Dogs can learn the “do that again” command and access memories of recent actions, a study shows
“Sit,” “down,” and “stay” are commands that man’s best friend has mastered for generations.
But with the advent of social media, a new trick of “do that again” can come in handy when owners aren’t camera-ready at the moment of an adorable head tilt.
Scientists have found that dogs can indeed do this, and it has been shown that they can recall recent actions after a verbal prompt of “again”.
A new University of Buffalo study has found that pooches don’t even need to be “retrained” to perform the specific action to repeat on command.
Three dogs were first trained to repeat a particular learned action, such as “turning,” with the command, and then tested it on other novel actions.
The success of the study suggests that dogs are able to apply the concept of repetition to new situations – a skill they were previously not thought capable of.
dr Allison Scagel, the study’s corresponding author, with one of the study participants, her own long-haired Chihuahua, Todd, who successfully learned the “again” command
Scientists have found that dogs are able to remember recent actions after being verbally prompted
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DOG TO REPEAT A LAST ACTION
1. Train your dog with a series of familiar commands such as “turn” and “lie down”.
2. Ask them to perform one of the actions, and then get them to repeat it with the “Again” command. Don’t forget to reward them when they get it right!
3. Try “again” with different, new commands and lots of goodies as rewards.
dr Allison Scagel, the study’s corresponding author, said: “Our study shows that dogs are capable of conception and places them in a growing category of other animals that includes bottlenose dolphins and chimpanzees.
“Dogs can learn more than just the relationship between a person’s signal and the specific trick they are asked to perform.
“You can understand the concept of repetition: whatever you just did, do it again.
“It can relate to anything they do.”
Historically, it was thought that only humans are capable of becoming aware of past personal experiences.
This study, published in the Journal of Comparative Psychologysuggests that dogs can flexibly access memories of their own recent actions.
Animals are often tested for their ability to remember things in the external environment that they have recently encountered, such as: B. Sounds in the form of verbal commands.
They are also known for remembering objects, as shown when a pet can collect a particular toy from a pile, or as drug-sniffing dogs are trained on smells.
But memories of actions are different because they are internal and not external.
They are purely mental representations of past personal experiences that can be accessed in ways that could affect what an animal will do in the future.
For this study, researchers examined dogs’ memories of their own recent actions to determine if they could voluntarily think back to what they had just done and reproduce those actions.
The three study participants were Todd, a male long-haired Chihuahua, and two female golden retrievers, Aspen and Layla.
Traditional dog training is the keyword and answer; When dogs hear or see a trained cue, they respond with behavior associated with that cue.
In this way, the dogs were first taught a series of simple commands, such as turning in a circle, lying down or walking around an object.
Traditional dog training is the keyword and answer; When dogs hear or see a trained cue, they respond with behavior associated with that cue. The new study suggests that dogs can flexibly access memories of their own recent actions in response to a verbal command
Next, the dogs learned a repeated cue of the word “again” with a hand gesture instructing them to repeat the known action upon completion.
Finally, the researchers had to Assess whether the dogs had actually learned a general concept of repeating the previous action, or whether they just knew “again,” such as a new command to turn, lie down, or walk around.
The dogs were therefore asked to repeat novel actions they had never been asked before, including untrained actions that they reinvented on cue.
Although the dogs were never trained to repeat these actions, they passed this test.
They were also shown to be able to repeat actions with short delays and repeat actions multiple times without additional training.
“We found that dogs can be trained to repeat certain actions on command and then apply what they’ve learned to actions they should never repeat,” said Dr. Scagel.
“Our results showed that they could apply the concept of repetition to new situations.
“More generally, we found evidence that dogs are capable of forming abstract concepts.”
The researchers claim the results are new flexible training options for domestic dogs.
dr Scagel added: “This is an important step towards a better understanding of how other species form abstract concepts.
“And we’re learning that humans aren’t that cognitively unique after all.”
Is YOUR dog gifted? Some pooches can learn up to 12 new toy names in a week and remember them for at least two months, a study finds
Some dogs are able to learn up to a dozen new toy names in a single week and remember them for at least two months, according to authors of a new study.
According to the team at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary, this detection and recall rate is similar to that of a one-year-old child.
Border collies and German shepherds were among the more intelligent breeds that took part in the study, which looked at how human language is learned.