Practice of learnings in the dog
Jean-Marie Giffroy
Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix - Namur, Belgium

The mechanisms of learning implemented by the dog in two types of situations reviewed. These situations are the obedience of the dog of company or the training of working dog and the installation of inadequate behaviors. In this last case, the owner is generally not conscious of the phenomenon. The techniques suggested are analyzed and the mechanisms are identified. Those which are most frequently implemented are: classical conditioning, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, negative punishment, learned helplessness, prompting, the shaping, chaining, extinction, flooding, the intermittent reinforcement, the habituation, the latent training and the vicarious training. In a certain number of cases, several mechanisms are implemented successively or simultaneously. Various examples of analyses are exposed. If the owners the users of dogs, and the instructors had a better knowledge of the laws governing these learnings, they could implement them more effectively and prevent the installation of nondesirable behaviors. The speech held by the instructors and the authors of popularizing books prone the reward and diabolise aversive learning. The daily practice which conforms to the requirements of reality is however very different.

Keywords: dog, learning, education, training

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