Avoid canine health problem

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Understanding how Dogs Think

Have you ever seen a device or a program designed to correct a dog behaviour problem that explained how smart dogs are and how they think? Most plans or gadgets enable owners, literally, to declare war on their hapless pets. Little or no concern is afforded to what the dogs happen to think about them. In fact, the implication is that dogs don't think at all ... either they just react to external stimuli like robots , or respond according to genetically controlled "drives." Dogs are rarely credited with the ability to solve a problem mentally; to analyze a situation; imagine ways to manipulate or control it, then take a pre-planned course of action toward a goal that was preconceived in the dog's mind. In short, the dog is considered a real dummy, then treated like a dummy. But this concept is not correct. Dogs are smart often with health problems. They can, and usually do, think rings around their owners. And they can do it because most owners have never learned how to think like a dog.

Understanding Non Verbal Thinking

  • ·We all wonder now and then what our dog is thinking. If we wonder aloud, perhaps when mealtime is approaching and the dog is looking expectantly at us, we might say something like, "I'll bet Tippy's thinking, 'When is my dinner going to be ready?' " In all likelihood, Tippy isn't originating any thoughts about 'when dinner will be ready.' It is more likely Tippy is imagining (or 'imaging' in his mind) the words and movements you usually say and perform before getting his dinner; something like, "You want dinner, Tippy?" All that tail wagging and those pleading eyes are aimed at stimulating you to say it.
  • ·But, an inability to originate thoughts in a spoken language does not make dogs unintelligent. Even people don't actively think in a spoken language unless they actively 'speak' it. For instance, during a short vacation to Japan, if you don't already speak the language, you'll probably pick up the meaning of a few words. After a few natives look at you in the morning and say "Ohio," you may eventually learn that they're not curious about where you're from, but are wishing you a "Good Morning." Still, you won't think in Japanese unless you live there a few months and actively speak it. Even a pet Akita will never learn to speak or think in the native lingo because their voice boxes, tongues and lips cannot formulate the sounds of Japanese ... or English, or French, etc, etc. The limit of our dog's language learning is the meaning of the sounds of certain words. Luckily, dogs are quick to learn the sounds that are important to them.
  • ·With this in mind, when Tippy is prodding us about serving dinner, we'd be wise to discard ideas about complete sentences being originated and thought about, and replace them with the non language concept of mental images. To illustrate this further; when most Tippys are asking for dinner they actually look from their owners toward the place where it is served, generally the kitchen.
  • Evidence of Imagery

·Some very convincing research suggests that dogs think in sensory impressions; visual, sound and odour images, etc. This is not to say that they sit around on quiet days experiencing videos inside their brains. However, they likely share our ability to form and experience in their minds certain images, odours and sounds. The scientific basis for this idea came from Russia and was published in the US in 1973. A scientist name V.S. Rusinov was studying the electrophysiology of the brain and had several dogs wired with brain wave equipment and radio transmitters. When the dogs were brought into the lab from the kennels for experimental conditioning tests, the electroencephalograph machine was turned on to record their brain wave patterns. This was done at the same time each day, five days a week. One weekend, purely by accident, Rusinov brought a group of visitors into the lab and turned on the EEG machine. Lo, the dog that was normally schedule for tests during the week at that time was sending wave forms nearly identical to his regular working patterns! When the testing time passed, the dogs' brain waves soon returned to their normal 'at rest' forms. I never found any mention by Rusinov as to whether the dogs out in the kennel were actually performing their conditioned laboratory behaviorisms. Chances are they were not, but one thing is almost sure; compared to human experience in similar types of studies, the dogs were apparently experiencing them mentally.

·The late Polish scientist, Jerzi Konorski taught dogs to salivate and expect food in their trays when a light flickered. This was done regularly every few minutes. However, after a few trials, the dogs started salivating and looking at the trays as if the food were actually there, even though the light had not flickered. Konorski ventured that the dogs were hallucinating about both the stimulus (the light) and the reward for salivating (the food). One thing is sure: Something was going on in the dogs' minds that made them behave as if they were happening.

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