Our Process Based on Veterinary Clinical Ethology – Natural Gos – Centro de adiestramiento canino

Método y Técnica

History and evolution of Ethology and its application in Natural Gos

We treat dogs and cats in their natural environment, with great emphasis on including the customer in the learning process

Our Work Process

  • Scientific rigor based on learning theories

  • Constantly updated to optimize working techniques


As a clinical ethology center, led by a professional with a veterinary degree specialized in this field, it is of great importance to observe animal behavior as a starting point and reference before any other intervention takes place, thereby realizing a thorough evaluation to know the customer and the dog or cat in everyday situations and environment.

We are constantly updating our knowledge. Our treatments for dogs and cats are made both innatural environments and in the client’s house with any kind of stimuli, since our goal is that the animal learns to manage any circumstances inan adaptive manner on their own; instead ofcoercively inhibiting their behavior.

The practical application of learning theories and behavioral knowledge is done throughout the process in order to improve diagnosis and treatment, as well asto provide results based on clear improvements in communication and behavior.

Timeline: Precursors of the Ethology, Animal education and Training.

We share the following timeline for you to observe the development of theories and research techniques on behavior modification.


The twentieth century is known for the beginnings of two attempts to understanding human and animal behavior: Ethology and Behaviorism.

Classical Ethology

Biological and comparative study of behavior, or how the animal interacts with its environment.


C.O. Whitman takes the first steps in understanding biological behavior to show what hecalled instinctive behavior, which was tobe developed in line with morphological structures.


Photo: By Unknown author, must have been taken before 1911 – The University of Chicago Library http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/charleswhitman/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44372197


W. Craig creates the appetitive behavior and consummatory model, according to which part of the behavior (appetitive behavior) would be variable and searched; while another part would terminate the sequence of innate structure (consummatory act), and would be carried out in response to the stimulus.


Oskar and Magdalena Heirnoth published Birds of Central Europe. They demonstrated the existence of fixed behaviors and features of each species, inherited from the parents, and clearly identifiable from the behavior acquired by learning.


Photo: By Unknown – Popular Science Monthly Volume 80, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20033685


Konrad Lorenz introduced the “Fixed Action Guidelines” concept, and published Energy Specific Action (1937) and Innate Trigger Mechanism (1950), where fixed patterns of behavior are triggered in the presence of certain stimuli.


Photo: By Eurobas – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7311962

1907 – 1988

Nikolaas Tinbergen defined Ethology as the biological study of behavior, and coined four questions that must be answered to understand any behavior:

  • What causes behavior?
  • What is its function?
  • What is its evolutionary origin? (Phylogeny)?
  • What is its development? (Ontogeny)


Photo: By Lorenz_and_Tinbergen2.jpg: Max Planck Gesellschaftderivative work: Materialscientist – This file was derived from  Lorenz and Tinbergen2.jpg:, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20425349


B.F._Skinner at Harvard circa 1950

Konrad Lorenz, Karl von Frisch and Nikolaas Tinbergen won the Nobel Prize for developing the study of Animal Behavior or Ethology. Lorenz is considered the “Father of Ethology”.

Photo: Konrad Lorenz por Eurobas – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7311962

Biological and comparative study of behavior, or how the animal interacts with their environment.

Behaviorism: mechanisms of behavior.

From the evolutionary theories of Darwin, the animals become a model of study.


Ivan Pavlov began studying the salivary response and other reflexes in dogs. He develops the theory of Conditioned Reflex, in which an unconditioned stimulus is associated with a neutral stimulus that causes the subject to subsequently respond to the neutral stimulus with the response issued before the unconditioned stimulus (Classical Conditioning).

Ivan PavlovPhoto: Ivan Pavlov by Unknown – http://ihm.nlm.nih.gov/images/B21072 – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ivan_Pavlov_NLM3.jpg

Conditioned Reflex

1904 - Pavlov wins the Nobel Prize in Medicine and his Classical Conditioning theory gains popularity


Thorndyke’s LAW OF EFFECT.

Photo: By Unknown – Popular Science Monthly Volume 80, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20033685

He developed the learning theory of trial and error: the behavior is not a simple response to a stimulus, but it also acts upon the environment.
He put a cat inside a box where it could escape simply, but since there was no stimulus, it did not happen.
An appetitive stimulus is added and the animals accidentally solves the problem. Facing the stimulus, the animal is able to solve the problem quicker over time (a behavior followed by a reinforcement tends tobe repeated).



J.B. Watson is considered the founder of the school of Behaviorism. He affirmed the negligible influence of hereditary factors and highlighted the influence carried outby the environment. According to him, even emotional reactions are learned, just like any other reaction.


Photo: By Unknown (pre-1923 photo) Watson, per the link in the source, left Johns Hopkins in 1921 (on bad terms). This is a photo of him there. – http://www.jhu.edu/gazette/2001/jan2201/22watson.html The Johns Hopkins Gazette (Johns Hopkins University), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21212553


Watson and Rosalie Rayner conducted the famous experiment “Little Albert“.
It focuses on behavior while rejecting any mental aspects.

Video: Title: Little Albert experiment (1920).web. Author: John B. Watson. Date: 1920

1904 – 1990

Skinner (1904 – 1990) Theory of Operant Conditioning: behaviors can be explained, predictable and controllable from the functional relationships with its environmental antecedents and consequences, rejecting exhibitions based on internal constructs.

B.F._Skinner at Harvard circa 1950
Photo: B.F. Skinner de Silly rabbit – self-made (by User:Silly rabbit). Updated in the Gimp by User:Michaelrayw2., CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3487621

In Classical Ethology, the scientist goes and observes he animal's environment. On the other hand,in Behaviorism, the scientist controls the environment and therefore modulates behavior.

Ecology and Sociobiology Behavior

1936 – 2000

William D. Hamilton triggers a conceptual revolution in the study of the evolution of behavior, providing an explanation to the frequent presence of cooperative behaviors and altruism among animals in the wildby introducing concepts, such as inclusive fitness and kin selection:

Individuals, as “survival machines” in the service and under the control of the genes, would replicate them to a greater or lesser degree, depending on their own psycho-physiological effectiveness.


Photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6076103


Edward O. Wilson published Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975), summarizing the information from a variety of disciplines (Ethology, Ecology, Evolution, Population Biology, among others), in an attempt to condensate the knowledge of what had been considered a branch of Biology, so far. According to him:

“Biology is getting reduced to chemistry and physics”

Edward O. Wilson
Photo: By Jim Harrison – PLoS, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4146822

Upcoming Events (Sliding Panel)

Veterinaria para Adiestradores

Bloque 1: Neurofisiología y endocrinología de la conducta.

Bloque 2: Patologías que causan problemas de comportamiento.

Bloque 3: Veterinarios y educadores caninos: terapia multifocal.

Resolución de casos clínicos por parte del alumnado.

El objetivo es que el alumnado sea capaz de realizar:

Obtención de información necesaria.
Diagnóstico diferencial.
Tratamiento del problema:
Utilización de terapias biológicas, sí, no y porqué.
Técnicas de modificación de conducta.

When will it take place?

  • May 28th
  • in Lleida

Consulta más información sobre este seminario.

Who teaches it?

Mariona Monrós

Visit her curriculum vitae

Graduate Veterinary by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
GPCert in Animal Behavior by the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies