When do dogs help humans?
Contributor(s):: Bräuer, Juliane, Schönefeld, Katja, Call, Josep
Here we investigate whether domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) engage in instrumental helping towards humans without special training. We hypothesized that dogs would help a human if the human's goal was made as obvious as possible. Therefore we used a set-up in which a human attempted to enter a...
Human directed aggression in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris): Occurrence in different contexts and risk factors
Contributor(s):: Casey, Rachel A., Loftus, Bethany, Bolster, Christine, Richards, Gemma J., Blackwell, Emily J.
The consequence for dogs of showing aggression towards people is often euthanasia or relinquishment. Aggression is also a sign of compromised welfare in dogs, and a public health issue for people. The aims of this study were to estimate the numbers of dogs showing aggression to people in three...
Exploring the dog park: Relationships between social behaviours, personality and cortisol in companion dogs
Contributor(s):: Ottenheimer Carrier, Lydia, Cyr, Amanda, Anderson, Rita E., Walsh, Carolyn J.
The relationships between behaviour, owner-rated personality, and cortisol were examined in companion dogs that visited a local off-leash dog park. In Study 1, salivary cortisol increased significantly from baseline levels following 20min in the dog park (P=0.013), but not in the same dogs...
Development and validation of a quality of life assessment tool for use in kennelled dogs (Canis familiaris)
Contributor(s):: Kiddie, Jenna L., Collins, Lisa M.
There is currently no objective and validated quality of life assessment tool available to assess the quality of life of domestic dogs in kennels. This study aimed to develop a validated scoring system to assess the quality of life of dogs kennelled in rehoming centres. Objective animal-based...
Understanding of human communicative motives in domestic dogs
Contributor(s):: Pettersson, Helene, Kaminski, Juliane, Herrmann, Esther, Tomasello, Michael
Chimpanzees find it easier to locate food when a human prohibits them from going to a certain location than when she indicates that location helpfully. Human children, in contrast, use the cooperative gesture more readily. The question here was whether domestic dogs are more like chimpanzees, in...
Training methods and owner–dog interactions: Links with dog behaviour and learning ability
Contributor(s):: Rooney, Nicola Jane, Cowan, Sarah
The methods by which owners train their pet dogs range widely, with some exclusively using rewards, and others using a combination, or only punishment-based methods. This paper examines links between the way in which owners reported to have trained their dogs and observations of the dogs’...
Effect of mares’ dominance rank on suckling behaviour in the loose housed domestic horses
Contributor(s):: Komárková, Martina, Bartošová, Jitka, Dubcová, Jana
Suckling is a main part of maternal investment in equids. The suckling period is crucial for adequate physical as well as psychical development of the foal. The rank of the mother and her aggressiveness could be factors responsible for later reproductive or social success of the foal. We...
The effect of familiarity on behaviour of kennel housed dogs during interactions with humans
Contributor(s):: Pullen, Anne J., Merrill, Ralph J. N., Bradshaw, John W. S.
Human contact appears to be a highly valued resource for domestic dogs but it is unclear what type of human contact they prefer and what factors affect individual differences in such preferences. This study assessed the effect of familiarity of the human on duration of interaction by two samples...
Evolution of facial muscle anatomy in dogs
Contributor(s):: Kaminski, J., Waller, B. M., Diogo, R., Hartstone-Rose, A., Burrows, A. M.
Domestication shaped wolves into dogs and transformed both their behavior and their anatomy. Here we show that, in only 33,000 y, domestication transformed the facial muscle anatomy of dogs specifically for facial communication with humans. Based on dissections of dog and wolf heads, we show that...
Reinforcer effectiveness in dogs—The influence of quantity and quality
Contributor(s):: Riemer, Stefanie, Ellis, Sarah L. H., Thompson, Hannah, Burman, Oliver H. P.
Reinforcer effectiveness refers to the reinforcer’s ability to control the subject’s target behaviour and is therefore critical to training success. Yet animals’ preferences, and the effectiveness of different rewards to function as reinforcers, are often assumed without scientific investigation....
The nose may not know: Dogs’ reactions to rattlesnake odours
Contributor(s):: Mulholland, Michele M., Olivas, Victoria, Caine, Nancy G.
According to anecdotal reports from dog (Canis lupus familiaris) owners and data from veterinary studies, domestic dogs often fail to avoid, and indeed will approach, venomous snakes. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that odours associated with rattlesnakes will elicit investigation, but not...
Why do dogs play? Function and welfare implications of play in the domestic dog
Contributor(s):: Sommerville, Rebecca, O’Connor, Emily A., Asher, Lucy
Play is an enigmatic behaviour, the function of which is still debated, despite more than a century of research. We discuss the evolutionary function of play behaviour, focusing on the domestic dog (Canis familiaris), a unique species due to its past domestication and current cohabitation with...
Comparing two canine personality assessments: Convergence of the MCPQ-R and DPQ and consensus between dog owners and dog walkers
Contributor(s):: Posluns, Julie A., Anderson, Rita E., Walsh, Carolyn J.
Despite the number of emerging questionnaire-based canine personality assessments, there is still no consensus on the content and number of broad personality dimensions in domestic dogs. In the current study, we compared two canine personality questionnaires: The Monash Canine Personality...
Behaviour directed towards inaccessible food predicts consumption—A novel way of assessing food preference
Contributor(s):: Thompson, Hannah, Riemer, Stefanie, Ellis, Sarah L. H., Burman, Oliver H. P.
When determining an animal’s food preference based on comparative consumption, a major problem is the potential for individuals to over-eat, rendering subjects unavailable for subsequent tests as well as exposing them to potentially adverse health implications. Here, we explored alternative,...
Effect of training for dog fear identification on dog owner ratings of fear in familiar and unfamiliar dogs
Contributor(s):: Flint, Hannah E., Coe, Jason B., Pearl, David L., Serpell, James A., Niel, Lee
Scientific studies often assess aspects of dog behaviour, such as fear, via owner reports. More information on how accurate these ratings are for dogs displaying different levels of fear would be valuable. The current study assessed which fear behaviours dog owners are able to reliably recognize...
Gazing as a help requesting behavior: a comparison of dogs participating in animal-assisted interventions and pet dogs
Contributor(s):: Cavalli, C., Carballo, F., Dzik, M. V., Bentosela, M.
Effects of breed group and development on dogs' willingness to follow a human misleading advice
Contributor(s):: Barnard, S., Passalacqua, C., Pelosi, A., Valsecchi, P., Prato-Previde, E.
Cross-species referential signalling events in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris)
| Contributor(s):: Worsley, H. K., O'Hara, S. J.
The Way Humans Behave Modulates the Emotional State of Piglets
| Contributor(s):: Sophie Brajon, Jean-Paul Laforest, Océane Schmitt, Nicholas Devillers
The emotional state can influence decision-making under ambiguity. Cognitive bias tests (CBT) proved to be a promising indicator of the affective valence of animals in a context of farm animal welfare. Although it is well-known that humans can influence the intensity of fear and reactions of...
Dogs (Canis familiaris), but Not Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Understand Imperative Pointing
| Contributor(s):: Katharina C. Kirchhofer, Felizitas Zimmermann, Juliane Kaminski, Michael Tomasello
Chimpanzees routinely follow the gaze of humans to outside targets. However, in most studies using object choice they fail to use communicative gestures (e.g. pointing) to find hidden food. Chimpanzees' failure to do this may be due to several difficulties with this paradigm. They may, for...