Dogs have been evolutioning similarly like man, man at the same time has realized that from being a domestic animal (pet) can help man in diverse ways like sheeping, hunting, retreiving, mailing, rescue, guarding, protecting and company. All of this actions of the animal will be taught by an instructor applying a method to teach the animal, in order to make him learn. When man realized that diverse breeds have their specific characteristics, man has decided to put them in practice, make use of the characteristics of the species specifying the behavior of a certain dog fisically able to do so, man was helpedby dogs scince man became sedentary. Taking advantage of the genetical characteristic of the animal, the trainer has to specify the animals behavior and reinforce the training.
The example of "lucas" a company dog is teaching him to sit, to stay, to follow the person with which the dog is walking.when the order is given. For this we have to understand that the optical biomechanic of the dog is different from that of humans. For example when humans stare at something its vision spectrum is wide and increases in an angle of 45º and can percieve almos any color. In an other hand dogs have a vision spectrum that reduces while it is farther from the object viewed.
In response to the behavior of the pet the exersises were aplied according to the anatomy of the animal and taking as a reference the first two cervical vertebrae. Because in this are nerved the 12 pairs of craneal nerves; Acting the comand ( chain ) over this zone we block the rest of the body movements followed by a manual sign which goes from the knee of the instructor to the skull of the dog asociated with a vocal sign being this any word destinated by the instructor.
The hypothetical sugestion for this experiment is that the trainer can actually avoid some of the orders and the goal is to achieve the answering of the voice or hand signals only. The dog was taught to follow the trainer while walking actually following his left leg and foot, the dog was taught to sit and stay at the same spot.
The dog was introduced to comand the voice and the training, I noticed that I learned how to train the dog better and faster than the dog could learn by my guidance. the order "vishino" for walking next to the trainer was introduced during the second week while I observed that some stimuli was missingwhich was a conditioned reinforcer.The procedure followed to work with the exercises mentioned in motions of ten by ten with a time interval varied with the behavior of the dog if good faster and less rest, if disobedience time was given to the dog. The dog was given reingorcers: primary reinforcer was the chain action on the dog, secondary reinforcer was the action or sign done with the hand, and an unconditioned stimuli was the voice.
When reinforcement took place for the animal to learn I chosed a fixed-ratio schedule where ten excersices took place with a reward or punishment and a time of daily work no longer than 35 to 40 minutes because of the anatomy of the dog which would tire easily and would get bored.
Applying the operant conditioning learning to the dog, is how I developed the investigation where the dog learned from consequences of behavior ( operant conditioning). The response of the punishment (chain) or the praise-positive reinforcer (petting the dog, caress). The caress or petting is the reinforcement to the dog.
During the first week the dog didn´t showed any understanding of what was done and what was being taught as training went on the dog and the trainer (I) increased the rate of understanding. The trainer would perfection his technique by standarizing the reinforcers and by focusing on the actions of the dog, this will cause an understanding of the dog and a positive reaction of the dog.
The dog used for the scientific research was Lucas an English Mastiff of 1year and1month, male. Breeded with pedegree in the United States.
The method used in this research was operant conditioning.
According to the method used and the time avaliable it was a satisfactory investigation where the animal showed understanding and actually learned what was taught to it. Yet, with the lack of time the experiment was not driven to its final point where the dog was only given an order and obeyed.
Medical Veterinarian J. Adan E. Bautista
El Perro y los Animales Domesticos, Editorial Everest, s.a. ilus et.al.