Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,761 Posts
Yes, this is a fixed-action pattern. Something innate to the dog turns on a program in his brain and the behavior you see is the result of that program running. If you've ever seen a Border Collie shoot for a flock, a good BC will not run straight at the flock...he'll run in a pear-shaped pattern to influence the flock in a more controlled manner. That pear-shaped pattern is a fixed action pattern. I use to have a video or a rescue BC demonstrating this while chasing a tennis ball.

Elsa never roto-tillered the lawn after eliminating until she turned 3. Now she does it all the time. This is a fixed-action pattern too. The onset of fixed-action patterns is interesting. Some are so interesting they make you scratch your head, some are predictable and have a purpose.

For example, a new mama and her pup. If a wandering pup whines, mama dog is very good about retrieving the pup and bringing him back to the litter. That is until the 14th day. (I'm pulling 14 days out from memory) But after that 14th day mama stops retrieving the whining pup. It's time for pup to start exploring the world on his own. Whatever chemical reaction controlled the retrieving behavior ceases, and mama dog is no longer compelled to retrieve the pup. It's all so very interesting.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top