Imitation # 2

scorp & will

Thanks for your comments with examples of what looks like imitation in dogs and cats. I was especially intrigued by the cat stories, having had a cat myself who did a perfect imitation of a herding Border Collie after watching me work Luke every day. Luke and I would drive the sheep up the hill to the pasture, and Ayla, my tiny, gray cat, would follow behind. She often sit on a log and watch as I worked Luke on gathering and driving. The sheep, although never abused, did not enjoy this exercise as much and Luke and I, and were always ready to bolt to the barn if given half the chance. When that happened, Luke would have to streak around them at lightening speed and stop them. When we were done working I'd say "That'll Do" to Luke and let the sheep run back down the hill. Once they Read More

The Secret Life of Dogs

There is a great BBC special on dogs on YouTube, (sent to me by an alert reader, thank you!). I spend so much time in front of my computer that I rarely want to watch an hour long show on it . . but this time I sat down and didn't move for 60 minutes. It's called The Secret Life of Dogs, and it's great. Hands (and paws) down, great. It has sections on Miklosi's work on dog barks (people are very good at discriminating between barks given in 6 different contexts), Juliane Kaminksi's work on the ability of dogs to follow a pointing gesture (which chimps and wolves do not seem able to do), Belyaev's & Trut's work on selection for docility in foxes (resulting in a profound number of physical as well as behavioral changes which basically result in domesticated foxes in 20 generations), and Read More