Social learning means acquiring new behaviours from the observation of others. Recent studies revealed the social cognitive abilities of dogs and suggested that they are surprisingly predisposed to learn socially from humans.
Do as I Do is a new training method based on dogs’ social cognitive skills, particularly on their imitative ability. With this training technique dogs will learn new behaviours observing and copying their owners. During the seminar Claudia describes how to teach dogs the “imitation rule” and how to progress through the training protocol. Dogs will first be taught to imitate a small set of familiar actions (actions already trained with traditional techniques) and will then generalize this rule. At the end of the training protocol, the owners will be able to teach new behaviours to their dogs, simply showing them what to do. These new actions will be then put under verbal cue. The cognitive abilities implied in social learning and in this training method are also described.
This is the first training method based on dog’s social cognitive abilities.
Presentation by: Claudia Fugazza
Copyright © 2013, Tawzer Dog LLC
Claudia Fugazza is a PhD student in Ethology at Eötvös Lorand University (Budapest), conducting her research on social learning and imitation in dogs with Prof. A. Miklosi. She received her B.Sc. on Dog Breeding and Education (TACREC), a Master in Ethology of Companion Animals and a Master in Dog Training at the University of Pisa (Italy). Claudia developed a training method called Do as I Do (named after Hayes & Hayes 1952 and Topal et al. 2006) which relies on dog’s social cognitive skills and she is currently using this method both for applied dog training purposes and as preliminary training to scientifically study dogs’ imitative abilities.
This video qualifies for 8 trainer CEUs