How do dogs learn? They learn by observing humans and other dogs; by trial and error; through experience; by repetition; through conditioning; and as a result of cause and effect.
Learning is different to instinct. Anything that isn’t instinct a dog has to learn. First off it learns from its mother and litter mates then when it goes to a human family it learns how to live with a completely different species. Imagine how difficult it would be to learn how to fit in if you were adopted by a herd of giraffes. That’s in essence what we are asking our dogs to do.
Luckily research shows most dogs are tuned into us and on the whole keen as mustard to co-operate with us. Humans have selectively bred dogs for specific traits which make it possible for you and your dog to work things out. If you’re interested to learn more about how that happens Google ‘domesticated Russian silver foxes’.
In the next article I will begin to discuss how you can effectively train your dog by using how your dog learns as your magic wand to turn him/her into a good dog. If you need help with your dog/s please call me on 02 4473 7667.