Friday, January 11, 2008

Conditioned Behavior

The famous psychology experiment by Pavlof showed that you can incite a response to a stimulus even if the stimulus is not provided. His experiment was to ring a bell, then give dogs food. After this was repeated for multiple days the dogs started salivating at the sound of the bell, expecting food. In time he did not even have to provide the food, just the bell would make the dogs salivate even if they did not get food afterward.

At our house we have joked that seeing me makes the dog have to poop. It doesn't matter when I get home, it doesn't matter if they were just outside, when I come home the dogs have to go outside. I'm sure this goes back to when they were pups and I would come home from work to let them out. Though I can't say they poop everytime they go out.

Now it seems seeing me is making Kateri poop. It started because I usually clean up poop while the alpacas are eating. Kateri loves to be the first to poop after the pile is cleaned up, so she would poop right after she was done eating. Then there were some days I didn't clean the poop, but Kateri still would poop after eating. After a couple weeks I noticed when I walked up to the barn to feed them supper, Kateri would poop upon seeing me. She wasn't even waiting until after she ate, or for the cleaned up poop pile. Yesterday hit a new point, I was going for a walk and walked by the pasture, it was not meal time for them, but Kateri saw me and walked over to the pile to poop. Seems I make her poop. Not sure I want to be associated with poop!

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