Video: The Truth About Cats And Dogs (Part 1)
2023 Author: Molly Page | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 22:49
People train dogs to be watchmen and bodyguards, shepherds and hunters, rescuers and helpers (such as a guide dog), so that dogs entertain the people in the circus, showing various tricks, so that they take part in competitions, for example, obedience or agility. For many people, all this serves as a clear sign of a canine mind and intellectual superiority over cats. Although you can see cats doing different things on TV, they have a slightly different repertoire, from which it is concluded that the mind of cats is not flexible enough to be trained.
For example, when an experiment was conducted on cats and dogs to overcome the maze, the cats coped with the task much worse than the dogs. The dogs figured out very quickly how to go through the maze and get the reward. And cats behaved differently, they either sat down and began to wash, then began to explore dead ends. They failed to pass the labyrinth within the specified time, which was taken by the researchers as a negative result. Beggar dogs are willing to do whatever they want for a reward, but for cats, treating is not motivation. Only the study of every nook and cranny and dead end makes sense, independent cats believe, because who knows where in this world full of surprises the prey can hide? And if the prey is not found, then in confusion the cat sits down and begins to wash.
Using social instincts, the dog can be taught all of the above. Dogs live, hunt, play and rest in accordance with the hierarchy of the pack, headed by the leaders - male and female. Dogs together raise and protect the puppies of the pair of leaders, together they hunt for large prey. While carving it up, young people obediently wait until the adults are satisfied. In order to remain part of the pack, they are ready to humiliate and obey, demonstrating such behavior to animals of the highest rank. Domestic dogs perceive a person as the dominant member of the pack, which is why they strive to please their master so. In addition, for hundreds of years, dogs have been specially selected in such a way as to enhance some characteristics of their character and weaken others.
The cat community has a different social structure. If there is enough food around, then they lead a predominantly solitary lifestyle, although females, usually in family ties, can form a social group. Cats are more likely to wander alone in search of a girlfriend than to stay in a group. Where food sources are concentrated in one place (for example, in a garbage dump), cats form colonies, but their social structure is akin to a lion's pride - a community of females who together raise young people. True, unlike lions, cats rarely hunt in pairs and groups, and also attack prey that exceeds their own size. Therefore , cats have almost no need to unite with their relatives.… Cats try not to get too much in contact with humans if this is contrary to their own interests. If dogs are mainly bred for the benefits that they bring to people, then cats - for their unique appearance.
Dogs are motivated by their pack instinct - they will show everything they can to get praise and approval from the dominant member of the pack, that is, the owner or trainer. They will carry out all orders, because in the wild for disobedience they would be expelled from the pack or transferred to the rank of a pariah.
For cats, the factor of social status is not motivation. You will have to figure out for yourself how to interest your animal for successful training. To some extent, food or a conditioned reflex can serve as a stimulant, which after training will give a tasty morsel. But for cats, food is a weaker stimulant than for dogs. If the achievement of the reward requires too much effort, then the cats will most likely stop trying and go looking for easier prey. This happens because in the natural environment, a lone hunter does not make sense to spend more energy and strength on prey than he will receive by eating it. While dogs will long and stubbornly pursue their prey and, in the end, starve it out, cats hunt from ambush, and only pursue prey at short distances. If the cat is not fed, then it will not become easier to give in to training; cats tolerate hunger pangs better than dogs. For young cats, the best reward is the very process of playing with simple objects such as a ball or candy wrapper, or the opportunity to explore an unfamiliar place. There are always cats that not only learn with ease, but also enjoy it, although they are the exception rather than the rule.
Since we judge intelligence by comparing animals to ourselves, many popular reports of cats' behavior describe their learning as if it were not about predators, but about mentally retarded people. For example, in 1915, L. T. Hobhouse, professor of sociology at the University of London, wrote:
Article on the topic First theories of learning. Stimulus-response theory (part 2)
“I once had a cat who learned to 'knock on the door' by picking up a rug that was outside and dropping it. Obviously, by doing this, the cat expected to get into the house, that is, the actions of the cat were determined by their result. Was her calculation correct? Let's try to test this using explanations based on more primitive skills. Then, firstly, can we explain the actions of a cat using associations of ideas? The hardest thing to understand is which idea was the impetus for the cat to take action. The sight of a door or a rug, as far as I know, could not be associated with an action in a cat until she did it. If there was an association, then it should have worked in the opposite direction. The ability to enter a cat's house is associated with the fact that someone comes to the door, this in turn - with any sound to attract attention, and so on. Such a series of associations well shows a chain of related elements that the animal could comprehend and use as a model for its actions. The concepts of "man", "opening the door", "attracting attention", etc. make no sense unless they are tied to certain circumstances. If a cat is aware of such abstract concepts, then she must have something more, namely the ability to apply them to his perception of reality. The concepts of "getting attention" and "dropping the rug" must somehow be linked together. Further, if the process of "knocking the rug" is one of the associations, it is rather strange that the cat has chosen the correct associations. If the cat started its associative array with people in the room, it could, how easily continue, finish this series with the pleasures that it will receive when it gets into the house,begging for a piece of fish from one and a saucer of sour cream from another, and spending his life in idle dreams. But she avoids these associations and chooses only those that serve her purpose. In a nutshell, we can say that, on the one hand, we see signs of a cat using various concepts, and on the other, a choice between them. Both points to a higher level of mental activity than just associations.
Hobhouse interpreted his cat's behavior as having elements of purpose, although he offered an alternative "behaviorist" explanation: the relationship between motivation, that is, the "pleasure" of entering the door and action - that is, raising and lowering the mat.
To be continued…
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