Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Human-Sheepdog Distributed Cognitive Systems: An Analysis of Interspecies Cognitive Scaffolding in a Sheepdog Trial

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Cognition and Culture

Humans coordinate with other people and technological resources in order to become integrated into distributed cognitive systems and engage the world in ways beyond their naked capacities. This paper extends the distributed cognitive framework towards human and dog partnerships at a sheepdog trial, arguing that by scaffolding the sheepdog’s cognitive limitations and inability to tackle the trial independently, the human handler forms with the canine partner an interspecies cognitive system. The handler serves as a higher-order cognitive resource integrated through the use of commands and complementing the sheepdog’s own species-specific skills. The process and structure of support reflects parent – child interaction as framed in the developmental literature. However, scaffolding in this instance is a permanent support structure that is situation dependent; the handler must equally be aware of when the dog’s initiative and skills can be advantageously exploited. This paper draws on ethnographic illustrations of the training methods and detailed descriptions of on-field interactions to support these claims. Data at this level of analysis also provides evidence of the reciprocally affecting and co-determining role of each partner as they engage the sheep, and coordinate in ways that blur the boundaries between their two species, supporting broader perspectives in the human-animal literature.

Affiliations: 1: Macquarie University Australia


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Belland B.R. "Distributed cognition as a lens to understand the effects of scaffolds: the role of transfer of responsibility" Educ. Psychology Review 2011 Vol 23 577 600
2. Bibok M.B. , Jeremy C.I.M. , Muller U. "Parental scaffolding and the development of the executive function" New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development 2009 Vol 123 17 34
3. Butler W. Launchbaugh K.L. , Sanders K.D. , Mosley J.C. "Using stockdogs for low stress livestock handling" Grazing Behavior of Livestock and Wildlife, Pacific Northwest Range Short Course 1999 Moscow, ID University of Idaho 75 78
4. Carlson S.M. "Social origins of executive function development" New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development 2009 Vol 123 87 97
5. Clark A. Being There. Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again 1997 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
6. Clark A. "Towards a science of the bio-technological mind" International Journal of Cognition and Technology 2002 Vol 1 21 33
7. Clark A. Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence 2004 New York, NY Oxford University Press
8. Clark A. , Chalmers D. "The extended mind" Analysis 1998 Vol 58 10 23
9. Coppinger R. , Coppinger L. Dogs. A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behaviour and Evolution 2001 New York, NY Scribner
10. Cox G. , Ashford T. "Riddle me this: The craft and concept of animal mind" Science Technology and Human Values 1998 Vol 23 425 438
11. Gacsi M. , McGreevy P. , Kara E. , Miklosi A. "Effects of selection for cooperation and attention in dogs" Behavioral and Brain Functions 2009 Vol 5 31
12. Hall E.T. "Proxemics" Current Anthropology 1968 Vol 9 83 92
13. Haraway D. When Species Meet 2008 Minneapolis, MN University of Minnesota Press
14. Hearne V. Adam’s Task. Calling Animals by Name 1986 New York, NY Skyhorse
15. Helton W.S. Helton W.S. "Canine ergonomics. Introduction to the new science of working-dogs" Canine Ergonomics. The Science of Working-dogs 2009 Boca Raton, FL CRC Press 1 16
16. Holland V.S. Herding Dogs: Progressive Training 1994 New York, NY Howell Bookhouse
17. Hutchins E. Cognition in the Wild 1995 Cambridge, MA MIT Press
18. Kalof L. Looking at Animals in Human History 2007 London Reaktion
19. Kelley R.B. Sheep Dogs. Their Breeding and Maintenance 1942 Sydney, NSW Halstead Press
20. Kirsh D. Dror I.E. , Harnad S. "Distributed cognition: A methodological note" Cognition Distributed: How technology extends our minds 2008 Amsterdam John Benjamins 57 69
21. Laurier E. , Maze R. , Lundin J. "Putting the dog back in the park: Animal and human mind-in-action" Mind, Culture and Activity 2006 Vol 13 2 24
22. Marschark E.D. , Baenninger R. "Modification of instinctive herding behavior using reinforcement and punishment" Anthrozoos 2002 Vol 15 51 68
23. McCulloch J.H. Sheep Dogs and their Masters 1946 3rd edn. Lunenburg, MA Toft East
24. Menary R. Cognitive Integration: Mind and cognition unbound 2007 New York, NY Palgrave Macmillan
25. Michaels M. Reconnecting Culture, Technology and Nature 2000 London Routledge
26. Michalko R. The Two in One. Walking with Smokie, Walking with Blindness 1999 Philadelphia, PA Temple University Press
27. Miklosi A. Dog Behaviour, Evolution and Cognition 2001 Oxford Oxford University Press
28. Miklósi A. , Kubinyi E. , Topál J. , Gácsi M. , Virányi Z. , Csányi V. "A simple reason for a big difference: wolves do not look back at humans, but dogs do" Current Biology 2003 Vol 13 763 766
29. Naderi Sz. , Miklosi A. , Doka A. , Csanyi V. "Co-operative interactions between blind persons and their dogs" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2001 Vol 74 59 80
30. Patton P. Wolfe C. "Language, power and the training of Horses" Zoontologies: The Question Of The Animal 2003 Minneapolis, MN University of Minnesota Press 83 99
31. Pea R.D. "The social and technological dimensions of scaffolding and related theoretical concepts for learning, education, and human activity" The Journal of the Learning Sciences 2004 Vol 13 423 451
32. Perkins D.N. Salomon G. "Person-plus: A distributed view of thinking and learning" Distributed Cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations 1993 Cambridge Cambridge University Press 88 110
33. Poirier P. , Chicoisne G. Dror I.E. , Harnad S. "A framework for thinking about distributed cognition" Cognition Distributed: How technology extends our minds 2008 Amsterdam John Benjamins 25 43
34. Range F. , Virányi Zs. , Huber L. "Selective imitation in dogs" Current Biology 2007 Vol 17 868 872
35. Shipman P. "The animal connection and human evolution" Current Anthropology 2010 Vol 51 519 525
36. Stone C.A. "The metaphor of scaffolding: Its utility for the field of learning disabilities" Journal of Learning Disabilities 1998 Vol 31 344 364
37. Sutton J. "Distributed cognition: domains and dimensions" Pragmatics and Cognition 2006 Vol 14 235 247
38. Sutton J. Menary R. "Exograms and interdisciplinarity: history, the extended mind, and the civilizing process" The Extended Mind 2010 Cambridge, MA MIT Press 189 225
39. Sutton J. , Harris C.B. , Keil P.G. , Barnier A.J. "The psychology of memory, extended cognition, and socially distributed remembering" Phenomenology of Cognitive Science 2010 Vol 9 521 560
40. Udell M.A.R , Doery N.R. , Wynne C.D.L. "What did domestication do to dogs? A new account of dogs’ sensitivity to human actions" Biological Review 2010 Vol 85 327 345
41. Urdank A.M. " The rationalisation of rural sport: British sheepdog trials, 1873–1946 " Rural History 2006 Vol 17 65 82
42. van de Pol J. , Volman M. , Beishuizen J. "Scaffolding in teacher-student interaction. A decade of research" Education Psychological Review 2010 Vol 22 271 296
43. Williams T. Working Sheep Dogs. A Practical Guide to Breeding, Training and Handling 2007 Collingwood, VIC Landlinks Press
44. Wolfe C. "Learning from Temple Grandin, or animal studies, disability studies, and who comes after the subject" New Formations 2008 Vol 64 110 123
45. Wood D. , Bruner J.S. , Ross G. "The role of tutoring in problem solving" Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 1976 Vol 17 89 100

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Cognition and Culture — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation