Attention changes in the course of a dog’s life mirror those of humans

Attention changes in the course of a dog's life mirror those of humans

are known as 'Man's best friend'. No other pet has adjusted to human's lifestyle as well as this four-legged animal. Scientists at the at the Vetmeduni Vienna, have been the first to investigate the evolution of dogs' in the of their lives and to what extent they resemble in this regard. The outcome: dogs' attentional and sensorimotor control developmental trajectories are very similar to found in humans. The results were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Dogs are individual personalities, possess awareness, and are particularly known for their learning capabilities, or trainability. To learn successfully, they must display a sufficient quantity of and concentration. However, the attentiveness of dogs’ in the course of their lives, as it does in humans. The lead author and her colleagues investigated 145 Border Collies aged 6 months to 14 years in the Clever Dog Lab at the Vetmeduni Vienna and determined, for the first time, how attentiveness changes in the entire course of a dog’s using a cross-sectional study design.

Humans are more for dogs than objects

To determine how rapidly dogs of various age groups pay attention to objects or humans, the scientists performed two tests. In the first situation the dogs were confronted with a child’s toy suspended suddenly from the ceiling. The scientists measured how rapidly each dog reacted to this occurrence and how quickly the dogs became accustomed to it. Initially all dogs reacted with similar speed to the stimulus, but older dogs lost interest in the toy more rapidly than younger ones did.

In the second test situation, a person known to the dog entered the room and pretended to paint the wall. All dogs reacted by watching the person and the paint roller in the person’s hands for a longer duration than the toy hanging from the ceiling.

Wallis’ conclusion: “So-called social attentiveness was more pronounced in all dogs than “non-social” attentiveness. The dogs generally tended to react by watching the person with the object for longer than an object on its own. We found that older dogs — like older human beings — demonstrated a certain calmness. They were less affected by new items in the environment and thus showed less interest than younger dogs.”

Selective attention is highest in mid-adulthood

In a further test the scientists investigated so-called selective attention. The dogs participated in an alternating attention task, where they had to perform two tasks consecutively. First, they needed to find a food reward thrown onto the floor by the experimenter, then after eating the food, the experimenter waited for the dog to establish eye contact with her. These tasks were repeated for a further twenty trials. The establishment of eye contact was marked by a clicking sound produced by a “clicker” and small pieces of hot dog

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    • N. Schoychid "nikkikid"
    • April 2, 2014
    86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    A few enhancements would make this better, August 25, 2013

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Dogwidgets(R) DW-3 Remote 1 Dog Training Shock Collar with Vibration (Misc.)
    We purchased this to break our dogs “prey instinct” when chasing cars or our cats. These are both dangerous situations and he seemed so driven he could not even hear us to train him. The vibration level seemed to work to get his attention. A couple times he continued to chase and we used level 1 and he squealed and jumped and ran to me. I hated that as it seemed like it REALLY hurt him ? I could not even imagine using a higher level even with the rubber pieces on the shockers. Details are below…but in short I would probably buy a different design if given the chance again.

    Pros: Good price. Arrived on time and holds charge very well. Vibration level is nice and works well. Controller seems pretty durable. I drove off with it on my car and it flew off down the road and then sat in for 2 days (and we even had rain). When my neighbor found it and returned it to us…it still worked!

    Cons: 1. The plate that encases the electronics for the collar part falls off and the wires show. I keep having to push the plate back on but is does not seem to want to stick. I imagine it would easily get water inside.
    2. there were no instructions for how to use the different levels of shock and we found them to be confusing. There are numbers 1-6 on the device so I at first assumed that that meant that 1 was lowest and 6 was highest. HOWEVER….if you can see on the device, numbers 1 and 4 are significantly LARGER than the other numbers….and I have no idea why. There is nothing in the instructions about the levels of shock. My husband tried to test it to see which was lowest and which was highest….but it all sort of felt the same to him (he removed his hand very quickly…b/c it hurt…so perhaps if he held on longer he would have been able to tell.) The fact that 1 and 4 are bigger seems to mean SOMETHING but I am just not sure what. I searched and search online for some indication but never found one.
    3. There is no clip on the back of the controller which is awful. You have to carry it in your hand or put it in a pocket. I am always scared to put it in my pocket as i’m afraid I will accidentally mash a button. Would be WAY better with a clip so you could clip it on your clothing when you are outside
    4. Would be better if it had some sort of safety feature….like a plastic flip top. It would be sooo easy to accidentally administer a shock. Once I had it sitting on the chair next to me and my 4 year old daughter accidentally sat on it and shocked the crumbcakes out of the dog while he was eating! It was awful!
    5. Would also be nice if it had a beep feature. So you could hit the beep 1st and then vibrate or shock if they did not respond. This way they would learn to associate the beep with the unpleasant feeling…instead of just going straight to the unpleasant feeling and eventually the beep alone would be enough.


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    • jumpit
    • April 2, 2014
    189 of 192 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Dogwidgets(R) DW-3 Remote 1 Dog Training Shock Collar with Vibration (Misc.)
    This is a very effective collar, I usually have to only use the vibrate option. HOWEVER, the shocks aren’t correlated to the numbers as you would think. According to the manufacturer, this is what the numbers do:

    The numbers would be the duration of the shock,not the intensity level.
    1 & 3 has longer shock
    2 longer shock than 1
    4 has the shortest shock
    5 double shock
    6 triple shock

    My boyfriend and I tested it, and it seems like this is a good analogy to the shocks:

    4: – 1: __
    5: – – 2: ___
    6: – – – 3: ____

    So four would be the mildest shock, and 6 and 3 would be the harshest.

    Now I really like this collar, it doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable, and it falls asleep quickly but wakes up with the slightest movement which will save the battery and not compromise it’s use. The collar fits my 60 pound Aussie puppy well and stays on, although it loosens up after a few times of coming on and off (we take it off when he’s in the crate). Although I think that any dog should start off with the rubber tips: We tried the metal ones first as he’s a big dog, and we tried the 1 shock, and he jumped, whined, and hid under the bed the rest of the night. So maybe try the rubber tips on 4 first. The only reason for the 4 stars was that it didn’t come with info on the buttons, which leads to a lot of dogs being punished more severely than necessary


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