Motley Dog Dog Training, theory of Canine Memory

Well, ok it scares me a little when one of the most famous dog trainers in the US still does not think that dogs have memories.  As a Psychologist this really freaks me out when he is being called to help a dog that has developed a specific phobia of another dog, do to repeated attacks. One thing that impresses me the most about dogs is that they are far, far better then we are at interpreting social ques. This evidence not only means they have memory but, that they are actually more intelligent then we are in this specific domain.

Studies showing some of the true capabilities of dogs inspired me to become a dog trainer/behaviorist.  As these discoveries are made it is obvious at least to Mot and I that dogs are capable of far more then we credit them. As I learn about or use applied psychology I have come to realize there are two things we must know to improve dog training. 1. true capabilities of the dog, 2. knowing these specialties we develop better methods of communication focusing on these strong points.

Yep that is were Motley and I are now, I have already come up with two new techniques that show great promise.  Motley Dog Dog Training has only been in existence since March of 2013.  Don’t want to toot our own horn but Motley is doing a great job. Our next logical step here is comparative anatomy.  With the internet being all jacked up with people trying to sell you stuff it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a credible source of hard science but, we will do it. My theory is that we will find that certain structures in the canine brain are more advance then ours.  Like the structure used for social recognition tasks and there may be others.


Just a little something to think about.



2015 update:

Dog have long term memory. That is why they consistently know who you are when you return from work everyday. They have working memory. Have you ever been trying to train you dog to do something new and they get that look and start frantically trying to figure out what you want? They are thinking solving a problem in working memory.  Dogs also have superior sensory memory.  They can remember, sounds, smells visual cues and tactile experiences.  There are some big dogs, psychologists from places like Cambridge that have been working on testing this for years.

The bottom line is that there is enough converging evidence to support the idea that dogs have similar memory structure to ours. One major difference between the way dogs gather information from the world in comparison to us. Dogs have far superior senses to ours with the possible exception of sight. So, when they enter a room it is full of sounds and smells that we can not even detect. I believe this gives them a far more pronounce memory of the “episode”.  Dogs are also masters of interpreting body language () this includes micro-expression. This ability to process visual and olfactory cues (changes in your body sent) make memories they encode very different from ours.  Keeping this in mind Motley and I design our training methods accordingly.

we will keep updating

Well, here we are in 2o17.

Almost all of my theories have been supported by, university psychologists all over the world.  Apparently human psychologist are growing bored with human behavior and more and more of them are studying dogs. Very helpful, thanks guys. There is one interesting caveat to this. Dogs do not learn best from other dogs… My Bad !!! cant win them all. Wolves learn best from other wolves but, as Motley and I have stated dogs are not Wolves. Seems we are the best models for our dogs. At least some research is pointing in that direction. As for the memory theories we are doing pretty well. Since we have covered the conscious portion of memory the last frontier is the unconscious memory or implicit memory.

Long term memory for most of us seem to be stored in either proposition/semantic or procedural forms.  Basically, since this is not a psychology course, we remember “the jist of things” basically what we expect to have happened, kind of like Laftus work on eye witness testimony. Basically we remember the “episode/scenario”. The other, procedural memory, is just like it sounds. We remember step 1, 2, 3 and so on. Hopefully we remember all steps and complete them in the correct order. This shows why procedural memory is far more likely to fail then an episodic type of memory.  This is why Motleys episodic/elaborative dog training is more effective.  Now the problem with studying implicit memory in dogs is that most experiments are based on verbal communication. Basically implicit memory is the stuff you remember without even knowing that you are remembering it.  In normal speak, we repeat things over and over again with the hope that it will become automatic. When you do something without every a though that could be implicit memory. The problem is that research seems to show that 1. some things can become a long term memory the first time you do it and somethings never seem to sink in. Experiments seem to show that if you have the right cue, often called a prime you may remember information you could not recover consciously. I think you can see how tricky working with implicit memory can be So, we will hope those psychologists in the ivory towers figure out some experiments for this one.  If they do will will see how it goes.

Until then.  Enjoy

Motley and Jeau