Essay about Why Dogs Are More Human Like Than Any Other Species

1150 Words Jun 2nd, 2016 null Page
I have been an “animal lover” as long as I can remember. My mother volunteers for an animal shelter, and growing up, we were frequently bottle feeding kittens and ferrying all sorts of injured critters to appropriate specialists. I still love cats. I have one that sleeps on me every night. As much as I enjoy cuddling with my cats, I have never had as strong of an emotional connection with them as I have with my dogs. Have you ever felt that dogs are just special when it comes to animals? Some research suggests “…that in many ways dogs are more human-like than any other species, including non-human primates.” (Udell & Wynne, 2008, p. 247). Udell & Wynne argue during the tens of thousands of years of co-evolution with humans, dogs became sensitive to social stimuli (in the form of ques and gestures) from humans “as a result of a natural history of operant and classical conditioning…”(2008, p. 247). As an adult, I have enjoyed working closely with the dogs in my life to teach them appropriate behaviors and enhance our social bond. I have observed the results of unintentional classical conditioning in my dogs, but when I am intentionally training them, I almost always use operant conditioning. Classical conditioning and operant conditioning are two forms of learning that we are constantly presented with. In both, we learn to “associate pairs of events” and that association impacts our behavior (Gerrig, 2013, p. 147).

Classical conditioning often involves a biologic measure,…

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