Molly is a 6 month old miniature boxer/pitbull mix that has rounded out our pack. She has a malocclusion of her jaw which can at times be mistaken for a smug grin, and was integrated into the pack within 48 hours with minimal regression displayed by her sisters. She has earned the name Mogwai for generating sounds similar to Gizmo from Gremlins, but her markings resemble those of a baby calf.
Psychological Principles– Molly is a mischievous puppy known to thieve socks, shirts, and other undergarments from any bedroom or bathroom she passes. In response to playing with objects she is disallowed (undesirable behavior), punishments in the form of issuing a verbal reprimand while concurrently providing her with a substitutive object (desirable behavior), she has been reducing the frequency of her thefts while obtaining reinforcement for her tendency to more selectively choose appropriate objects as toys. Aspects of Molly’s behavior can also be understood by elucidating tenets of Social Learning Theory. Even though Molly has seen her sisters receive punishment for similar crimes, she does not always respond to her own punishments. Her attentiveness towards her sisters, retention of their naughty behaviors, and ability to reproduce their behaviors contribute to her imitation of them. Either the hardwiring which has her imitating the species-specific behavior of her sisters is innately strong, or the mediating influence of her rewards and punishments are not sufficient to sustain the desirable behavior.