Every Sunday I post to Instagram and Facebook my ramblings and observations about my week immersed in my doggy/ child centred world that is P.A.W.S.
According to the Russian physiologist Pavlov, dogs have the ability to learn conditioning reflexes, which are behaviours that are predicted and learned in response to a set, repeated pattern of stimuli. In Pavlov's case contrary to what you were taught at school, his dogs responded by salivating to the sight of him in a white coat (rather than the sound of a bell as was once believed) as they had learned to associate this visual stimuli with getting food, hence they would salivate. Once the dogs learned that when Pavlov entered the room in his white coat, they would be fed the sight of him promoted the response every time.
Basil the Greyhound pictured, also salivates and licks his lips every time I get my phone out and point it at him, he also does it when I ask him to perform a task. In fact alot of my adventure dogs are so clever and switched on, that they often perform the task without me even asking and salivate in anticipation of the treat. They know the routine, they've learned the behaviour and they expect the reward. Their ability to learn linked sequences of events make them an extremely trainable species, enabling them to be trained to do pretty much anything.
I recently shared a post on Facebook about the rescue Staffie who has been trained to sniff out drugs and cash for the Police. I work with a dog who is an Assistance Dog for a young lady in a wheelchair, he helps her around the house doing domestic chores for her, and last week I met a dog who alerts her owners when her blood sugars are high or low. Dogs are such amazing creatures who love to learn, have the mental capacity to work things out and can use their super scenses to save lives.
So for today's ' PAWS for Thought' I'm asking you to view your dog as more than just a cute fluff ball (although they are of course that too). I want you to recognise their huge potential and mental capabilities, they will get bored if you don't stimulate them, they will develop issues if they are not interacted with and they will get depressed if they're left alone, getting frustrated all day. Give them what they deserve and teach them to reach their potential...it's huge! Enjoy your Sunday.