Fig. 2.9. Shows vocalization before (trial 1), during presentation (trial 2), and after withdrawal of the test stimulus (trial 3). Note that contact with a passive or active human produces more reduction of separation distress than when in the presence of the mother. After Pettijohn et al. (1977).
Puppies not exposed to separation experiences early in their development tend to become excessively reactive when they are finally exposed to it. Elliot and Scott (1961) evaluated the reactions of several groups of puppies that were exposed for the first time to separation in a strange pen at different ages beginning at week 3. The puppies were divided into four groups. Group 1 was first exposed to separation in a strange pen at 3 weeks of age—an experience that was subsequently repeated on a weekly basis through week 1 2. The other puppies were similarly exposed to weekly testing, but it was delayed until they were 6 weeks old (group 2), 9 weeks old (group 3), and 12 weeks old (group 4). Interestingly, puppies belonging to group 4 that were not exposed to separation until 1 2 weeks of age appeared to panic and were unable to cope effectively with such experiences, whereas the other groups (especially group 1) appeared to have learned how to adjust more effectively when separated from littermates—that is, they appeared to have habituated to the separation experience (Fig. 2.10). Additionally, this study also demonstrated that there exists a definite relationship between increasing reactivity to sep-
Fig. 2.10. Pattern of habituation to separation at various age groups. Note strong reaction of the 12-week group not previously exposed to separation. After Elliot and Scott (1961).
Vocalization/ 1 minute
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