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C ANINE L EARNING Canine Behaviour & Training – Session 3.

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Presentation on theme: "C ANINE L EARNING Canine Behaviour & Training – Session 3."— Presentation transcript:

1 C ANINE L EARNING Canine Behaviour & Training – Session 3

2 CANINE LEARNING- HOW DOGS KNOW TO DO WHAT THEY DO ! - Adaptive Learning - Effects on Learning - History of Learning - Ways of Learning - Classical Conditioning - Operant Conditioning - Latent Learning - Social Learning o Habituation o Insight o Using understanding of learning with behaviour problems

3 A DAPTIVE L EARNING According to Darwin animals are constantly evolving to become the best adapted to their environment. Basically dogs will learn to do what works. What helps them as individuals and their specie survive. (find food, protect against threats and reproduce)

4 W HAT HELPS DOGS SURVIVE ? Food Water Being in a group Giving clear communication Defending self and family from threats Keeping clean Reproduction

5 W HAT A DOG NEEDS WILL ACT AS A MOTIVATOR They will strive to gain what they are motivated to, and in the process will learn.

6 WHAT A FFECTS L EARNING ? The success of learning will be based upon some of the following: Innate ability Dogs Health (internal environment) Environment (external) Reinforcement type and schedule

7 I NNATE A BILITY Having received the genes that allow for vital instinctive behaviour Instincts do not require learning, and all animals of a specie will perform the same instinctive behaviours, but the success of the behaviour may be variable. We can learn about animal instinct (and their motivations) by 1. Observing, 2. Putting into test situations 3. Factor out learning

8 D OG ’ S HEALTH ( INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT ) Can affect sensory input May affect ability to respond to information (Illness is a physiological stressor) Mental health will also affect learning (stress inhibits neurotransmission) Diet, food allergies and drugs will also affect behaviour and learning

9 ENVIRONMENT This can distract from learning Environment causes arousal

10 R EINFORCEMENT T YPES & S CHEDULES …more about this later, but basically the thing that encourages (or discourages) a behaviour (consequence) and to what degree (value of reinforcer).

11 C OMBINED E FFECT ON L EARNING Its is most likely that what comes naturally to a dog (instinct), what a dog has learnt (previous experience) and influences of internal and external environment (health and surroundings) will all have come together to effect what a dog learns. This is ultimately the INTERACTIONALIST approach, a combination of the NATURE and NURTURE approach.


13 L EARNING H ISTORY Greek Philosophers- Learning was about finding ‘truth’ Socrates Plato Aristotle ( BC) ( BC) ( BC) DialectismRationalismEmpiricism Discovering truthDiscoveringDiscovering through truth throughabout the conversationself-reflectionworld around by using senses

14 L EARNING H ISTORY Roman Philosophers- Learning was about developing skill Roman Catholic Church ( AD) Memorisation Recitation Transmission based Learning

15 L EARNING H ISTORY Renaissance Philosophers- ( AD) Influential figures at this time and their ideas: Descartes ( ): Revival of Plato ’ s ideas of innate knowledge, defined reflex action (early nature approach) Locke ( ): Revived ideas of Aristotle that the mind is a blank canvas to be shaped by environment (nurture approach) Rousseau ( ): Presented ideas of shaping that occurs through experience of things around (nurture) Kant ( ): Extended Plato ’ s rationalist theory to include a ‘ prior ’ knowledge which can be built on with experience (interactionalist)

16 L EARNING H ISTORY Psychology based learning- ( AD) Scientific approaches Thorndike PavlovSkinner ( ) ( ) ( ) Stimulus ResponseLearning by Trial and Error Associationassociation. Outcomes and with trial and errorNatural responses consequences (an impulse reaction) and learnt responses

17 L EARNING H ISTORY Skinner and beyond: Skinner: “ there are certain questions that have to be answered in turning to the study of any new organism. What behaviour is to be set up? What reinforcers are at hand? What responses are available in embarking on a program of progressive approximation that will lead to the final form of behaviour? How can reinforcers be most effectively scheduled to maintain the behaviour in strength? ” Piaget ( ): “ learning is a developmental cognitive process, that students create knowledge rather than receive knowledge from the teacher. Students construct knowledge based on their experiences and how they do so is related to their biological, physical and mental stage of development ” Vygotsky ( ): “ learning also occurs in a cultural context and involves social interactions. Culture and language play an important role in developing new ideas and skills ”. Put forth idea of Zone Proximal Development (ZPD) meaning students learn best just beyond there range of existing experience with assistance form teacher or peer to bridge of what they know or can do independently to what thye have yet to learn or need assistance with. These led to Progressive (Current) Learning Theory


19 Cl assical Conditioning: Learning by association; linking non relevant stimulus to relevant stimulus to cause the same behavioural response. (I. Pavlov) Operant Conditioning: Learning by association- that behaviours have consequences, both positive and negative and can increase or decrease the likelihood of a behaviour occurring again. Trial and error learning.(B.F Skinner) Latent Learning: exploratory learning with consolidation and without immediate performance Habituation: learning not to respond Social Learning: Copying the performance of another Insight: mental trail and error (humans only) M AIN L EARNING T YPES

20 B IOLOGY OF L EARNING When an animal makes an association between a stimulus and a consequence/behaviour neural connections are made in the brain. When the association is repeated the connection gets strengthened allowing for quicker behavioural responses or habituation.


22 C LASSICAL C ONDITIONING UCS= Unconditioned Stimulus UCR= Unconditioned Response CS= Conditioned Stimulus CR= Conditioned Response *’conditioned’ can be replaced with ‘learnt’

23 T HEORY APPLICATION IN D OGS Classical Conditioning An animal taken to the vet when experiencing pain can act fearfully of vets in the future. Pain (UCS) Fear (UCR) Pain (UCS)+ Vet Fear (UCR) Vet (CS) Fear (CR) Likewise a dog that accidently gets a dart from an electric wire. Pain from shock (UCS) Fear (UCR) Pain (UCS)+ Wire Fear (UCR) Wire (CS) Fear (CR) Can be positive too... Food (UCS) Pleasant Feeling (UCR) Food (UCS)+ Bowl Pleasant Feeling(UCR) Bowl (CS) Anticipation of food (CR)

24 CHAINING The association of component parts into a sequence that predict the same outcome.

25 S ENSITISATION Being sensitive to… Often a negative association to a stimulus that is pain or fear inducing

26 O PERANT C ONDITIONING Skinner carried out many experiments to show that animals such as rats and chicken could learn to make choices based upon positive and negative responses/reinforcers. Rats learnt to press levers and chickens learnt to peck keys to receive food rewards.

27 T HEORY APPLICATION IN D OGS Operant Conditioning Positive Reinforcement Negative Punishment Positive Punishment Negative Reinforcement

28 P RIMARY & SECONDARY REINFORCEMENT A primary reinforcer is a ‘natural’ reinforcer. (what need or want) A secondary reinforcer is paired to a primary and starts to become as reinforcing as a primary. A primary reinforcer must always follow a secondary

29 R EINFORCEMENT SCHEDULES Continuous- reward every time. Fixed Ratio- reward at a set interval Variable Rate (Intermittent)- reward randomly In positive reinforcement training, in reality a continuous rate is used, but the value of reinforcement is variable.

30 SHAPING Sequences of successive approximations (the building up of a behaviour). Shaping can be forward Or reverse

31 P OTENTIAL P ROBLEMS WITH O PERANT C ONDITIONING Satiation - as satiation increases the motivation for the reward decreases Extinction - when a behaviour stops being performed as there is not apparent gain of reward, but can spontaneously recover upon reward again.

32 L ATENT L EARNING Gaining knowledge ‘passively’ but delaying the demonstration of knowledge or performance of behaviour Requires motivation and an evident Reinforcement, most common example is maze learning or finding the way home. Thought to be the association of stimuli within a sequence


34 S OCIAL LEARNING Observing and copying, carried out through cultural transmission


36 H ABITUATION A simple form of learning where an animal learns to make reduce and then stop making behavioural responses to a specific stimuli. This is a very functional behaviour for animals. When actively performing habituation it is usually carried out in a systematic desensitisation procedure and starts with the stimuli at a mild level with gradual progression. Classical conditioning can also be used.


38 I NSIGHT A mental form of trial and error, being able to figure something out without trying, just looking. It is thought by most that only humans have insight, but it has been suggested that larger apes perform insight behaviour also. Sixth sense?...or response to subtle cues?

39 Animals and people learn mostly by making links or associations and can often make these associations through positive or negative consequences. Learning Summary

40 U NDERSTANDING OF LEARNING IN PROBLEM BEHAVIOUR Systematic desensitisation Reduce sensitivity to a specific stimulus in progressive steps aiming for habituation. Counter-conditioning Teaching of an alternative (sometimes referred to in the same way as classical conditioning)




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