Dog Training World Forums General Dog Training Discussion Learning Theory Observational Learning in German Shepherd Dog Reply To: Observational Learning in German Shepherd Dog

  • Dustin

    September 1, 2021 at 11:42 am

    I agree, she was so cute when she tried to wave the first time. You can see her almost do it a rep or two before so I can only imagine what she was thinking in there. Maybe I take dog’s intelligence for granted or just forget how smart they are. It blew my mind to see that she recognized the behavior Senna was being rewarded for and made the leap to try it for herself and see if she would also be rewarded. It’s almost like she was asking “can I has treato too?”. You can’t see my face in the video but I was shocked when I saw her paw go up and wave. The rest of the training session went downhill for Senna because I instantly wanted to test if Ziva’s wave was a fluke or repeatable behaivor. From an experimental design perspective I don’t know if it was a good thing that I rewarded the behavior or not because as soon as I did, the behavior was marked and henceforth she was rewarded for performing the behavior and not mimicking what Senna was doing. If I didn’t reinforce the behavior it likely would have become extinct quickly. If I was going to design an experiment to document observational learning I think I would have to start training Senna on a multitude of simple, easy to mimic behaviors so that as soon as she mimics a behavior she is rewarded and we immediately move to a different behavior. Another thought I had that raised more questions…Roughly 2 years ago when we first fostered Ziva I clicker trained her on the basic house manners and obedience we needed from her. She hasn’t been reinforced with a clicker since then but does she retain the memory that a click indicates the proper behavior(I think yes)? If a neutral stimulus is turned into a conditioned stimulus, can it ever fully be returned to neutral? Did the memory of a previously conditioned marker help her to recognize what behavior I was looking for in the other dog? This would have to be a fully different experiment.