CEU Event: Social Learning in Dogs: Teasing Apart Stimulus Enhancement, REAL Imitation and Social Facilitation

When: Ongoing
Where: Online


CPDT-KSA Knowledge: 1.00 CBCC-KSA Knowledge: 1.50
CPDT-KSA Skills: 0.00 CBCC-KSA Skills: 0.00


Teaching dogs to learn by “imitation” has become quite popular in recent years. Ethologists have for decades studied which species of non-human animals are capable of imitation learning. By the criteria behavior scientists employ, turns out that’s a pretty select few. Have dogs made the cut? That’s the question we’ll be exploring in this webinar on social learning. There’s no doubt that dogs demonstrate social learning. But social learning is an umbrella term that includes several different kinds of learning. And rigorous research is required to determine what kind of social learning is occurring in a given circumstance. To make matters even more complicated, ethologists and learning theorists define “imitation learning” a bit differently. Do you think the following are examples of imitation learning? One dog who is afraid of water observes another dog playing in the hose and after awhile overcomes her fear and joins her companion in the water. A dog who knows to “sit” on cue for a treat does so and receives the reward. Another, untrained dog looks at the first dog and goes into the sit position. A dog that never scratched the dirt after urinating but started doing it after staying with friends for a week and watching the cat display the behavior. Litters of puppies who observed their narcotics detection dog mothers working later learned a scent task more easily than did litters without this observational experience. Can owners teach new behaviors to their dogs by simply showing them what to do? And if they can, is this really imitation learning or something else? And why should we care? These are the ideas we take up in this webinar on social learning

Sponsor:Animal Behavior Associates
Speaker(s):Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB and Dan Estep, Ph.D., CAAB

Contact: Tracey
 Email: info@animalbehaviorassociates.com
 Phone: 303-932-9095
 Web: http://www.behavioreducationnetwork.com/