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12 votespbrady supported this idea ·
Video of a dog doing the Imitation Experiment:
An Answer from Dr. Adam Miklosi:
Are dogs able to imitate the action of others?
In 2006 we published the first scientific study on imitation in dogs (Topál et al 2006). This was followed by some debate whether one can really speak about ‘imitation’ in this situation. We defined imitation as the ability to perform a functionally analogue behaviour after seeing in done by others (humans or dogs).
We believe that dogs, as a social species, are able to imitate an action shown by others but it is very difficult to provide a clear evidence for this under controlled experimental conditions. Our procedure was the first to provide strong evidence, despite the fact that dog trainers or people working with dogs (e.g. shepherds) probably relied on this ability already many 100 years ago. Given the assumption that dogs have the ability…
An error occurred while saving the commentpbrady commented
Interesting... I'll have to experiment a bit with this. My dog, a GSD, has already shown that she watches a number of things I do and reproduces them to accomplish her goals :-))) She opens fence latches, could open the garage using the opener (until I put a dog-proof cover over it), opens door that use lever latches, and can deal with crash-bar type water fountains. I particularly remember the fountain since she spent as much time getting her drink as looking at where my hand was placed :-)
As you acknowledge, this is not really a new concept... but it IS a poorly documented and exploited concept.
An answer from Dr. Josep Call:
Thank very much for your inquiry, which touches on a crucial topic in the area of Animal Cognition.
There is no question that dogs remember several aspects of their daily lives including things like the places where they go (e.g., the park) and the routes that they take to get there (e.g., by the lake rather than across the woods), the activities that they engage in (e.g., playing catch), the objects that they use for those activities (e.g., Frisbee) as well as the people that share those activities with them. Without memory not only those activities would be vastly impaired, but even some more basic things like recognizing familiar smells and people or learning new things would be impossible for dogs.
Memory plays such a crucial role in our mental lives as well as those of our furry best friends that it…