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The Cognitive Dog

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  1. The Cognitive Dog • Class 8: Temperament and Puppy Tests

  2. Agenda • Papers • Next week • Finishing up from last week on development • Temperament: Bruce • Case Study: Carolyn

  3. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 7 -8 weeks – Human socialization period • Stacking the Odds: • Separate to eat • Crate time 2 x 2 first • then alone a few days • before going to new home • Collar and leash training • Adoption can begin

  4. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 8 to 12 weeks – Continued human and canine socialization • Changes that occur: • 8 to 11 weeks: • First Fear Period • Social Dominance • begins around week 10

  5. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 8 to 12 weeks – Continued human and canine socialization • Stacking the Odds • Avoid surgery, traumatic vet visits, groomer • Ideal adoption time 7-11 weeks • Pups staying with breeder beyond 12 weeks: send off for a weekend with friends prior to 12 weeks absolutely no later than 16 to avoid kennel syndrome (fear in new situations)

  6. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 8 to 12 weeks – • Continued human and canine socialization • Stacking the Odds • Begin training • Consistent expectations – jumping • Continue careful socializing, support any fear with treats and patience • Socialize with other safe pups and known safe adults

  7. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 8 to 12 weeks – Continued human and canine socialization • Stacking the Odds • Management & Structure • Introduce to any • activity planned on as • an adult if possible • before 16 weeks • Boating, Travel • Shows, trials

  8. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 12 weeks to 16 weeks – Socialization continues • Changes that occur: • Social dominance stage (begins around 10-11 weeks) • Possible Increased Independence

  9. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 12 weeks to 16 weeks – Socialization continues • Stacking the Odds: • Adoption should be done by 16 weeks • Pups staying with breeder beyond this time must go for a weekend with friends prior to 12 weeks absolutely no later than 16 to prevent shyness. • Visit many new places

  10. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 12 weeks to 16 weeks – Socialization continues • Stacking the Odds: • Continue to socialize with other safe pups and known safe adults • Grooming • Training & Prevention • Consistent Expectations • Management & Structure

  11. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 4 months to 8 months – • Changes that occur: • Flight instinct anytime during this stage: days to weeks • Some may challenge for leadership not come when called • Become more • independent • Chewing

  12. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 4 months to 8 months - • Stacking the Odds: • Management • Training • Consistent Expectations - leadership • Reward behaviors you want manage or ignore behaviors you don’t want • Continued socialization with dogs, people, and new places

  13. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 6 to 18 months - • Changes that occur: • Fear periods can come and go • Sexual maturity begins, possible increase in aggressive behaviors • Territorial, object • guarding

  14. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 6 to 18 months – • Stacking the Odds: • Continued Training • Consistent Expectations - leadership • Management & Structure • Exercise and a job for the dog • Agility, tracking, rally, obedience, breed related activities such as herding, earth dog, hunting • Continued socialization with dogs, people, and new places

  15. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 18 months to 4 years - • Changes that occur: • Sexual maturity • Territorial behavior • Can be earlier in some dogs • Object guarding • Can be earlier in some dogs

  16. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential • 18 months to 4 years - • Stacking the Odds: • Continued Training • Maintain Expectations - leadership • Management & Structure • Exercise and a job for the dog • Agility, tracking, rally, obedience, breed related activities such as herding, earth dog, hunting • Maintain socialization with dogs, people, and new places

  17. Puppy Development: Optimal Potential

  18. Temperament

  19. Overview • What is it? • How do you measure it? • Can we tease apart influences of nature & nurture? • A bit on puppy tests.

  20. What is Temperament? • “A person’s [animal’s] way of responding to the world. Examples of temperament include shy, bold, risk taking, and cautious” www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/publicat/genechoice/glossary.html • Coppinger’s notion of behavioral conformation • Implied... • Its a consistent (over lifetime) tendency or bias to respond in a certain, and predictable way. • While “ways of responding to the world” can vary across individuals, there is an assumption that one can define broad groups or categories of “ways of responding to the world”, and that an individual can be put into that group...

  21. Aristotle... Coren, S. (2004). How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind. New York, NY, Free Press.

  22. More modern approaches... • Same basic approach... • Observe way of responding to world... • Perform tests and observe responses • Questionnaires (responses to real world events) • owners vs. dog professionals • Use data to come up with categories • Test & refine

  23. Immediate questions... • “Ways of responding” seems highly context specific • Is response in one context predictive of response in other contexts? • Based on observation: how good is the observer, would another observer come to the same conclusion? • Is it a useful exercise?

  24. Jones & Gosling Survey

  25. Summary • Identified 51 studies of temperament, but they are all over the map when it comes to almost everything. • 4 types of assessments: artificial tests, owner/dog professional observation, breed prototypes derived by ‘experts’, real-world tests. • 85% purebred, GSD & Labs accounted for 32% of dogs, heavy bias toward working dogs & working contexts (police or guide dogs.) Relatively few focused on pet dogs. • Most dogs tested were intact, young dogs • Emphasis on either working attributes or problem attributes

  26. Summary Cont. • Dimensions and labels vary greatly across studies, but they all seem to be able to be sorted into 7 categories, or dimensions (with some overlap) • Reactivity* • Fearfulness* • Activity • Sociability** • Trainability** • Submissiveness • Aggression

  27. Summary Cont... • Reliability: if I re-test, will I get the same answer? • When reliability statistics are provided, the studies seem reliable, but most studies don’t explicitly address reliability • Validity: how well am I measuring what I say I am measuring • What evidence there is suggests that the tests are valid, but once again studies do not typically discuss validity • Bottomline: we need to be very careful in interpreting the results of this work, and in the language we use to describe behavior.

  28. Volhard Model: a functional model

  29. Volhard Model • Observed behavioral tendencies reflect underlying motivational tendencies • Prey • Social • Defense • Fight • Flight • Seems to reflect an ethological model, i.e., it is a functional model

  30. median for Parson Russell Terriers value for the Parson Russell Terrier, Jack * * won’t come out from under porch if the chickens are out... From behavioral tendencies to underlying drives

  31. From: Volhard, J. and W. Volhard (2001). Dog Training for Dummies. New York, NY, Wiley Publishing, Inc. Archetypes...

  32. How they use their model... • Predictive • What type of behavior are you going to see? • What is going to set them off? • What types of reinforcers/punishers will work best? • They use it to motivate a kind of “switch drive” theory... • E.g, they suggest to go from prey drive to social drive, the dog needs to go through defense first. Hmmm....

  33. Tortora Model: example of an expert model

  34. Based model on secondary sources: breed descriptions, dog professionals, etc. • Activity • Gentleness • Distractability • Dominance (control of resources, vis-a-vis other dogs and people) • Territorial • Emotional Stability • Socialibility • Learning rate • Frustration tolerance • Watch dog

  35. Serpell & Hsu: Observational model

  36. The motivation... • Behavioral problems in dogs are a big deal for dogs as well as the people who have to live with them. • No “generally accepted system for classifying and naming behavior and temperament traits in dogs” • Most of the existing systems, in their opinion, were based “on clinical signs and various motivational and functional hypotheses.” No clear basis for choosing between them, or even knowing if they measured what they said they measured. • Even given a test or procedure, the practical problems associated with administering it might call into question its usefulness.

  37. So they came up with a questionnaire • 2 key assumptions... • Owner knows their dog best • Via careful design, the questionnaire can “extract this information from a dog’s primary owner in a form that is reasonably accurate, quantitative, and reliable.”

  38. 101 questions in the latest version of C-barq

  39. 152 questions in original questionnaire • Vetted by 8 dog professionals • sociability : 8 • trainability: 13 • aggression: 44 • anxiety & fear: 22 • separation anxiety: 15 • excitability: 12 • attachment & attention-seeking behavior: 9 • misc behavior: 29

  40. Questionnaire sent to... • 684 questionnaires were used for the analysis. • 2000 clients of UPenn Vet clinic with dogs aged 1 to 7 : 38% returned. • 2700 members of 9 AKC breed clubs: 40% returned • 203 owners of dogs with specific behavioral issues: ??. • The big question: Are there a smaller set of variables that do “almost” as good of job at describing” the temperament of the dog as the full set of 152 variables? • Are the answers to some set of questions highly correlated with each other?

  41. What’s this correlation stuff? • Intuitive definition • Extent to which 2 variables are related, i.e. does knowing the value of 1 variable help you predict the value of the other? Books read per month Books read per month Yes No Monthly expeditures at Barnes & Noble Number of body piercings

  42. So what if they are correlated? • Replace variables that are highly correlated with each other by a single “underlying” variable, or “factor.” • Knowing where the dog lies on a given factor tells you approximately where it lives with respect to each of the detailed variables • Statistical technique for doing this called “factor analysis” • Goal again: instead of needing 152 variables to describe a dog can you do almost as good a job in far fewer? • Let the data tell you the answer... • Look at the extracted factors and attach a “label”

  43. Factor analysis • 11 Factors or dimensions • 62 questions or variables • Highly correlated with each other in a dimension • First 7 agreed with independent assessments of dogs (vet, behavior consultant...) Serpell, J. and Y. Hsu (2005). "Effects of breed, sex and neuter status on trainability in dogs." Anthrozoos18(3): 196-207.

  44. Try taking C-Barq survey on your dog

  45. And I care, why? • Attempt to provide a common set of labels to describe behavior & a methodology for measuring behavior • process may give you insight into your dog • If temperament is heritable, and consistent within a breed, knowing where mom and dad are vis-a-vis on these 11 dimensions can help predict where your pup may lie when they grow up, and specifically what behavioral tendencies they may have. • Is temperament heritable, is it consistent within a breed, what is the role of development and training???

  46. Serpell, J. and Y. Hsu (2005). "Effects of breed, sex and neuter status on trainability in dogs." Anthrozoos18(3): 196-207. Used C-BARQ to look at trainability... • Significant breed differences, little difference due to sex or neutering

  47. Serpell, J. and Y. Hsu (2005). "Effects of breed, sex and neuter status on trainability in dogs." Anthrozoos18(3): 196-207. Also looked at breed, sex, neuter status & trainability • high scoring breeds less variable than low scoring breeds

  48. Breed, sex and neuter status... • Sex differences were only significant in Doxies and Westies (males had higher trainability scores) & this was a surprise. • Being neutered associated with higher trainability in male Shelties & Rotties, but once again not a huge effect overall • Interesting comparison of show vs. field lines of ESS Serpell, J. and Y. Hsu (2005). "Effects of breed, sex and neuter status on trainability in dogs." Anthrozoos18(3): 196-207.

  49. Svartberg: The Dog Mentality Test

  50. Svartberg... • Performed a statistical analysis of the results from a detailed temperament test developed by the Swedish Working Dog Association... • 15, 239 dogs from 164 breeds collected between 1997-2001 from 2017 tests at 235 locations with 201 official observers. • Performed factor analysis to arrive at a small set of dimensions that could be used to describe a dog’s temperament.