Friederike Range

Friederike Range
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna | vetmed · Konrad-Lorenz-Institut für Vergleichende Verhaltensforschung

PhD

About

368
Publications
63,517
Reads
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Introduction
Our research focuses on understanding the effects of domestication on animals’ social behaviour, personality, physical and social cognition. Our model species are wolves and dogs. To investigate the effects of domestication without the confounding factor of different experiences, we compare wolves and dogs living at the Wolf Science Center, that have been raised and are kept in the same way. Additionally, to understand how the socio-ecology of these species might affect their behaviour, and to evaluate the role of experience on social and physical cognition, we also conduct studies with both wild wolves and free-ranging dogs as well as pet dogs living in Vienna (Clever Dog Lab).
Additional affiliations
December 2018 - present
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Group leader of the Domestication Lab
October 2011 - May 2018
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
Position
  • Senior Researcher
May 2005 - September 2011
University of Vienna
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (368)
Article
Full-text available
Canids are believed to be clever animals applying sophisticated social and hunting strategies. However, current studies under natural conditions do not indicate higher cognitive requirements beyond associative learning, but likely also underestimate them as applied methods are still in a fledgling stage. Experimental studies on captive canids — alm...
Chapter
In the current chapter we focus on the social relationships dogs and wolves establish with their pack mates. Dominance and affiliation are relevant features to describe the social relationships of both wolves and dogs. In both species, submissive behaviours and greeting are the best indicators of formal dominance relationships, and in general a lin...
Chapter
In this final chapter we review the hypotheses that have been put forward in relation to ‘what changed’ from wolves to dogs in relation to behaviour and cognition. Based on the studies summarized in the different chapters we assess the support for each and outline where more effort is needed to fill the gaps in our knowledge. Finally, we give our o...
Chapter
In this chapter, we review studies comparing the social learning and cooperative abilities of wolves and dogs, both with conspecifics and humans. As regards social learning, their performance is similar in basic tasks involving local enhancement and observational memory. But when it comes to paying attention to the exact details of a demonstration...
Chapter
Understanding and making sense of the physical world may involve both learning and reasoning. In the current chapter, we explore studies comparing wolves’ and dogs’ speed and flexibility in learning, object permanence and means-end understanding, as well as different aspects relating to inferential reasoning and numerical competence.No major differ...
Chapter
Dogs, together with humans, are one of the most successful species on the planet. In the Western world, dogs usually live as companions and often take on important roles for their human partners. However, a larger proportion of dogs worldwide are free-ranging – living in the human environment, but otherwise making their own decisions. In this chapt...
Chapter
One of the most well-studied differences between wolves and dogs is their ability to understand and communicate with humans. Here we review these studies and come to surprising conclusions. Overall, based on current knowledge, dog-wolf differences in communicative abilities with humans appear rather small and if existing at all, they are quantitati...
Chapter
In chapter 6 we review studies exploring how wolves and dogs related to humans. Taken together results show that initial differences between wolves and dogs in their interactions with humans, when revisited, do not often hold up to closer inspection. Moreover, since the first comparisons almost 15 years ago, research on different dog populations ha...
Chapter
This short review summarizes aspects of the socio-ecology of wolves that might be relevant to understand dog-wolf differences in behaviour and cognition. It highlights the cooperative nature of wolves that usually live in family packs, raise their pups together, and jointly participate in hunting, as well as defending their territories and carcasse...
Chapter
When comparing the behavior and cognition of different species, several caveats need to be kept in mind such as the population the animals originated from as well as the kind of experiences they have acquired. In regard to wolves and dogs, several research groups have reared the animals in similar ways to allow for valid comparisons. Here we provid...
Chapter
Several factors may underlie the ability of animals to solve problems in the physical environment including motivation, attention and inhibitory control. Here we review studies comparing wolves and dogs on these aspects. The data available to date suggest that while wolves are more neophobic than dogs, they are also more explorative and manipulativ...
Article
The ability to represent approximate quantities appears to be phylogenetically widespread, but the selective pressures and proximate mechanisms favouring this ability remain unknown. We analysed quantity discrimination data from 672 subjects across 33 bird and mammal species, using a novel Bayesian model that combined phylogenetic regression with a...
Article
Based on claims that dogs are less aggressive and show more sophisticated socio-cognitive skills compared with wolves, dog domestication has been invoked to support the idea that humans underwent a similar ‘self-domestication’ process. Here, we review studies on wolf–dog differences and conclude that results do not support such claims: dogs do not...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, Bray et al. (2021) showed that behavioural performance in cognitive tasks involving humans is highly heritable in dog puppies. Although the paper shows substantial heritability of specific behavioural traits, the absence of control conditions does not allow for strong support of the authors’ claim that the cognitive performance they measu...
Article
Full-text available
Social relationships can be described by a series of components, all having putatively different functional roles in the lives of humans and other social species. For instance, certain relationship characteristics can strongly influence how individuals deal with stress, ultimately influencing their fitness. However, species vary highly in regard to...
Conference Paper
Reputation is a key component in social interactions of group-living animals. Considering dogs’ dependence on humans, it may benefit them to form reputations of humans to choose an appropriate partner with whom to associate. It is also unknown whether this ability is an effect of domestication or inherited from their ancestor, wolves. This study in...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic dogs have been shown to reciprocate help received from conspecifics in food-giving tasks. However, it is not yet known whether dogs also reciprocate help received from humans. Here, we investigated whether dogs reciprocate the receipt of food from humans. In an experience phase, subjects encountered a helpful human who provided them with f...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs’ increased human-directed sociability compared to wolves may be the result of increased oxytocin system activity and decreased stress responses, but comparative studies accounting for life experience are lacking. We compared hand-raised, pack-living wolves’ and dogs’ behavior and hormone concentrations after interacting with a closely bonded a...
Article
Full-text available
Oxytocin (OT) promotes pro-sociality, bonding, and cooperation in a variety of species. Measuring oxytocin metabolite (OTM) concentrations in urine or saliva provides intriguing opportunities to study human and animal behaviour with minimal disturbance. However, a thorough validation of analytical methods and an assessment of the physiological sign...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between dogs and their owners is characterized by an affective and enduring bond. It has been suggested that oxytocin might be the underlying mechanism driving this relationship, however evidence is mixed. In this study we tested whether intranasally administered oxytocin (compared to saline) would influence dogs’ behavioural synch...
Article
Full-text available
Within the last decade, oxytocin (OT) has attracted a lot of attention in the context of various human social behaviors. Besides its importance in regulating physiological processes in females related to giving birth and lactation, OT is involved in the establishment and maintenance of social relationships, trust and emotion recognition. However, r...
Article
Full-text available
Reputation is a key component in social interactions of group-living animals and appears to play a role in the establishment of cooperation. Animals can form a reputation of an individual by directly interacting with them or by observing them interact with a third party, i.e., eavesdropping. Elephants are an interesting taxon in which to investigat...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs are exceptionally well adapted to life close to humans, and alterations in their endocrine system during the domestication process may be an underlying mechanism. In particular, it has been suggested that low circulating cortisol concentrations in conjunction with simultaneously high oxytocin concentrations may have resulted in dogs' increased...
Article
Full-text available
Due to domestication, dogs differ from wolves in the way they respond to their environment, including to humans. Selection for tameness and the associated changes to the autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulation have been proposed as the primary mechanisms of domestication. To test this idea, we compared two low-arousal states in equally raised and...
Article
Full-text available
In humans, age-related changes in personality occur in a non-random fashion with respect to their direction, timing, and magnitude. In dogs, there are still gaps in our knowledge about the detailed dynamics of age-related personality changes. We analysed the personality of 217 Border collies aged from 0.5 to 15 years both cross-sectionally and long...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs demonstrate behavioural changes and cognitive decline during aging. Compared to laboratory dogs, little is known about aging in pet dogs exposed to different environments and nutrition. In this study, we examined the effects of age, an enriched diet and lifelong training on different behavioural and cognitive measures in 119 pet dogs (>6yrs)....
Article
Full-text available
A wide array of species throughout the animal kingdom has shown the ability to distinguish between quantities. Aside from being important for optimal foraging decisions, this ability seems to also be of great relevance in group-living animals as it allows them to inform their decisions regarding engagement in between-group conflicts based on the si...
Article
Full-text available
Eavesdropping is the acquisition of information by observing third-party interactions. Considering dogs’ (Canis lupus familiaris) dependence on humans, it would be beneficial for them to eavesdrop on human interactions to choose an appropriate partner to associate with. Previous studies have found that dogs preferred a human who acted generously or...
Article
Full-text available
Cooperation is vital for the survival of many species and has been extensively researched at the ultimate level however, there is a considerable degree of variation within a given species in the extent of cooperative behaviours exhibited. Possible factors that have been discussed to contribute to this variation are the social relationship between t...
Article
Full-text available
Inequity aversion, the resistance to inequitable outcomes, has been demonstrated in a wide variety of animal species. Inequity aversion was hypothesised to have co-evolved with cooperation but only limited evidence supports this. Dogs provide a suitable model species to test this hypothesis as dogs were previously shown to be inequity averse and do...
Article
Full-text available
Self-control has been shown to be linked with being cooperative and successful in humans and with the g-factor in chimpanzees. As such, it is likely to play an important role in all forms of problem-solving. Self-control, however, does not just vary across individuals but seems also to be dependent on the ecological niche of the respective species....
Article
Full-text available
The impossible task paradigm has been extensively used to study the looking back behaviour in dogs. This behaviour is commonly considered a social problem-solving strategy: dogs facing an unsolvable task, soon give up and look back at the experimenter to ask for help. We aimed to test if the looking back in an impossible task does indeed represent...
Article
Full-text available
The results of current wolf-dog studies on human-directed behaviors seem to suggest that domestication has acted on dogs’ general attitudes and not on specific socio-cognitive skills. A recent hypothesis suggests that domestication may have increased dogs’ overall sociability (hypersociability hypothesis). The aim of the present study was to test o...
Article
Over the last few years, oxytocin (OT) administration to investigate the role of the oxytocinergic system in the social behavior of dogs has become of more and more interest. To date, the most common OT administration method for dogs is the intranasal spray commonly used for humans. Due to the different nasal conformation of dogs and the unpleasant...
Article
Full-text available
In comparison to non-human animals, humans are highly flexible in cooperative tasks, which may be a result of their ability to understand a partner’s role in such interactions. Here, we tested if wolves and dogs could flexibly adjust their behaviour according to whether they needed a partner to solve a cooperative loose string-pulling paradigm. Fir...
Article
Full-text available
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195448.].
Article
Full-text available
Oxytocin (OT) is involved in multiple social bonds, from attachment between parents and offspring to “friendships”. Dogs are an interesting species in which to investigate the link between the oxytocinergic system and social bonds since they establish preferential bonds with their own species but also with humans. Studies have shown that the oxytoc...
Article
Full-text available
Prosociality is important for initiating cooperation. Interestingly, while wolves rely heavily on cooperation, dogs' do so substantially less thus leading to the prediction that wolves are more prosocial than dogs. However, domestication hypotheses suggest dogs have been selected for higher cooperation, leading to the opposing prediction-increased...
Article
Full-text available
Prosociality is important for initiating cooperation. Interestingly, while wolves rely heavily on cooperation, dogs' do so substantially less thus leading to the prediction that wolves are more prosocial than dogs. However, domestication hypotheses suggest dogs have been selected for higher cooperation, leading to the opposing prediction-increased...
Article
Assessing changes in oxytocin (OT) levels in response to a variety of social stimuli has become of major interest in the field of behavioral endocrinology. OT is involved in the regulation of various aspects of social behavior such as tolerance, and the formation and maintenance of social bonds but also the regulation of stress. All of these aspect...
Data
Detailed diagram of the testing set-up. (JPG)
Data
The pool of three stimuli used in the test. Each subject was randomly assigned two of these; one as the ‘giving’ and one as the ‘control’ symbol. (TIF)
Data
Mean number of giving by wolves and dogs in the three control conditions. (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
Persistence in object manipulation has been consistently associated with problem-solving success and it is known to be affected, at the individual level, by life experience. Differences in life experiences are particularly poorly studied in the problem-solving context and mainly refer to the comparison between wild and captive animals. Dogs represe...
Data
Additional analyses in pet dogs on the possible effect of testing location on interaction time and persistence. (DOCX)
Data
Additional statistics comparing free-ranging dogs tested alone and in the presence of other dogs, in the ball test. (DOCX)
Data
Free-ranging dog tested with the ball. (MP4)
Data
Additional statistics comparing Pd and FRd that carried out both ball and bottle test. (DOCX)
Data
Free-ranging dog tested with the ball. (MP4)
Article
Full-text available
Cooperative interactions frequently result in the acquisition of resources that have to be shared. Distribution of such resources should be equitable for cooperation to be beneficial. One mechanism thought to maintain cooperation through promotion of equitable reward distribution is inequity aversion, the resistance to inequitable outcomes. Inequit...