The basic principles of dog training.
Physiological basis for dogs to receive training
Dogs have a well-developed nervous system and are highly adaptable to environmental changes. The basic activity process of the brain and nervous system is reflective activity, and dog training is based on the principle of conditioned reflex.
(1) Types of reflex activities
According to the process of reflection activity, reflection can be divided into two types: unconditioned reflection and conditioned reflection:
1. Unconditioned reflex
A reflex that is congenital and is born with. For example, a puppy will feed, breathe, defecate, urinate, and defend itself after birth. This kind of reflex is relatively stable, and it is also the basis for the establishment of canine conditioned reflex.
2. Conditioned reflex
Is gradually formed in the life of the dog. In a constantly changing environment, it is difficult for dogs to ensure normal physiological activities. They must be based on unconditioned reflexes and use higher-level nerve center (cerebral cortex) functional activities to establish more adaptability than unconditioned reflexes. Stronger conditioning. Conditional reflex is established by dogs under certain living conditions. It is unstable and temporary. It is easy to produce and disappear. Every movement that people teach to dogs is a conditioned reflex, which must be repetitively trained regularly and continuously strengthened to be consolidated. Otherwise, after a long period of time, the conditioned reflex will fade and disappear, and the learned movements will also be forget.
(2) Training dogs to establish and strengthen conditioned reflexes
The process of training dogs to learn various skills is the process of conditioned reflexes. It can be seen from the above principle. Whether it causes unconditioned reflex or conditioned reflex, stimulus (unconditioned stimulus and conditioned stimulus) is required. When the two stimuli are used in combination, the conditioning reflex can be strengthened. For example, training a dog to make a “come over” action, from issuing an order to “coming over”, this is a reflection. Belongs to conditioned reflex stimulation. When the sound stimulation of “coming over” is used in combination with the stimulation of doing the “coming over” action, it will cause two excitement points in different areas of the dog’s cerebral cortex. When there is no conditioned reflex, there is no connection between these two excitement points. No matter how loud you shout or wave your hand, the dog will not come over. If the two stimuli are combined at the same time, it will be used several times at the same time. If these two excitement points are connected, the dog will come over obediently by simply issuing the slogan “come over” in the future without having to wave his hand. This is the formation of conditioned reflex and should be rewarded. People use the physiological characteristics of dogs to form conditioned reflexes and carry out a series of training for dogs according to people’s purposes. In training dogs to establish and strengthen conditioned reflex, the following points should be noted:
First, conditioned stimuli must be combined with unconditioned stimuli. Conditioning is the result of the combination of conditioned stimuli and unconditioned stimuli. Without unconditioned reflexes, conditioned reflexes cannot be formed. For example, “capture” is a dog’s instinct, it belongs to the dog’s non-conditional reflex, and is the basis for the establishment of conditioned reflex. In training, as long as you cooperate with appropriate captions and passwords (conditional stimuli), you can train the “capture” movements according to the requirements of the training subjects.
Second, from the time of action of the two stimuli. The effect of conditioned stimuli should be slightly earlier than the effect of non-conditioned stimuli. In this way, the establishment of conditioned reflex is quick, and it is also consolidated, otherwise. Conditional reflex is very difficult to form, even if it forms, it is very slow and unconsolidated. This requires that when we train a dog, the conditioned stimulus given to the dog such as the password and gesture must precede the unconditional stimulus such as pulling the leash and pressing a certain part of the dog’s body. Only in this way can the dog quickly learn the movements taught. If two stimuli are given at the same time, the establishment of conditioned reflex will be slower. If the unconditioned stimulus precedes the conditioned stimulus, it is difficult for the dog to learn the actions taught.
Third, we must correctly grasp the intensity of the stimulus. Stimuli that are too strong or too weak will not have a good effect. certainly. Consider the dog’s nerve type and its sensitivity to stimuli. When the same intensity of stimulus is applied to different dogs, the effect is different. Generally speaking, only when the physiological intensity of the conditioned stimulus is weaker than the intensity of the unconditioned stimulus, the conditioned reflex can be established.
Fourth, to establish a good conditioned reflex, the dog’s cerebral cortex must be awake and free from interference by other stimuli. If the dog is dozing or mentally depressed, the formation of conditioned reflexes will be slow. It’s not even possible.
Fifth, the unconditioned reflex center related to the establishment of conditioned reflex must be in a fairly excited state. Unconditioned reflex is the basis for establishing conditioned reflex. If the unconditioned reflex center lacks enough excitement, it is very difficult to establish conditioned reflex. For example, when a dog participates in training after eating, the excitability of the dog’s food center is very low. If food is used as an unconditioned reflex stimulus to strengthen the conditioned stimulus, its effect is not great.