/ / Basics of dog training

Basics of dog training

To understand the physical basis of training, the following observation of Lorentz is interesting: he claimed that the dog chooses a host from family members at a certain age (3-4 months).

If you buy a dog of an older age, then, perhaps, it will not be possible to grow it by a loyal odnolyubka.

Introducing the term reflex into science, R.Descartes probably did not even suspect that in modern physiology of higher nervous activity (GNI) this term would become one of the main. According to Descartes, the reflex is a natural response of the organism to an external agent. This concept was then supplemented and complicated, and now the reflexes are divided into two types: unconditional (congenital) and conditional (acquired).

Unconditioned reflexes

Unconditional are hand pull reflexesFrom a hot object, screwing up your eyes when you move in their direction some object (wave of the hand), sneezing, coughing, etc. Complex unconditioned reflexes are called instincts. Known are such of them as sexual, food-producing, protecting offspring, saving their own lives, etc. Often in real life they compete among themselves: a stronger instinct suppresses the weaker one. For example, the mother, despite the danger, protects her cubs, and does not flee. In this case, the great instinct of motherhood, aimed at preserving the species, is stronger than the instinct of self-preservation ..

Now it is proved that some componentsUnconditioned reflexes are formed during the life of animals. The phenomenon of imprinting (imprinting), described by K. Lorenz, is of interest. It is known that newborn chicks already "know" that they should follow the laying-stock.

It turned out that if barely hatched chickensShow any small moving object, for example a ball, they take it for their parent and begin to follow him, just like they would follow the hen. If after some time the chickens let their real mother in, they will not pay attention to her. It is interesting that imprinting is possible only at a certain stage of the development of the organism, later the reflex is no longer realized.

A necessary condition for the "ripening" of a number ofUnconditioned reflexes are games. Reflexes of the pursuit of a fleeing object are laid in the dog initially. But only in the game she learns how to grab properly, in the game she learns to be a predator.

Conditional reflexes, unlike unconditioned ones, are formed only during the life of animals.

There are classical (Pavlovian) instrumental conditioned reflexes.

Classic are very common. When a weak solution of acid enters the oral cavity, a strong salivation begins-this is an unconditioned reflex. However, if we imagine that eating a lemon, we will feel the mouth fill with saliva. The role of the unconditioned stimulus (lemon juice) was played here by a conditioned stimulus - an association with the taste of lemon. There is a well-known case of how one person tore down a concert of a brass band: in the minds of musicians, he began to clean the lemon; A few minutes passed, and the orchestra was silent, the musicians could not blow into their pipes - their mouths were filled with saliva.

Classical conditioned reflexes according to Pavlov

The great Russian physiologist I.P.Pavlov first described in detail the classical conditioned reflexes. After the death of the academician, the study of conditioned reflexes was continued by his students. In order to have conditioned reflexes, four conditions are necessary.

  1. The connection in time of the conditional and unconditionalStimuli. In fact, in order for the organism to respond to both the action of the unconditioned (the ingress of food into the body), ie, the secretion of saliva, gastric juice (and in this, in fact, the conditioned reflex ), It is necessary that the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli be perceived as part of a single whole event. It is curious that in cats, no matter how many researchers tried, they could not achieve the elaboration of the conditioned reflex by teasing the animal with a piece of meat. The fact is that the biology of the cat is such that for her the type of food and eating it are not related in time. She can spend hours in wait in the ambush of a mouse, to see her, before catching. Of course, have a cat conditioned reflex, she would just salivate for such a long time.
  2. The conditioned stimulus must precedeUnconditional. If every time before the feeding to give a light (flash of light) or a sound (bell) signal, the dog quickly "understands" that after the signal is given food, and in advance "produces" gastric juice and saliva. If the conditioned signal is given after feeding, then the conditioned reflex is produced, but very long and with great difficulty. There is a temporary optimum between the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli, when the reflexes are produced most rapidly.
  3. Unconditional stimulus should be strongerConditional. This means that the conditioned stimulus itself should not act as an unconditioned stimulus. For example, you can give a call such a force that the dog and think forget about food - will run away where the eyes look. On the other hand, if the dog has not eaten a week, it may not be scared by the explosion of the land mine. The experiments showed that if the unconditioned stimulus is very strong, then as a conditional one you can use one that is unconditional in other conditions. For example, through the floor of the chamber in which the dog was sitting, a weak current passed (negative unconditioned stimulus); The dog naturally did not like it - her pulse was increasing, she tried to escape from the cage. But after each stroke of a current began to be accompanied by a slice of meat, the dog began to concern to a current philosophically and any more did not scream, and wagged a tail.
  4. Repeated combinations of unconditional andConditioned stimuli. For both highly developed and low-developed animals, the number of combinations necessary for the elaboration of a conditioned reflex is approximately the same and amounts to 20-40 repetitions. A case is described when the reflex was developed and was stable after two, and sometimes even after one combination. For example, one strong current blow from a connected condenser to a piece of meat can forever disaccustom the dog from the ground.

Separately from the classical stand instrumentalConditioned reflexes, first described by Konorsky and Miller. If you support any random movement of the animal (for example, flexion of the paw), then you can teach it to this movement, ie, to develop a conditioned reflex. Instrumental reflexes essentially differ from classical (Pavlovian) reflexes. Here there is no longer any transfer of the perception of the unconditioned stimulus to conditional stimuli.

Instrumental reflexes are always motor reflexes. In order for the animal to receive food reinforcement (in the classical reflexes it is an unconditioned stimulus), after the action of the conditioned signal (light, sound, etc.), it must perform certain specific movements (press the pedal, pull the ring, etc.). The methodology for producing instrumental reflexes is more complex. First, the animal is trained to produce some kind of action. To do this, he is put in conditions when the likelihood of this action is increased, and every fact of the act is reinforced with a delicacy.

The animal gradually "understands" what from itWant, and already itself pounding the paw on the pedal in anticipation of reinforcement. Then reinforce only the actions performed after the conditioned signal given by the experimenter. The actions of the animal after the elaboration of the instrumental reflex can be complicated. For example, you can achieve a depression on a pedal with a strictly defined force, or teach you to press not immediately after the signal, but after a while, etc. To do this, reinforce only those animal actions that are closer to those required.

In instrumental conditioned reflexes, exceptPositive reinforcement (food), may be negative (painful). In this case the scheme of the reflex is somewhat different. The animal receives negative reinforcement, if after giving a conditional signal does not perform a certain action. The reflexes of getting rid of and avoiding are studied. Reflex relief is called the conditioned reflex, in which the animal by some action neutralizes the pain stimulus. For example, turns off the current applied to the cell floor by pressing the pedal. With the avoidance reaction, the animal pre-prevents the action of negative reinforcement in the same way, for example by pressing the pedal, but only before turning on the current.

Development of instrumental conditioned reflexes -This is the scientific name of animal training. All the laws described in the study of instrumental reflexes also work during training. It is noted that if the conditioned reflex is not reinforced, then it will fade. For example, if a rabbit pulls a ring and does not receive a carrot, it will very soon stop paying attention to the conditioned stimulus. The process of inhibition (fading) of the conditioned reflex has its own peculiarities. It does not happen immediately. Suppose an animal, without getting reinforcements, stopped making instrumental movements.

But after a few conditional stimuli it againPerforms an instrumental action. Gradually, the pauses between conditioned reflex movements increase. But for the complete extinction of the reflex, many more combinations are required than for its elaboration. The extinguished reflex is very easy to reconstruct. Instrumental conditioned reflexes and classical conditioned reflexes, in spite of the differences noted above, have a number of common features.

Both conditioned reflexes are characterized by extinctionWhen the unconditioned stimulus (reinforcement) is not present. If after the extinction of the reflex a new stimulus appears, the reflex is restored. For example, the experimenter repeatedly reinforced that the animal ceased to respond to the conditioned stimulus. But then the door slammed or the phone rang - and the animal again began to make the movement caused by the conditioned reflex, to which it was trained.

For both types of conditioned reflexes it is characteristic: the more difficult the reflex is produced, the faster it dies away. After the extinction of the reflex after a while, it can spontaneously recover.

It is noted that if reinforcement is not given every time, fading is slow.

Axioms of dog training

The studied features of reflexes and their extinction make it possible to derive several axioms of practical training:

  1. It is always harder to learn than to teach.
  2. It is possible to do anything with the dog only whenCondition of negative reinforcement of each of its wrong actions. For example, that the dog does not take food from the ground, it is necessary to follow her and punish each time; Otherwise, it will be almost impossible to wean the dog to pick up the food: she will follow it, and pick it up when it is distracted.
  3. In the new conditions, the conditioned conditioned reflexMay not work. Many trainers complain that their dogs, unerringly working at home, on the court start to make mistakes, get distracted. In such cases, it is recommended to deal with the dog in a variety of conditions, accustoming to work with any distractions.
  4. The elaborated conditioned reflex can be reinforcedNot every time. Pavlov also proposed the principle of temporary connection - the ability of the nervous system to form bonds between any stimuli and activities. The temporal connection is a concept broader than the conditioned reflex. Our whole life is a set of habits and automatic actions. The brain (and the entire body) is designed in such a way that, while working, consume a minimum of energy. Therefore, many of our actions are automated - they are committed without the participation of consciousness. The biological meaning of a temporary connection is not only saving energy, but also saving time. Temporary communication allows the body to prepare for some event before its actual implementation, which gives a huge advantage. Ancient reptiles have died out, probably, also because they did not have such a plastic nervous system as mammals.

An important feature of the body isAbility to get used (not to be confused with the habit!). Addictive - a kind of negative training - a gradual decrease in the response to the repeated action of the stimulus or to its continuous action. For example, the dog clearly reacts to the knocking of the door with an alarm. But if a knock sounds every minute, then it stops paying attention to it.

The characteristics of habituation by Thompson and Spencer

Thompson and Spencer proposed the following characteristics of addiction. "

  1. When the stimulus repeats, the response decreases.
  2. The termination of the action of the stimulus is the restoration of the ability to respond.
  3. With repeated series of stimulus actions, the addiction deepens.
  4. The more often the stimulus is applied, the faster the habituation.
  5. Adaptation depends on the intensity of the stimulus.
  6. If you continue to act irritant after the onset of addiction, it is aggravated.
  7. After the action of a strong stimulus, the response to the first stimulus is restored.

Addiction is a wide class of phenomena, and its particularCase - the extinction of the conditioned reflex. Adapting to new conditions, in essence, reduces to the extinction of an indicative (defensive) reaction to unknown stimuli or to their unusual combination or intensity. So gradually dogs are taught to travel in transport, to loud noise, multitude, shots, etc.

One of the most gifted students of the academicianPavlova, PK Anokhin, created the theory of a functional system, for which he was awarded the Lenin Prize. The essence of the theory is to affirm the existence in the brain of a specialized system that includes the entire brain and periphery and is aimed at achieving an adaptive result.

An animal is affected by an irritant. The memory block is turned on. There is a synthesis of the real events with the memories sealed in memory. An action program is being developed. In parallel, a model of the future result is created. An action is performed. The information on the result of the action is given. When the model is mismatched with the actual result, an orienting reaction is triggered again. The cycle begins again. When the result of the action coincides with the model, the mechanism stops.

The functional theory of Anokhin is recognized in Russia andAbroad, is widely used for applied purposes, and its knowledge can be useful in practical training. Mismatching the future model with reality sometimes leads to unexpected results.

An interesting case from practice

The owner of one spiteful, well-trainedThe dog argued that no one could take away the thing guarded by her. The volunteer who volunteered did not behave the way the dog expected. He did not offer her a treat, did not try to persuade her to caress, did not try to drive away from the thing with a stick. To all this the dog was ready. The man stood on all fours, took his briefcase in his teeth, and, growling, crawled directly to the dog. She lost her head and backed away. After taking the thing, the person backed safely returned to a safe place - the animal did not have time to correct the program of his behavior in a short time. And when later, when she "realized", she rushed to the offender, it was out of reach.

One of the basic concepts of higher physiologyNervous activity - motivation, i.e. The state of an organism deviated from a certain biological optimum. The body seeks to reduce the level of motivation, i.e. Satisfaction of their needs. According to Skinner, reinforcement (reduction of motivation) increases the likelihood of a reaction. Without the presence of motivation, it is impossible to work out a conditioned reflex. For example, you can not train a well-fed dog to any team, using food as reinforcements. Motivation is a powerful factor that affects the functional state of the brain. Everyone is recognized that each type of activity is characterized by a specific specific state of the brain. In addition to motivation, the state of the brain is determined by the following factors: a set of genetic programs, brain plasticity (the ability to rebuild), memory, the surrounding environment, the state of metabolic systems.

It is well to imagine that for realizationA conditioned reflex requires the presence of a certain state of the brain in the dog. If she is overly excited or slowed down, she did not have time to walk, she is sick, she "forgets" everything or starts to get confused. When it comes back to normal, the missing reflex is restored without additional effort.

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