Scientific foundations of the Hundeo app: A comprehensive overview

The Hundeo app specializes in holistic and reward-based training for dogs. The app provides a platform to help dog owners train their dogs effectively and scientifically. Understanding the science behind the app is critical to ensuring the effectiveness of the training. This article highlights the scientific methods and studies that form the basis for the training approaches used in the app.

Reward-based vs. aversive methods

One of the most important aspects of modern dog training is the use of reward-based methods, also known as "positive reinforcement." Aversive methods are training approaches that use unpleasant stimuli to stop unwanted behavior. The study by Ana Catarina Vieira de Castro et al (1) supports the effectiveness of reward-based methods. It shows that aversive methods can increase cortisol levels in dogs, a clear indicator of stress. Therefore, reward-based training is less stressful and more positive for the dog and its well-being.

Clicker Training and Operant Conditioning

Clicker training is a special form of positive reinforcement and an example of "operant conditioning," a learning process in which a behavior is reinforced or weakened through rewards or punishments. Clicker training works by using a specific sound (the "click") as a signal for an upcoming reward. A study by Rachel J. Gilchrist et al (2) confirms the effectiveness of clicker training and emphasizes clear and consistent communication between the dog and the trainer. This study also shows that other communication methods, such as a marker word, are effective.

Frequency and consistency of the reward

The frequency and consistency of rewards are critical to training success. A 2020 study by Giulia Cimarelli et al. (3) examined how partial rewards in clicker training affect dogs' learning speed and emotional state. The study concluded that partial rewards neither improve learning speed nor have a positive impact on dogs' emotional state. On the contrary, they may even induce a negative emotional state. Based on these findings, Hundeo integrates constant reward repetitions into the app to ensure more effective and emotionally positive training.

Dominance and cognitive learning in dog training

The traditional concept of dominance in dog training is viewed critically in current scientific research. According to a study by John W.S. Bradshaw et al (4), the term "dominance" is often misunderstood and should not be described as a character trait of an individual dog. Rather than focusing on dominance, the authors suggest that associative learning and the subjective value of a resource may offer better explanations for canine behavior. Associative learning refers to learning by association or linking two events.
In this context, the Hundeo app offers a modern approach to dog training. Instead of using outdated and potentially misleading concepts like dominance, the app relies on scientifically sound methods based on cooperation, associative learning and strengthening the bond between human and dog. By integrating these insights, Hundeo enables more effective, stress-free and emotionally positive training for dogs and their well-being. This highlights the importance of modern, research-based approaches to dog training and shows how technology and science can go hand-in-hand to revolutionize dog training.

Gamification and learning

The use of gamification elements in learning environments has gained importance in recent years. Gamification refers to the application of game elements in a non-game context. A meta-analysis by Sailer and Homner (5) confirms that gamification can make learning more effective by increasing motivation. Hundeo builds on this by providing a variety of gamification elements such as confetti, trophies, and progress indicators for each successfully completed exercise to increase the dog owner's motivation.

The role of technology and future research

Integrating technology into dog training offers new opportunities for effective training. Apps like Hundeo can help individualize the training process and better track progress. Through machine learning, the app can analyze the dog owner's preferences and each dog's challenges and adjust training accordingly. Future research projects conducted in collaboration with Hundeo will focus on the long-term impact of gamification elements specifically in dog training and the application of machine learning to individualize training.

Developed together with experts

Hundeo was developed in close collaboration with renowned experts. The collaboration with experts ensures that the app is based on sound knowledge and best practices. For the area of health and care, the veterinarian Mag. med. vet. Emin Jasarevic was involved. In the area of nutrition, nutritionist Julia Neumann provided advice. In the area of education the dog trainers Melanie Fydrich, Anja Boecker, Saskia Schmöker as well as the Trickdoggerinnen Sonja Heidbrink and Kira Schreiter were involved. For puppy topics, breeder Caroline Zeidler was involved.

Concluding remarks

The Hundeo app is based on a series of scientific studies and methods aimed at providing effective and sustainable dog training. The app's multidisciplinary approach shows promising results for modern dog training. The combination of technology and scientific research has the potential to revolutionize the way we train our dogs. We update this article annually to reflect the latest scientific findings and also plan to conduct independent studies in these areas.