Training - Just a series of short linked commands? Or - where is the reasoning? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 4,418
Training - Just a series of short linked commands? Or - where is the reasoning?

A question on training and intelligence in general.... regardless of the specific training method.
I've read several studies, the most recent placing the adult (more intelligent) breeds equivalent "human" intelligence comparison at being around 3 years old.....

It seems, sometimes - while training, that it really consists of linking a "series" of commands together on short initial training..... that watching a dog execute a seemingly complex command, is really a short series of commands that the dog is able to put together, and would fall apart if the sequence is changed in any way.

In other words - the same as a regular family dog can be taught "tricks" such as speak, shake hands and sit up and beg can be done. But not in combined sequence -or not in a chain of sequences with constant variation.
I hope my question is clear, I've been thinking about it for a few days before I decided to post this dumb question

I would think that watching structured training for a specific work or sport, that this is simply what I'm seeing.... But, I have had occasion with my past GSD/wolf cross that yes, used basic commands but in a very abnormal situation. This sounds really stupid but I still think about it - specifically to their "reasoning" ability.

He was trained to retrieve a ball from the ocean or lake. We were fishing one afternoon and when I cast out - my stupid cheap rod separated at the metal joiner where the top and bottom half of the rod connected. There was a sinker on the bait so the top half of the rod went sailing down the line - the sinker got lodged in rocks so I was about to loose the top half of my rod to the lake.

I sent him out once to "get it" it was floating about 40 feet offshore, he want half way and turned around (no ball there), I sent him out again and he circled the rod half and when I picked the line a little it caught his tail and he swam back. I sent him out the 3rd time and he grabbed the rod half, I lowered the line to just above surface level and he followed the line and ran the rod half right back to me To me - that is reasoning and learning- not a bunch of short training clips put together to get an awesome looking result.

Which is it? It's like the dogs that lead LE to a burning house that their owner is trapped in - or a dog going for help or barking like crazy if their owner is hurt......can they reason????
Stonevintage is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 10:38 PM
Moderator
 
dogma13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: michigan
Posts: 5,548
I used to take care of a friend's puppy during the day while she worked.One day he wanted a toy that was in his crate with the door closed but not locked.He pawed at the door a few times like you'd expect,then he grabbed it with his teeth and backed up until the door was opened wide,went in and got his toy.
Nobody taught him that,I watched him figure it out by himself.So I think he was reasoning.I have seen a few other instances of dogs seemingly solving simple problems over the years.

Terri

Samson Blk/Slvr GSD. RN
Misty Husky Mix
Z-Z Terrier/potato mix
Devo Yorkie Mix at the bridge
Dakota Wht GSD at the bridge
dogma13 is online now  
post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 11:27 PM
The "I'm not dead yet" Administrator.
 
gsdsar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,913
It depends on what you consider reason.

I see a lot of independent thought in SAR dogs. Yes, basic things are trained, but at some point the dog has to figure out that they can actively search out scent, not just run into it. I have seen experienced dogs check the wind and move so they get the best scent.

I don't think a dog picking up something different in the water is showing reasoning. It's showing that he understood that he was supposed to get something and return it to you. So he tried a few things and eventually you praised him.

And digging for a toy, to me that's instinct not reasoning. Now had the puppy opened a closed and latched crate...

Not trying to negate either stories coolness, but neither involved independent reasoning thought. At least the way I think of it.

But I may be thinking of it wrong.
gsdsar is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 4,418
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdsar View Post
It depends on what you consider reason.

I see a lot of independent thought in SAR dogs. Yes, basic things are trained, but at some point the dog has to figure out that they can actively search out scent, not just run into it. I have seen experienced dogs check the wind and move so they get the best scent.

I don't think a dog picking up something different in the water is showing reasoning. It's showing that he understood that he was supposed to get something and return it to you. So he tried a few things and eventually you praised him.

And digging for a toy, to me that's instinct not reasoning. Now had the puppy opened a closed and latched crate...

Not trying to negate either stories coolness, but neither involved independent reasoning thought. At least the way I think of it.

But I may be thinking of it wrong.
Thanks for your reply. Discounting the situation I recounted and turning to SAR - and turning to the SAR dog, which you feel shows independent thought - Instead of the dog retrieving something new in the water like a fishing pole instead of a ball. You ask your SAR dog - instead of going out to look for a person (maybe 1,000 times in a row as with a ball) you ask him to run the same course and find a buried chair...... with no scent or previous familiarity with finding and retrieving a chair..... are you saying you can do it - simply because it's an object in the field/area in which he is used to searching??
Stonevintage is offline  
post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 11:50 PM
Crowned Member
 
Baillif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,920
They possess rudimentary cognitive abilities but nothing to write home about and nothing even close to a human 3 year old's intelligence unless that 3 year old human was severely autistic.

They are capable of learning through social facilitation, also through mimicry, and they are rather good at discrimination.

The vast majority of what dogs learn is done through classical and operant conditioning.

Basically it really mostly comes down to habit and consequence based learning but they do possess the ability to problem solve if motivated properly. I've seen dogs that had separation anxiety become master escape artists. Even saw one learn to pop open latches on gates, easily push out of crates by hitting the door on the sweet spot, and even learned to pull the pins out of the hinges of a door with its teeth and then knock that door down to escape.

If you teach them you can get them to perform behaviors in sequence that has constant variation. For example: Zebu had to be taught to sit from a stand to sit from a down and stand from a sit and stand from a down and down from a stand and down from a sit. A the time he was learning that those were all actions not positions to him. However, after enough repetition and trial and error with input from me every step of the way he eventually made the connection that those were positions and not just actions. How do I know this? He can stand from a roll over he can stand from a play dead he can stand from a sit pretty or he can stand from a bow. He can also down from any of these actions and he can also sit from any of those actions and it never had to be taught.

Last edited by Baillif; 01-10-2016 at 11:59 PM.
Baillif is offline  
post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 4,418
I tripped myself up on that question... there could have been a vague "scent' on the end of the fishing pole top half.

On the "scent' angle - I have witnessed proof of totally untrained dogs (rotts) locating and fixing on an item that I have lost miles into the woods, I assume simply because it had my scent on it (my purse handle broke and I lost it - next morning with snow on the ground - backtracking thru about 80 acres - they found it easily - totally untrained dogs.... I gave them my total intent that I was searching for something specific - but reason?? or just the freshly discarded and buried, and therefore the "find" and interest??
Stonevintage is offline  
post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 12:03 AM
Crowned Member
 
Baillif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,920
Sometimes just for the **** of it. I had a lab that I used to go running with in the woods and one time we came upon a box turtle in the path and I showed it to him let him hold it in his mouth in the shell and carry it around a bit and praised him for doing it. Then I made him leave it and we kept on running. For years after that he would randomly sniff down box turtles and bring them to me. I never gave him anything for it aside from a pat on the head.
Baillif is offline  
post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 4,418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
They possess rudimentary cognitive abilities but nothing to write home about and nothing even close to a human 3 year old's intelligence unless that 3 year old human was severely autistic.

They are capable of learning through social facilitation, also through mimicry, and they are rather good at discrimination.

The vast majority of what dogs learn is done through classical and operant conditioning.

Basically it really mostly comes down to habit and consequence based learning but they do possess the ability to problem solve if motivated properly. I've seen dogs that had separation anxiety become master escape artists. Even saw one learn to pop open latches on gates, easily push out of crates by hitting the door on the sweet spot, and even learned to pull the pins out of the hinges of a door with its teeth and then knock that door down to escape.

So, my thinking of classical and operant conditioning or habit and consequence is one thing. On the other - I have a video of my old cat that retrieved a ball like a dog and is trying frantically pushing on the lock door nob on a truck trying to get out....you can practically see his mind working on that was one of the ways to get out...... a frickin cat! How did my previous dog learn that our new fridge had a bottom freezer - giving him free rein to go in and remove a cube of butter at a time and then close the door so only the wrapper was left???
Stonevintage is offline  
post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 4,418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
Sometimes just for the **** of it. I had a lab that I used to go running with in the woods and one time we came upon a box turtle in the path and I showed it to him let him hold it in his mouth in the shell and carry it around a bit and praised him for doing it. Then I made him leave it and we kept on running. For years after that he would randomly sniff down box turtles and bring them to me. I never gave him anything for it aside from a pat on the head.
Well, yea - it happened and was a pleasurable experience - so why not repeat - just like retrieving - koombaya experience.
Stonevintage is offline  
post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 4,418
"Lassie- go get dad!..... can this ever happen if it's never been experienced by the dog. I guess that's the bottom line. Is it all just a link of repeated and practiced "trick" links or is there "reasoning"?

Sounds like we've all experienced "reasoning" but it's hit or miss - I just don't know and it makes me a little crazy.... because I think this is the huge breakdown with the "language" we have with our dogs. The "novices" expecting the most and the seasoned trainers expecting the least....?

It seems like when it does happen, it's hit or miss or only in extreme conditions that they are "forced' to use reason??
Stonevintage is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome