Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Community News Network

July 23, 2013

Your dog is a copycat

(Continued)

But Miklosi didn't fully accept this; he thought that the experiment needed to be adjusted by teaching the dogs more explicitly. There are two basic commands the dogs must learn: "Do as I do," which means they need to pay attention to what is being demonstrated. The second command, "Do it," requires the dog to imitate what they've seen. What was missing was also a command that the dog needed to wait before performing the imitation. An Italian dog trainer and graduate student at Eötvös Lorand, Claudia Fugazza, agreed and figured out a new method. "We wanted to see if dogs can do 'deferred imitation,' " Fugazza explains. "So, they needed to learn that they also had to wait." Deferred imitation is considered a sophisticated cognitive skill, because it requires an individual to recall an action after a delay of 1 minute or more-something that is possible only if the individual has retained a mental representation of the action.

Fugazza and Miklosi worked with eight adult pet dogs that ranged in age from 2 to 10 years old and their owners. The canines were all females of various breeds-border collies, a Yorkshire terrier, a Shetland sheepdog, a Czechoslovakian wolfdog, and one mixed breed. The owners trained their dogs using the "Do as I do" method. For instance, an owner would tell her dog to "Stay," and then command, "Do as I do," whereupon the owner might walk around a traffic cone, or put her head in a bucket placed on the ground, or ring a bell suspended from a bar. After returning to her dog, the owner would wait 5 seconds, and then command, "Do it!" The dog was expected to copy her owner's behavior.

Text Only
Community News Network
Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about the 2014 Appanoose County Fair. It starts Monday and wraps up on Saturday with a demolition derby at 8 p.m. So, the question of the week is, "How many days do you plan to go to the Appanoose County Fair?

A. I plan to attend all six days.
B. I plan to attend five days.
C. I plan to attend four days.
D. I plan to attend three days.
E. I plan to attend two days.
F. I plan to attend one day.
G. I do not plan to go to the fair this year.
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook