greyhounds. No wonder a live rabbit was possible to replace mechanical. The rate at which developing these dogs, inherited: within a line of rocks are faster dogs. Strategy pursuit of prey in different species and different dogs of the same breed also differs. Greyhounds are often denied in the mind, referring to their ability to train low.

However, the ability to train is not synonymous with rational activity. Give full play to your mind Borzoi given only when hunting of the hare, when the dog is wizards for his capture.
Stand cops as voice hounds, is a true aesthetic pleasure from the experts. Dogs who have persistent, did not appear before XVI–XVII centuries.

Prior to that, the dog or simply vypugivala game for hunting birds, or sneak up on her, and the hunter was setting its network together with the bird. Moreover, preserved prints, which captures the moment of learning: the dog stopped before the bird because stumbled on a stick attached to the collar.

Of course, elaborated conditioned reflexes are not inherited. For all predators to stalk characterized by short-term production and fade before the last shot. That desk is such a prolonged fading.

As a result of a long artificial selection Front not only to consolidate the group Pointing Dogs, but has become a sign of inherited breed: «dead» Front pointer differs from almost reclining rack English Setter, or a shorter strut drathaar. The first two rocks – «specialists in Peru», Third – versatile (can even be used to find wounded game deer and wild boar, and in recent years, thanks to its endurance, – as a sled).

Besides beautiful rack pointer must be extremely obedient. Only when man and dog are integrated, the hunter gets the most out of your hobbies. But the most obedient hounds never become soulless machines.

Understand nabrodah, prichuyat game in place Sidqi, pick it up on the wing at the right time – it requires a mind! By the way, about the huskies-utyatnitsu say that they sometimes seize non-flying chicks from late broods and then released. What is it? Education, based on a lack of positive reinforcement from the hunter, or the mind?  

The more hunting turned into a sport, moving away from fishing, the more dogs appear to be useful for the individual qualities of the hunter. Many (though not all) of the dog willingly go into the water, but the selection of the most «water-demanding» led to the emergence and Labrador retrievers. Experiments crossing Shepherds and Labradors have shown that in the offspring dominated by the love of the water.

In principle, puppies of all breeds at a certain age are playing with various objects, taken in the mouth sticks and other objects, play with them. However, a particular tendency to exhibit aportirovke hunting dogs, which serves a dead game. This skill is also attached in the training, but some breeds are trained to him easily, and others – with difficulties.

For example, the Retrievers were bred specifically for the soft flow of game in which the bird is not damaged, no feather.

Once again, we go back to the concept of «ability to train», Which is based on the rate of development of conditioned reflexes. This property is inherited. Wolves to achieve their goals are often marvels of mind. However, the biggest advantage of the dogs is that they know how to tell its owner the right decision.

Lyudmila Chebykin, kinolog26 March 2012 at 00:00

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