Stillwater News Press

Our World

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 | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Stocks
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years