when the zoologist Konrad Lorenz He traveled to Sweden in 1973 to receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his studies on animal behaviorHe was far from realizing the significance of his discoveries and assertions. He described, among many other things, a phenomenon—or better said, a process—that is manifested by all animals belonging to a gregarious species: die-cutting, printing, imprinting or sensitive period. Through this particular mechanism they record or remember markedly for the rest of their lives the first thing they see, smell or hear at the beginning of their existence.
In this way, the scientist took goose eggs about to hatch to his bedside table and his face was the first that these delicate anserines saw and smelled. In other words, the body of the iconic Konrad Lorenz became for them that of the maternal species which they would follow throughout their lives. To check whether it was a simple and mere process of human influence that determined the result, it was necessary to disregard any relationship with the forms. In this way, the expert resorted to extreme situations such as considering the animals the visualization of a simple box, ruling out any influence of the shapes or the presence of a person.
The results obtained were similar. The discovery of this natural process allowed a better understanding of the learning mechanisms of animals. At the same time, Lorenz worked on violence and some of its manifestations to ensure that an animal that has nothing to defend is not aggressive.
It is very likely that Lorenz’s complex work has actively collaborated in domestication, transforming the image of the human being into that of the maternal species of many animals throughout natural history. Particularly in the dog, This circumstance, called the sensitive period, takes place between birth and four months of age, and must be used to properly socialize the animal by exposing it to the different stimuli that the surrounding world provides.
It is also recommended that we continue to take care of him from dangerous exposures in terms of poor immune protection, but building an inventory as varied as possible that will serve him in the future as a file of situations and elements that will make his life much more relaxed and less fearful. existence. This being the case, a kind of habituation to different situations will be forged that would be impossible to arrive at if we execute the mistaken concept of “sanitary isolation or sanitary confinement” that some propose, ruling out that a living being is a complete and integrated whole between the physical and the emotions.
It is not for nothing that dogs have developed cognitive structures similar to those of humans, probably as a consequence of this phenomenon of domestication. So they regulate, control and moderate their impulses and their behaviors in a very similar way to us, almost like the little ones do. A dog learns to control his attitudes like a boy does, inhibiting his desire to gnaw on furniture or bark at visitors, remembering routines and doing what his guardian says.
*Prof. Dr. Juan Enrique Romero @drromerook is a veterinarian. Specialist in University Education. Master in Psychoimmunoneuroendocrinology. Former Director of the School Hospital for Small Animals (UNLPam). University Professor in several Argentine universities. International speaker.
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