How Dogs Learn

Home of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 4 Dogs Playing Poker Photo Slate Hanging

It is a very important question for all dog owners that how exactly dogs learn? It can play a crucial role to know how the dogs think and respond. It can help any dog owner to train his dog faster and better. Humans learn about things and actions through verbal communication. But unlike humans, dogs do not have the ability of verbal communication like humans. They do bark to communicate their message to others but that is not enough. Refer below to understand how dogs learn:


One of the most important tools for the dogs to learn about certain things or situations is observation. If you are a dog owner, you must have seen your dog staring at something that is unfamiliar to him. At that point, he is observing that thing and trying to understand. Once he has made his mind about the thing, he reacts accordingly. If he thinks that it is something safe, he will approach with ease and comfort. If he thinks that the thing can be harmful, he will be alerted and will approach with care and caution.

Gestures and Behaviors:

Another important way for a dog to learn is through gestures and behaviors. A dog does not understand what his owner asks him to do. All he understands is owner’s gesture and voice. When he asks the dog to fetch something, he does not understand what the owner is asking him to do. He just makes an observation of owner’s gesture and voice and makes a judgment call. Once he has completed the task, he looks at the owner’s gesture and behavior to know whether he has done the right thing or not.

Conditional Learning:

There have been different psychologists like Skinner and Pavlov who have experimented and studied behavioral and classical conditioning in various dogs. They have come to the conclusion that dogs do respond to the classical and operant conditioning. For example, when a dog owner is taking his dog out, he attaches leash to his collar. Attaching leash is an operant conditioning that helps the dog to learn and know that he is going out with his owner. In conditioning learning, the dog attaches a certain condition to something.

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Home of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 4 Dogs Playing Poker Photo Slate Hanging

Home of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 4 Dogs Playing Poker Photo Slate Hanging

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