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Video: Some Aspects Of Studying Dog Behavior
2023 Author: Molly Page | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 22:49
Since the most distant historical times, animals have been constant companions of man. Some provide us with food and clothing, others damage our economy, others serve as faithful helpers in work, and still others decorate our leisure. And literally everything that connects a person with the world of animals has to do with their behavior. It was by the peculiarities of its behavior that the dog attracted the attention of a person.
For a long time, man has domesticated the dog, adapting it to his needs, to his life, and in many ways humanizing it. Nevertheless, the behavior of the dog continues to obey all the laws that are characteristic of other animals.
The behavior of animals is a way of adapting them to the environment through active movement and communication between individuals, ensuring the survival and successful reproduction of both an individual animal and the species as a whole. If life is the most complex form of the existence of matter, then behavior is the most complex manifestation of vital activity. Everything that happens in an animal's body - physical, chemical, physiological processes - ultimately manifests itself in its external activity, in behavior. Conversely, it is behavior that ensures the normal course of all vital functions. The exceptional complexity of behavioral acts suggests a multifaceted approach to its study.
When studying behavior, three basic elementary types of behavioral acts can be distinguished
1. Instincts are innate, routinely executed acts of behavior that manifest themselves in response to the action of strictly specific stimuli, as a rule, at the very first meeting with them. For example, the first reaction of a newborn puppy is to look for the mother's nipple; a female giving birth for the first time, without any training, begins to lick it, bites the umbilical cord, eats the afterbirth, etc.
Nutritional, sexual, defensive, orienting, maternal and some other, more special instincts serve as the innate foundation on which all further behavior is built.
2. Acts of behavior formed on the basis of learning. These learning elements, unlike instincts, quickly arise in the case of repetition of specific life situations. Conditioned reflexes, well-known to dog breeders, can be referred to this category. When they are formed, a neutral stimulus acquires a signal value for the animal as a result of combination with an irritant that causes an instinctive reaction. All animal training is based on this combination.
3. Elementary intellectual activity. Every person dealing with animals, and especially with dogs, sooner or later encounters such forms of behavior that cannot be explained only by a combination of conditioned and unconditioned reflexes. In higher animals, on the basis of their communication, the constant complication of behavior, elements of rational activity arise, the ability to generalize, abstract, and predict events.
If we turn to the classics of natural science, we will see that the largest biologists and philosophers believed that some elements of the mind exist in animals. This conclusion was made about 100 years ago by Charles Darwin, pointing out that higher animals, like humans, have memory, imagination and intelligence. At the same time, Darwin considered the behavior and psyche of animals as the prehistory of the human mind. F. Engels wrote that in animals the ability for conscious actions develops in accordance with the development of the nervous system and reaches a sufficiently high level in mammals. The experimental study of the elementary rational activity of animals is devoted to the research of such prominent scientists as V. Wagner, V. Keler, R. Ierks, N. Lodygina-Kots, GZ Roginsky.
Opponents of recognizing the elements of rational activity in animals often refer to the authority of the prominent Soviet physiologist I. P. Pavlov, who allegedly denies the presence in animals of any rudiments of concrete thinking. Indeed, I. P. Pavlov was an opponent of anthropomorphism in the study of animal behavior. He did not deny the presence of elements of thinking in animals that have features similar to human thinking, but he was an ardent opponent of a non-physiological explanation of this process.
The work of LV Krushinsky, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Professor of Lomonosov Moscow State University, is devoted to the study of this complex problem. He believes that the most characteristic property of the elementary rational activity of animals is their ability to grasp the simplest laws that connect objects and environmental phenomena, and the possibility of using these laws when behaving in new situations. The fact that an animal can immediately, without special training, make the right decision, is the unique feature of rational activity as an adaptive mechanism in diverse, constantly changing environmental conditions. This method of adaptation of the organism to the environment is possible only in animals with a well-developed nervous system.
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