Monday, February 09, 2009


Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich (1849–1936) Russian physiologist; discovered conditioned reflexes, e.g. dogs salivating in anticipation of food; Nobel Prize 1904 for his work on the physiology of digestion.

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov would ring a bell and then feed the dog. Eventually, he only needed to ring the bell to trigger salivation in the dog, since it was anticipating food.

Here, we have our own little Pavlovian experiment.

It all started with my friend, CP, and her dog, Abby. We watched Abby for 10 weeks while their house was being renovated. They had taught Abby to like ice cubes! Whenever someone was getting ice from the door dispenser, she would run in and they would give her one.

Abby taught our two dogs, Jack and Blaze, to like ice cubes, too!

Blaze died in '06. Jack carried on the ice cube tradition and taught it to someone else.

We don't have a door dispenser, but we do have a freezer drawer. All we need to do is pull open the freezer door, and Missy will come running.



Jack will come only if he wants an ice cube. Missy will come back, even if she's just finished one.

Need to know where the puppy is? Open the freezer drawer.

The clever girl has figured out that sometimes ice cubes drop behind the drawer onto the floor of the freezer. When we pull the drawer out all the way, she can stick her little head in and grab an ice cube!

The freezer drawer - who knew it would become our Pavlov's Bell?

1 comment:

BA said...

Hobbes is the same way! We didn't purposely teach him to like ice cubes. One must have fallen one day, he tried it and liked it and now whenever he hears the dispenser, he comes running!


DaisypathAnniversary Years Ticker