Are You as Smart as a Dog?

ClickerExpo 2016 - Ken Ramirez - Clip -

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For more than a decade, Ken has been sharing his approach to conceptual training at ClickerExpo! These Sessions have helped attendees advance their training by approaching advanced concepts very systematically (modifier cues, adduction, matching to sample, mimicry, and many more!). But the Sessions have also led to some interesting research opportunities for Ken.

Most recently Ken demonstrated how to teach dogs to count! But what started as a basic conceptual project continued to get bigger and more complicated. Various scientists convinced Ken to take the project further and turn it into real research. Ken was blessed to have an enthusiastic dog that seemed to enjoy the process of learning, so he continued the project to new levels. To the best of Ken’s knowledge, he has taken this project further than has been attempted with any dog previously. His research also revealed contradictions and controversy within the child cognitive psychological community. These developments prompted additional questions about what the new information might indicate about a seldom-studied cognitive ability in dogs.

In this Session, Ken will share the various phases of the project, including teaching the concept, the challenges of turning it into research, and how the project evolved over time. In addition, he will reveal some of the data from this project and discuss the implications as he compares that data with research performed with children.