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Domestic dog cognition and behavior: The scientific study of canis familiaris

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Abstract

This book highlights the state of the field in the new, provocative line of research into the cognition and behavior of the domestic dog. Eleven chapters from leading researchers describe innovative methods from comparative psychology, ethology and behavioral biology, which are combined to create a more comprehensive picture of the behavior of Canis familiaris than ever before. Each of the book's three parts highlights one of the perspectives relevant to providing a full understanding of the dog. Part I covers the perceptual abilities of dogs and the effect of interbreeding. Part II includes observational and experimental results from studies of social cognition - such as learning and social referencing - and physical cognition in canids, while Part III summarizes the work in the field to date, reviewing various conceptual and methodological approaches and testing anthropomorphisms with regard to dogs. The final chapter discusses the practical application of behavioral and cognitive results to promote animal welfare. This volume reflects a modern shift in science toward considering and studying domestic dogs for their own sake, not only insofar as they reflect back on human beings. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.

Chapters (11)

Canine olfaction is a rich field of study for the behavioural sciences and neurosciences, and it is rich in interdisciplinary connections. This chapter will explore the neurocognitive and neuroconative bases of olfaction (the neurophysi-ological foundations of cognition and motivation), and discuss the behavioural, psychological, and semiotic dimensions of scent processing. It will cover the basic psychophysics of olfaction and the methodologies allowing us to explore this sensory modality, as well as the complex cognitive and motivational dimensions of scent. This chapter will open with an overview of the different disciplines involved in the study of canine olfaction. Some basic anatomy and neuroscience will be reviewed, mostly with direct reference to behaviour and associated psychological processes (e.g., cognitive, motivational, and affective systems). For the behavioural aspect of olfaction, a discussion of the contrasting, yet complementary methods of ethology and experimental psychology will be examined. The importance of both field and laboratory research will be highlighted. Olfaction ''in context'' will also be discussed in reference to zoosemiotics and in order to understand the canine olfactory psychoethology in its most meaningful and functional dimension: processing ''signs'' (including symptoms as with dogs trained for biomedical applications such as symptom detection). We will conclude with a short commentary on the human-canine sensory symbiosis with sniffer dogs.
Domestic dogs display an extraordinary level of phenotypic diversity in morphology and behavior. Furthermore, due to breeding practices introduced during the nineteenth century, these phenotypic traits have become relatively 'fixed' within breeds, allowing biologists to obtain unique insights regarding the genetic bases of behavioral diversity, and the effects of domestication and artificial selection on temperament. Here we explore differences in behavior among the 30 most popular dog breeds registered with the American Kennel Club based on owner responses to a standardized and validated behavioral questionnaire (C-BARQ). The findings indicate that some breed-associated temperament traits (e.g. fear/anxiety) may be linked to specific gene mutations, while others may represent more general behavioral legacies of 'ancient' ancestry, physical deformity, and/or human selection for specific functional abilities. They also suggest that previous efforts to relate dog breed popularity to behavior may have failed due to the confounding effects of body size.
The ease of observing and reliably identifying dogs makes them prime candidates for ethological and observational studies of a wide variety of behaviors including social play, social dominance, social organization, and urination patterns. In this chapter I discuss research on social play behavior and urination/scent-marking patterns. Through long-term observational studies, we have catalogued the behaviors of play, including play requests, communication of intentions, and arbitration and negotiation of fair play. Using this behavioral category as a model, we can discuss questions of the evolution of morality and social justice. Similarly, by detailed study of scent-marking behavior, we can deduce the evolutionary history of different patterns of elimination. Finally, a systematic ethological approach is contrasted with the casual-observational approach of popular literature on dogs. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.
The question of social learning in dogs is characterized by dispute. Ever since Thorndike more than a century ago, researchers believed that domestic dogs have poor social learning skills. However, recently it has been proposed that dogs have enhanced social cognitive skills due to their selection to live in the human environment and cooperative with humans. Thus, dogs might not just be able to learn through observation from conspecifics but also from humans. The most convincing argument for the latter assumption would be experimental evidence of true imitation, since imitation is considered to be the most complex and also most rare social learning mechanism in the animal kingdom. In this chapter, we will report recent evidence first of social facilitation and social influences on individual learning and then of true social learning in dogs. The latter includes three hallmarks of imitation: faithful copying (of both a human and a conspecific model), deferred imitation, and selective imitation. In the final part we address the potential origins of these remarkable skills of dogs. We propose imitation has been inherited from their ancestors, wolves, which are well known for their advanced social system, including cooperative breeding and hunting. This hypothesis has recently been supported by experimental evidence with wolves outperforming dogs in a manipulative problem-solving task after observation of a skilled conspecific. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.
The study of dog social cognition is relatively recent and is rapidly developing, providing an interesting and multi-faceted picture of our ‘‘best friend’s’’ sociocognitive abilities. In particular, since Miklósi et al.’s (2003) seminal work ‘‘A simple reason for a big difference: wolves do not look back at humans, but dogs do’’, there has been a surge of interest in the area of dog–human communication. In the current chapter we focus on dogs’ comprehension of the human gaze and their ability to use human-directed-gazing as a communicative tool. We first review studies on the social significance of human eye contact for dogs, their understanding of eyes as indicators of attention, and their ability to take another’s visual perspective into account. We also consider dogs’ understanding of human eye-gaze as a communicative act, in terms of its potentially referential nature and as an ostensive cue signalling the communicative intent of the actor. We then move on to review studies on dogs’ human-directed gazing behaviour, discussing whether it may be considered part of an intentional and referential communicative act, what the underlying motivations and contexts in which this behaviour is exhibited may be, and what variables affect its occurrence. Where open questions remains, we outline current debates and highlight potential directions for future research.
The common history of Homo sapiens and Canis lupus familiaris dates back to between 11,000 and 32,000 years ago, when some wolves (Canis lupus) started living closely with humans. Although we cannot reach back into the past to measure the relative roles of wolves and humans in the ensuing domestication process, it was perhaps the first involving humans and another animal species. Yet its consequences for both species' history are not completely understood. One of the puzzling aspects yet to be understood about the human-dog dyad is how dogs so readily engage in communication in the context of a social interactions with humans. To be sensitive to the meaning of human speech and gestures, dogs need to attend to various visual and vocal cues, in order to reconstruct the messages from patterns of human behavior that remain stable over time, while also generalizing to unfamiliar, novel contexts. This chapter will discuss this topic in light of some of the recent findings about dogs' perceptual capacities for social cues. We describe some of the new technologies that are being used to better describe these perceptual processes, and present the results of a preliminary experiment using a portable eye-tracking system to gather data about dogs' visual attention in a social interaction with humans, ending with a discussion of the possible cognitive mechanisms underlying dogs' use of human social cues. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.
In this chapter, we explore whether domestic dogs and gray wolves share a similar cognitive development with regards to how they represent physical and/or social objects. To reach this objective, we examine two key components of the Piagetian theory of cognitive development in the gray wolf: object permanence and sensorimotor intelligence. We detail how the capacity to search and locate disappearing objects develops in wolves and compare these data with those observed in previous studies with dogs. We then further describe an observational study of sensorimotor intelligence with these wolves. Overall, the results suggest that the development of object permanence is similar in dogs and wolves, both species reaching Stage 5b of object permanence by the age of 11 weeks. In terms of sensorimotor intelligence, Stage 4 was the upper limit of sensorimotor intelli- gence we observed in wolves. Moreover, up to 6 weeks of age, the behaviors of wolf puppies are directed predominantly towards their conspecifics, and by Week 8, wolves’ interest in inanimate object increases significantly. In discussion, we explore the factors affecting the development of object permanence and sensori- motor intelligence in canines.
What are 'dog cognition' studies actually studying? What role does the dog play in behaviour research? In this essay we consider how to study this species from the ethologist's perspective by providing a critical summary of the various approaches and explaining how these can answer questions on function, evolution, mechanism, and development and by highlighting the potential pitfalls in methodology. It is impossible to claim that one dog is more dog-like than others and it is now evident that even the concept of breed per se presents some problematic issues from the canid ethologist's perspective. Thus for any sampling it is fundamental to keep in mind what is the research question and to choose the subjects according to what aspects are expected to be relevant. In general the researcher should include a wide range of purebred dogs and mongrels living in human families in a representative sample. When sampling for investigations comparing wolves and dogs, we must bear in mind that dogs present a mosaic pattern of wolf-like traits and cannot be ranked along a strict continuum when assessing their differences from wolves. Therefore for comparative studies and also when the research question regards general dog abilities, a mixed sample of purebred dogs and mongrels is advisable. It is probably even more important to ensure that all animals have had similar past experience, especially with regard to humans. It should be noted that those dog owners that participate on a voluntary basis in a research program are already a specific sub-sample because it is very likely that those owners are particularly interested and take special care of their dogs. Thus it is also likely that these owners want to be part of the experiment and these dogs may actually also 'need' the presence of the owner. If the experiment is designed carefully the presence of the owner should not interfere with the outcome. The lack of a generally accepted ethogram is hindering behaviour research on dogs. The scientific community should aim for developing a categorical list of behaviour units that forms the basis of behavioural observations and experimental work. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.
As a companion to humans, the domestic dog is naturally interpreted from a human-centered (anthropocentric) perspective. Indeed, dog behavior and actions are often explained by using anthropomorphisms: attributions to the dog that would hold if the actor were human. While sometimes useful, anthropomorphisms also have the potential to be misleading or incorrect. In this chapter we describe work to replace an anthropocentric perspective with a more dog-centered research program. First we detail research systematically testing anthropomorphisms of emotional complexity-the appearance of guilt and jealousy-that are made of dogs, by testing the context of appearance of the guilty look and by testing advantageous and disadvantageous inequity aversion. Relatedly, we describe research looking at the contribution of specific dog physical attributes to human preference and anthropomorphizing. Finally, we identify anthropocentric and canid-centric elements of our own and others' research, and suggest ways that research can be more sensitive to the dog's umwelt. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.
In this chapter we attempt to put the dog back at the heart of dog cognition studies. We identify that the majority of dogs are not first-world pets, dependent on their owners for the fulfillment of all essential needs, and acting as their ‘‘best friends.’’ Rather most dogs are scavengers on the periphery of people’s lives. These dogs are more likely to avoid human contact than seek it. The sen- sitivity of pet dogs to human actions and intentions that has been a major focus of recent research is unlikely to be a special adaptation or case of co-evolution, but rather is the expression of basic processes of conditioning as well as social and biological traits that domesticated and wild canids share. In individuals that have been socialized to humans and rendered completely dependent on them these processes lead to high levels of sensitivity to human actions. The fundamental differences between dog and wolf behavior lie at more basic levels: in the pro- cesses of socialization, in foraging, and in reproduction. Small but crucial inter- twined changes led to an animal that is (1) more promiscuous than any other canid, (2) can reproduce more rapidly, and (3) is a much less effective hunter but (4) more efficient scavenger than other canids. The indirect consequences of these changes include the fact that we have dogs and not wolves resting at our feet. Though it may be a little less flattering to the human species, we believe this perspective on dogs is at least as fascinating and closer to the historical truth than the story that humans created dogs.
Our understanding of the welfare of companion animals is both incomplete and fragmentary. For domestic dogs, most research has focused on animals that do not have stable relationships with people, such as dogs in laboratories and rehoming kennels. The welfare of pet dogs has received limited attention, presumably due to an assumption that owners have their best interests at heart. However, owners' conceptions of their companion's needs can be inconsistent or even contradictory. Dogs are, on the one hand, sentimentalised via anthropomorphic interpretations, but on the other, mythologized as the descendants of savage wolves requiring harsh correction before they will conform to the demands of living alongside people. Canine welfare science attempts to replace such mythos with objective norms that have proved effective when applied to other domesticated species. However, animal welfare science is rarely value-free or unambiguous, since it has variously been defined in terms of physical health, psychological well-being, and the freedom to perform 'natural' behaviour. Here we attempt to strike a balance between each of these approaches while addressing a wide variety of current issues in canine welfare, including: concerns arising from the breeding of pedigree dogs; inappropriate training methods; and the widespread occurrence of behavioural disorders. We finish by describing some barriers to improvement in dog welfare, including owners' anthropomorphisms, the challenges of finding reliable indicators of well-being, and the effects of applying erroneous conceptual frameworks to the dog-owner relationship. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.
... And yet, in the last several decades, the proliferation of research tools and methodologies in ethology and the natural sciences on the one hand (Diamond 1993), and the nonhuman turn in the humanities on the other (Grusin 2015), has launched a research program fundamentally reconceptualizing the field of animal ethics and beyond. Ample documentation of nonhuman ethics has been demonstrated within species by primatologists, ethologists, and botanists in the last decades (Baluška 2013;Bartal et al. 2011;Bekoff 2007;Burghardt 1997;Horowitz 2014;Waal et al. 2006;Waal 2017Waal , 2010Waal , 2007Witzany & Baluška 2012). That these scientists derive their conclusions of ethical capacities based on the methods and patterns of species and interspecies signaling suggests that biosemiotics has much to add to this debate. ...
... The classic example on the macro scale is dog marking of territory. Through such markings, other dogs can determine the sex of spraying dog, whether that dog is pregnant or in heat, etc. (Horowitz 2014). Scents and olfactory traces are the most common forms of stigmergy among plant and insect populations. ...
... De acordo com o dicionário Aurelio, uma definição de culpa é o "sentimento que resulta da consciência da violação de uma regra moral". Portanto, quando dizemos que o cão sentiu culpa por se comportar de forma incorreta, assumimos que ele entende as regras estabelecidas por nós humanos, que sabe distinguir o certo do errado e que voluntariamente quebrou a regra (Horowitz & Hecht, 2014). Da mesma forma, quando dizemos que o cão se vingou, damos por fato que ele se sentiu lesado pelo ato de um terceiro e que agiu voluntariamente para lesar o outro (também é implícito certo planejamento da ação de vingança por parte do cão). ...
... Sem atribuir culpas, vendetas e ciúmes, podemos olhar para o comportamento do cão pela perspectiva do cão e tentar entender melhor como ele percebe e o que aprende do nosso comportamento. Podemos delinear experimentos centrados no cão e interpretar seu comportamento de acordo com suas habilidades sociais e cognitivas (Horowitz & Hecht, 2014). Enfim, validando e tolerando as diferenças entre cães e humanos, na ciência e em casa, estamos integrando os cães à nossa sociedade de forma justa e "ainda poderemos nos apegar a eles, compartilhar nossa vida com eles e adotá-los como filhos substitutos sem ter que nos desculpar por isso" (Donaldson, 2013, p. 3). ...
... De acordo com o dicionário Aurelio, uma definição de culpa é o "sentimento que resulta da consciência da violação de uma regra moral". Portanto, quando dizemos que o cão sentiu culpa por se comportar de forma incorreta, assumimos que ele entende as regras estabelecidas por nós humanos, que sabe distinguir o certo do errado e que voluntariamente quebrou a regra (Horowitz & Hecht, 2014). Da mesma forma, quando dizemos que o cão se vingou, damos por fato que ele se sentiu lesado pelo ato de um terceiro e que agiu voluntariamente para lesar o outro (também é implícito certo planejamento da ação de vingança por parte do cão). ...
... Sem atribuir culpas, vendetas e ciúmes, podemos olhar para o comportamento do cão pela perspectiva do cão e tentar entender melhor como ele percebe e o que aprende do nosso comportamento. Podemos delinear experimentos centrados no cão e interpretar seu comportamento de acordo com suas habilidades sociais e cognitivas (Horowitz & Hecht, 2014). Enfim, validando e tolerando as diferenças entre cães e humanos, na ciência e em casa, estamos integrando os cães à nossa sociedade de forma justa e "ainda poderemos nos apegar a eles, compartilhar nossa vida com eles e adotá-los como filhos substitutos sem ter que nos desculpar por isso" (Donaldson, 2013, p. 3). ...
... In general, the olfactory bulb and its projection structures, including the olfactory tract and striae, are larger in dogs than in humans in absolute terms and relative to brain size (Kavoi and Jameela 2011), suggesting higher olfactory functionality (Haehner et al. 2008). In numbers, olfactory receptors are 30 times more in dogs ( ≈ 200 million) compared to humans ( ≈ 6 million) (Horowitz 2014;Lindsay 2013). In particular, however, the actual size of the olfactory epithelium varies largely across breeds (Quignon et al. 2003), paralled by inter-breed differences in behavioural outcome: Dog breeds selected for olfactory tasks (scenting breeds) and wolves performed better in detecting one of four pots baited with a food reward than short-nosed and non-scent breeds (Polgár et al. 2016). ...
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The extraordinary olfactory capabilities in detection and rescue dogs are well-known. However, the olfactory performance varies by breed and search environment (Jezierski et al. in Forensic Sci Int 237:112–118, 2014), as well as by the quantity of training (Horowitz et al. in Learn Motivation 44(4):207–217, 2013). While detection of an olfactory cue inherently demands a judgment regarding the presence or absence of a cue at a given location, olfactory discrimination requires an assessment of quantity, a task demanding more attention and, hence, decreasing reliability as an informational source (Horowitz et al. 2013). This study aims at gaining more clarity on detection and discrimination of olfactory cues in untrained dogs and in a variety of dog breeds. Using a two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) paradigm, we assessed olfactory detection scores by presenting a varied quantity of food reward under one or the other hidden cup, and discrimination scores by presenting two varied quantities of food reward under both hidden cups. We found relatively reliable detection performances across all breeds and limited discrimination abilities, modulated by breed. We discuss our findings in relation to the cognitive demands imposed by the tasks and the cephalic index of the dog breeds.
... Especially, owners of ROTT and BSD might perform these activities because they might be afraid that their dogs are strong enough to harm other people and need to be "under the control" of the owner. On the other hand, ROTT do not show increased stranger-directed, dog-directed and owner-directed aggression or dog rivalry as compared to other dog breeds [37]. This could indicate that ROTT owners either successfully take part in activities like (rally)obedience or dog school training. ...
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Dog ownership contributes positively to physical activity (PA). The impact of different dog breeds and age on PA is less investigated in longitudinal studies. This study aimed to evaluate PA changes in dog owners as their dogs' ages increased and to explore whether there are differences in PA between owners of different breeds over a three-year period. Owners of different dog breeds were categorized into nine groups according to the perceived energy level and size of the breed. PA was monitored using an online questionnaire for three consecutive years. Linear mixed models (LMM) showed a small, but significant decrease in total PA, leisure time walking, dog-related PA and dog walking over three years. No decreases were found if only participants who attended at all time points were included. In all LMM analyses, a significant relationship between the dog breed and the outcomes of PA were shown. At baseline, dog owners performed different types of activities depending on their dog breed. In conclusion, owners of different dog breeds differ in their types of PA. The study emphasizes that age, size and energy level of the dog does not per se have an impact on dog owners PA. Citation: Hielscher-Zdzieblik, B.; Froboese, I.; Serpell, J.; Gansloßer, U. Impact of Dog's Age and Breed on Dog Owner's Physical Activity: A German Longitudinal Study.
... Recently, a number of biological and behavioural fields, from comparative psychology to epidemiology to evolutionary biology, have become interested in a subject right in front of their noses: the domestic dog. Dogs are not only a common companion-an estimated 75 million live in US homes-but are an increasingly common subject for scholarly research (Horowitz 2014). At the same time, a field of study of the interaction of dogs with their most frequent companion, humans, has emerged. ...
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Despite the growing interest in research on the interaction between humans and dogs, only a very few research projects focus on the routines between dogs and their owners. In this study, we investigated one such routine: dog-human play. Dyadic interspecific play is known to be a common interaction between owner and charge, but the details of what counts as play have not been thoroughly researched. Similarly, though people represent that "play" is pleasurable, no study has yet undertaken to determine whether different forms of play are associated with different affective states. Thus, we aimed to generate an inventory of the forms of dyadic play, the vocalizations within play, and to investigate the relationship of affect to elements of play. Via a global citizen science project, we solicited videotapes of dog-human play sessions from dog owners. We coded 187 play bouts via frame-by-frame video playback. We then assessed the relationship between various intra-bout variables and owner affect (positive or neutral) during play (dog affect was overwhelmingly positive). Amount of physical contact ("touch"), level of activity of owner ("movement"), and physical closeness of dog-owner dyad ("proximity") were highly correlated with positive affect. Owner vocalizations were found to contain different elements in positive- and neutral-affect play. One novel category of play, "tease", was found. We conclude that not all play is created equal: the experience of play to the owner participant is strongly related to a few identifiable characteristics of the interaction.
... Pet dogs live in an enduring intimate relationship with humans, often from puppy age on. As reviewed in several recent books [29][30][31][32], dogs have developed specific sociocognitive capacities to communicate and form relationships with humans. Most likely caused by a mixture of phylogenetic (domestication) and ontogenetic (experience) factors, dogs living in the human household show high levels of attentiveness towards human behavior (reviewed in [33]), follow human gestures like no other animal, (e.g. ...
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From all non-human animals dogs are very likely the best decoders of human behavior. In addition to a high sensitivity to human attentive status and to ostensive cues, they are able to distinguish between individual human faces and even between human facial expressions. However, so far little is known about how they process human faces and to what extent this is influenced by experience. Here we present an eye-tracking study with dogs emanating from two different living environments and varying experience with humans: pet and lab dogs. The dogs were shown pictures of familiar and unfamiliar human faces expressing four different emotions. The results, extracted from several different eye-tracking measurements, revealed pronounced differences in the face processing of pet and lab dogs, thus indicating an influence of the amount of exposure to humans. In addition, there was some evidence for the influences of both, the familiarity and the emotional expression of the face, and strong evidence for a left gaze bias. These findings, together with recent evidence for the dog's ability to discriminate human facial expressions, indicate that dogs are sensitive to some emotions expressed in human faces.
... For all elephants, correct and incorrect responses were calculated for target sample per position in the scent line-up (position 1-9). Positions were categorised into close (position 1-3), near (position 4-6), and far (position 7-9) as declines in performance towards the end of forensic scent line-ups have been recorded in working dogs (Horowitz, 2014). Cumulatively, the elephants responded correctly with a mean of above 80% per category, and elephant accuracy did not decline towards the end of the line-up with performance differences between categories highly insignificant at p = 0.829, 0.95 Confidence Interval (Fig. 3). ...
Article
This paper presents data on the success rate of African elephants in human scent matching to sample performance. Working with equipment and protocols similar to those used in the training of forensic canine units in Europe, scent samples were collected on cotton squares from twenty-six humans of differing ethnic groups, sexes and ages, and stored in glass jars. Three African elephants were trained to match human body scent to the corresponding sample. In total, four hundred and seventy trials, during which the elephant handlers were blind to the experiment details, were conducted. Each trial consisted of one scent that served as the starting (target) sample to which the elephant then systematically determined a potential match in any of the nine glass jars presented. Elephants matched target and sample at levels significantly higher than indicated by random chance, displayed no loss of working memory, and successfully discriminated target odours. They also discriminated between related human individuals spanning three generations and including sibling pairs. In addition to demonstrating scent matching capabilities, this experiment supported the elephants’ significant ability to perform well at operant conditioning tasks.
... The selection of detection dogs depends primarily on the preferences of breeders and trainers (Fig. 2) [110,111]. Several studies have indicated that handlers place a high priority on behavioural characteristics including propensity for distraction when searching, food motivation, endurance and independence. However, the relative importance of these characteristics can change with the specific detection task [110,112,113]. ...
Article
Detection dogs serve a plethora of roles within modern society, and are relied upon to identify threats such as explosives and narcotics. Despite their importance, research and training regarding detection dogs has involved ambiguity. This is partially due to the fact that the assessment of effectiveness regarding detection dogs continues to be entrenched within a traditional, non-scientific understanding. Furthermore, the capabilities of detection dogs are also based on their olfactory physiology and training methodologies, both of which are hampered by knowledge gaps. Additionally, the future of detection dogs is strongly influenced by welfare and social implications. Most importantly however, is the emergence of progressively inexpensive and efficacious analytical methodologies including gas chromatography related techniques, “e-noses” and capillary electrophoresis. These analytical methodologies provide both an alternative and assistor for the detection dog industry, however the interrelationship between these two detection paradigms requires clarification. These factors, when considering their relative contributions, illustrate a need to address research gaps, formalise the detection dog industry and research process, as well as take into consideration analytical methodologies and their influence on the future status of detection dogs. This review offers an integrated assessment of the factors involved in order to determine the current and future status of detection dogs.
... Животные появляются и в исследованиях, посвященных гендерной исто- рии, истории расовых, национальных и других маргинальных сообществ, способствуя более полному изучению темы 25 . Животные во многих случаях также были маргинализированы, и сравнение маргинальности человека и жи- вотного имеет определенный исследовательский потенциал. ...
... Only few examples of research involve cognitive processes from a genetic perspective, for instance, humans (Darst et al., 2015), mice (Galsworthy et al., 2005), or primates (Hopkins et al., 2014). Thus, research in the field still relies on phenotypical perspectives and rather suggests the genetic structure behind such processes than quantify it (Horowitz, 2014). In this context, human-nonhuman species extrapolations are rare (Anderson et al., 2017). ...
... This is obvious just considering how many people who have actively chosen to live with one or more dogs, that many people consider their dogs to be family members (Power, 2008). Also how many dog-training courses one can find just by a quick search on the internet and how much dog-cognition research that is now being 112 OFTEDAL AND HARFELD Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research 2 (2020) 101-124 conducted (see for instance Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001;Wynne & Udell, 2013;Horowitz, 2014;Berns, 2013). Many people regard dogs as being of great advantage for human health and just looking through social media debates and news media as well it becomes apparent that dogs do in fact play a huge role in the minds of many. ...
Article
The general claim behind the use of psychiatric service dogs is that the dogs, given their individual training, can provide a bigger sense of independency and safety for people struggling with mental health issues such as PTSD . Struggling with these types of mental health issues is thought to be associated with a self-undermining feeling of shame that, in turn, reinforces the mental health issue in question. This particular experience is, we believe, not present, or present in only a limited sense, in a positive emotional relationship with a dog. Thus, understanding the phenomenon of shame and its influence on the dog-human relationship may help us understand why such a relationship can be beneficiary to people struggling with PTSD and possibly a variety of other mental health issues. The concept of shame is most suitably thought of as a social and relational phenomenon. That is, as an emotion elicited by others and related to certain societal and cultural standards, ideals and norms. Shame is experienced as a painful emotion that negatively affects our self-perception and includes the risk of producing a self-undermining shame that can lead to social withdrawal and a continuous vicious circle of shame. In this article we address these psychological phenomena from within a philosophical framework, and we argue that a positive relationship between a dog and a human can provide a valuable social space in which shame becomes less present. Such a social space necessitates the presence of a connection between relational beings—i.e., beings with advanced mental and emotional capacities. Thus, we argue that the understanding of any dog-human relationship must include an approach beyond the somewhat still existing confines of objective natural science and its implied skepticism and agnosticism towards animal mind. We introduce an approach to dog life and dog-human relationships inspired by phenomenology. This approach enables an understanding of the dog as a bodily being, who lives in and experiences the world around her in co-existence with relevant similar others, including humans. We argue that such an approach is a sound way of trying to understand dog-human relationships and provides a key to a better understanding of the concept of shame in connection with such relationships.
... Perceptivelmente a antropomorfização influencia, em larga medida, nosso oferecimento de alimento, abrigo e conforto aos cães (com sua inserção no contexto social humano e familiar) (Serpell, 2003). No entanto, idealmente, ela não pode influenciar em demasia a visão dos pesquisadores, que devem prezar pelo delineamento de estudos mais próximos da realidade canina (Horowitz & Hecht, 2014), que não utilizem aparatos complexos ou objetos de pouca relevância ecológica ao animal. Os cães possuem sua própria "visão de mundo" 6 e modo de agir sobre ele. ...
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Resumo Neste artigo são discutidos aspectos concernentes ao início do convívio entre cães e humanos e às diferenças culturais que afetam as relações entre as duas espécies. O estudo das interações entre humanos e cães precisa trazer à tona a pluralidade de fenômenos interconectados: o processo de domesticação iniciado há milhares de anos, os efeitos evolutivos da relação entre as duas espécies e os aspectos culturais que influenciam a convivência entre nós. Considerando essa visão holística, enxergamos de maneira ampla o cenário interacionista, estabelecendo paralelos muitas vezes ignorados por estudos pontuais e/ou enviesados por paradigmas experimentais de baixa relevância ecológica para os animais.
... Sin embargo, desde fines de los años 90, el estudio comparado de la cognición social del perro doméstico se convirtió en un área de investigación sumamente fructífera (Miklósi et al., 2004). Este hecho continúa hasta la actualidad (e.g., Beurms & Miller, 2016;Horowitz, 2014). Se sostiene firmemente que el estudio de la cognición social en el perro resulta particularmente interesante, no sólo debido a las limitaciones de los modelos clásicos en primates, sino también a las ventajas que ofrece (para una revisión ver Miklósi et al., 2004y Topál et al., 2009b. ...
Thesis
El control inhibitorio es una habilidad que permite a los individuos bloquear una respuesta impulsiva y tomar decisiones sobre recompensas a largo plazo. Desde la Psicología Comparada se exponen numerosas razones que justifican al perro como un excelente modelo para estudiar esta capacidad. Sin embargo, este no ha sido ampliamente abordado y los protocolos para evaluarlo en su entorno natural, es decir el compartido con las personas, son escasos. Existe una discusión acerca de las posibles variables que podrían afectar facilitando u obstaculizando el desempeño. Se ha propuesto que un aspecto potencialmente influyente en especies sociales es la naturaleza social o no social del contexto. Asimismo, varias evidencias en humanos demuestran que uno de los factores moduladores de mayor impacto son los aprendizajes y experiencias previas de los sujetos (ontogenia). Por otra parte, se han diseñado diversos paradigmas de evaluación del control de impulsos pero sólo un número limitado de estudios analizaron la convergencia entre los mismos, arrojando resultados contradictorios. En esta Tesis se llevaron a cabo varios experimentos a fin de atender a los problemas presentados. En primer lugar, se diseñaron diferentes protocolos para poder explorar diversos aspectos del control inhibitorio de los perros en situaciones de interacción con los humanos. Los resultados demostraron que estos animales pueden discriminar y seguir claves humanas asociadas a reforzadores con distintas demoras en la entrega, muestran interés por las recompensas a largo plazo y son capaces de inhibir respuestas prepotentes. También se observó una considerable variabilidad entre individuos, lo cual indicaría un impacto notable de las diferencias individuales en el comportamiento. En segundo lugar, se comparó el desempeño en entornos sociales con el rendimiento en ambientes no sociales, a fin de evaluar la influencia del contexto social sobre el control inhibitorio. Se encontró que los perros cometieron significativamente más errores y extinciones de repuesta y menos respuestas correctas en las pruebas no sociales. No obstante, no hubo diferencias significativas entre las condiciones sociales y no sociales considerando los indicadores más relevantes de impulsividad. Estos datos sugieren que, al menos en estos protocolos, el contexto social no tendría un impacto sustancial o no facilitaría el desempeño de los perros. En tercer lugar, se comparó la ejecución de perros de refugio y de familia con el propósito de observar si diferentes niveles de interacción con los humanos durante la ontogenia influyen en esta capacidad. Los perros de refugio mostraron comportamientos significativamente más impulsivos que los de familia en uno de los protocolos sociales. Esto sugiere que la ontogenia afectaría las habilidades inhibitorias. El contacto social restringido de los perros de refugio con las personas limitaría las posibilidades de aprender a controlar impulsos a partir de la interacción con las mismas. Por último, se analizaron las correlaciones entre diversas pruebas con el objetivo de evaluar la convergencia entre diferentes medidas de control inhibitorio. Los resultados no arrojaron asociaciones significativas entre las mismas, lo cual podría indicar que las metodologías no miden el mismo mecanismo subyacente. Esto es compatible con los supuestos de que la impulsividad es multidimensional y el desempeño inhibitorio es dependiente del contexto metodológico específico en el que un sujeto es evaluado. En conjunto, los hallazgos de la Tesis sugieren que los perros son capaces de controlar sus impulsos en situaciones de interacción con las personas. Asimismo, indican que la habilidad podría ser estable a través de los contextos sociales y no sociales. Además, demuestran que la ontogenia desempeña un rol importante en la inhibición comportamental y que las respuestas están afectadas por los distintos métodos de evaluación. Finalmente, los datos en estos animales presentan algunos paralelismos con las evidencias halladas en humanos, aunque los mecanismos podrían diferir entre las especies.
... For all elephants, correct and incorrect responses were calculated for target sample per position in the scent line-up (position 1-9). Positions were categorised into close (position 1-3), near (position 4-6), and far (position 7-9) as declines in performance towards the end of forensic scent line-ups have been recorded in working dogs (Horowitz, 2014). Cumulatively, the elephants responded correctly with a mean of above 80% per category, and elephant accuracy did not decline towards the end of the line-up with performance differences between categories highly insignificant at p = 0.829, 0.95 Confidence Interval (Fig. 3). ...
... Thus, at least initially, the domestication process of wolves into dogs was not deliberate or conceived by human hunters and gatherers, but based on natural selection, a process called the selfdomestication hypothesis (22). It is hypothesized, however, that that humans in the beginning inadvertently selected the most adjustable wolves by dispelling or dispatching wolves that did not conform to human societal rules (21,23). The Russian geneticist Dmitry Belyaev even wrote that "[i]t is obvious that selection for behavior has been unconsciously carried out by man since the earliest stages of animal domestication" based on the fact that contact with humans as well as obeying them and reproducing in their care are prerequisites for domestication (24). ...
... A long history of co-habiting with humans have made them interesting subjects of study for the understanding of social cognitive abilities. There are plenty of exhaustive reports supporting the presence of high degree of socio-cognitive skills in dogs (Hare and Tomasello, 2005;Horowitz, 2014;Kaminski and Marshall-Pescini, 2014). Such skills have made them successful in establishing social bonds with humans. ...
Thesis
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Co-habiting with humans in an urban ecological space requires adequate variation in a species’ behavioural repertoire. The eco-ethology of many urban species have been shown to be modified due to human activities leading to urban adaptations. Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are the first species to have been domesticated and have a long evolutionary history of co-habitation with humans. In the last two decades, scientists have investigated various questions on dogs pertaining to its domestication. In fact, no other species belonging to the family Canidae has received such attention in the scientific world. Unfortunately, majority of the work was confined to pet dogs in the western countries. Pet dogs are the result of artificial breeding based on desirable traits and their activities are typically determined by their owners. Free-ranging dogs found in most of the developing countries, on the other hand, represent a naturally breeding population without direct human supervision. Studying free-ranging dogs can thus provide us with crucial insights on the ecology and evolution of dogs in greater detail. Close to 80% of the world’s dog population is free-ranging, yet scientific studies on them are almost non-existent. Scientists have realised the importance and need of studying these dogs very recently to address various facets of the much debated domestication event. Free-ranging dogs are a highly successful urban-adapted species living in all possible human habitats in the developing countries. The dog-human relationship is highly complex and possess multiple trajectories. For example, these dogs depend on human subsidized food, choose dens near human households, yet receive a range of negative stimuli from humans; mortality of these dogs is mostly influenced by humans. In this thesis, we tried to answer questions relating to the dog-human relationship on Indian streets. My thesis involved an interdisciplinary approach where behavioural, cognitive, and ecological aspects are discussed to shed light on the evolution of the dog-human relationship. We began the work by looking at the natural history of free-ranging dogs in India. We collected data on the abundance of dogs and the distribution of their potential food resources, across India. Moreover, we recorded the sex ratio, group size, and behaviours of dogs at different study locations. We characterized study areas with regard to human activity levels by estimating human flux or movement and categorised them into low, intermediate and high flux zones. Our findings clearly suggested varying distribution of dogs and their food resources across different microhabitats in India. While a direct effect of food resource was not found, human flux significantly predicted the distribution of dogs. Moreover, we found a strong impact of changing human flux on the abundance and behavioural activity of free-ranging dogs. In the next section, we investigated the intra-group dynamics of dogs from the perspective of long-debated dominance-rank relationships. We looked at the steepness and linearity of agonistic and formal dominance hierarchies of groups of dogs from intermediate and high human flux zones. Our study did not reveal any clear dominance hierarchy among the free-ranging dogs, either in the intermediate or high human flux zones. The overall frequencies of interactions between the group members were found to be quite low, with many unknown interactions between for several dyads. We also proposed the use of subtle behavioural cues to maintain hierarchy rather than showing frequent behavioural exchanges in dogs. Findings from the study further led us to test free-ranging dogs’ interactions with humans. We found that these dogs interact with humans more compared to their conspecifics. Interestingly, we noticed that dogs rarely initiated behaviours towards humans, while humans played the predominant role in initiating both positive and negative behaviours towards dogs. We concluded that humans are a predominant part of the interaction network of the Indian free-ranging dogs. This opened up a window of testing dogs’ physical and social cognitive abilities. We found that free-ranging dogs lack the ability to persist on physical cognitive tasks and are poor performers like pet dogs. A higher dependence on humans is thought to be a key factor restricting dogs from persisting on an unfamiliar task. Interestingly, free-ranging dogs, as scavengers, showed competence while solving a familiar task, though task difficulty remained a factor that could not be disentangled. A partial dependence on humans was assumed to be the outcome of their long-history of co-evolution which resulted in a reduced problem-solving capacity in dogs. Surprisingly, a role of social facilitation was observed which predicted improved performances in both familiar and unfamiliar tasks. Free-ranging dogs like any other urban species are typically found to be aversive towards making direct physical contact with unfamiliar humans. The sociability of dogs was found to correlate with human flux, suggesting a role of life experience in shaping the personalities of these dogs. Dogs were shown to understand different human social cues and respond accordingly. The dogs in groups were bolder while responding to threatening cues from humans than in the solitary condition. Using two studies, we showed their ability to understand human pointing gestures, both simple and complex. The behavioural states of the dogs were heavily found to influence their responses towards humans. Dogs were found to be anxious or fearful while encountering an unfamiliar human. Interestingly, we found a crucial role of positive socialization in the form of petting in modifying such behavioural states of dogs and further building a strong dog-human relationship. In summary, this thesis provides unprecedented inputs into the current understanding of the evolution of dog-human relationship. The findings are not only restricted to the scientific advancement but may also be helpful in mitigating the growing doghuman conflict on the streets in India, by enhancing an understanding of the dynamics of the relationship between the two species, that might enable better management strategies.
Chapter
Learning may be defined in the psychological literature as an enduring change in behavior that relies on experience. Although postsecondary education programs for inmates attract media attention, they are the exception rather than the rule. Barriers to educating the incarcerated include such things as negative public perceptions, security issues surrounding technology use, low self-efficacy beliefs in inmates, anti-intellectualism amongst inmates in the prison culture, and costs associated with offering further and higher education programs. This chapter will: (1) examine the controversies surrounding postsecondary education for inmates; (2) define the learning process, including the conditions that must be met to optimize learning; (3) describe some learner characteristics frequently manifested in inmates, and (4) suggest evidence-based strategies that support the formal learning experiences of inmates participating in dog care and training programs.
Thesis
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Tools allowing to understand the evolution of donkey populations in time, the future trends that these populations describe, and the factors conditioning such trends, become invaluably critical when aiming at preserving and later recovering such populations from their endangerment status. Basing on the characteristic lack of information regarding the genealogical background of donkey populations and taking a particular breed as an example, it is possible to infer a model to assess the genetic and demographical structure of other international endangered donkey populations. Then, we can plot selection strategies to implement once such populations have reached the sufficient number of individuals, and are supported by solid enough structures. Microsatellite-tested pedigree analyses were carried out to study the genetic diversity, structure and historical evolution of the Andalusian donkey breed since the 1980s. Despite mean inbreeding was low, highly inbred animals were present. The effective population size based on individual inbreeding rate was about half when based on individual coancestry rate. Nei's distances and equivalent subpopulations number indicated differentiated farms in a highly structured population. Although genetic diversity loss since the founder generations could be considered small, intraherd breeding policies and the excessive contribution of few ancestors to the gene pool could lead to narrower pedigree bottlenecks. Long average generation intervals could be considered when reducing inbreeding. Wright's fixation statistics indicated slight inbreeding between farms. Pedigree shallowness suggested applying new breeding strategies to reliably estimate descriptive parameters and control the negative effects of inbreeding, which could indeed, mean the key to preserve such valuable animal resources avoiding the extinction they potentially head towards. Diversity studies render especially important in donkeys as they reveal the genetic background in the populations and the starting point for making decisions on whether to apply conservation or breeding plans in this functionally misallocated species. Once genetic diversity parameters are balanced, finding new niches for donkeys becomes potentially the most relevant aim to approach in the midterm future for the species. Selection strategies in donkeys are approached from three different perspectives; donkey-assisted therapy and therapeutic riding, fertility and disease resistance, not only as a way to widen the functional spectrum of opportunities of donkeys but also to lengthen their useful lives, and improve their life quality and welfare. Studying the specific genetic background behind functional traits enables quantifying the degree in which such features pass from jacks and jennies onto the new foal generations. As a genetic term, environment means all influences other than inherited factors. Controlling the environmental factors conditioning the expression of certain functional features help to build animal models shedding light in the genetic fraction involved in such functional traits. The functional performance of 300 microsatellite-assisted parentage tested donkeys was studied using REML and Gibbs sampling Bayesian methods for the obtention of genetic parameters and breeding values using BLUP methodology. The first functional niche for which donkeys may be well-suited is linked to their special psychological nature and physical characteristics as facilitators of learning processes and for the development of key life skills and confidence building for a wide spectrum of vulnerable people. Therapeutic riding and asinotherapy take advantage of the physical and psychological interaction between donkeys and patients given the potential application of donkey's characteristics and abilities for the treatment of specific human disorders. The selection of donkeys when the breeding criteria is their suitability for equine-assisted therapies was implemented following two different approaches; the selection for coping styles and cognitive processes and the selection for gaits and kinetics. Aiming at developing suitable models seeking the consolidation of equine assisted-therapy breeding criteria, we studied 29 factors that may potentially influence several cognitive processes in donkeys. These factors not only affect donkeys' short-term behaviour but may also determine their long-term cognitive skills from birth. Thus, animal behaviour becomes a useful tool to obtain past, present or predict information from the situation of a certain animal in a particular area. Operant conditioning and Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) synergism can provide valuable information about animals' extinction/learning and emotional status. All noncognitive animal inherent features significantly affected four variables (P<0.001), although some were not linearly correlated. On the other hand, the effect power of meteorological factors ranged from 7.9% for the birth season on learning (P<0.05) to 38.8% for birth moon phase on mood (P<0.001). Psychometric testing enables quantifying animal cognitive capabilities and their genetic background. Among these cognitive capabilities, the study of problem-solving coping styles achieves a special relevance as it brings together the need genetically select donkeys displaying a neutral reaction during training, given its implication with handler/rider safety and trainability. Heritabilities for coping style traits were moderate, 0.18 to 0.21. Phenotypic correlations between intensity and mood/emotion or response type were -0.21 and -0.25, respectively. Genetic correlations between the same variables were -0.46 and -0.53, respectively. Phenotypic and genetic correlations between mood/emotion and response type were 0.92 and 0.95, respectively. Principal components and Bayesian analyses were used to compute the variation in cognitive capabilities explained by 13 cognitive processes and their genetic parameters, respectively. Heritabilities ranged 0.06 to 0.38 suggesting the same patterns previously reported for humans and other animal species. By contrast, when considering the selection for therapeutic riding, gaits' heritability estimates ranged from 0.53 to 0.67 for walk and trot, respectively. Genetic correlations ranged from 0.28 to 0.42, for walk/trot and amble/trot, respectively. Our results suggest that gait genetic lines could be developed. Among other breeding criteria, disease resistance and reproduction offer two functional niches to consider given their relationship with donkey life quality and welfare. Breeding programs selecting for disease resistance could address food safety and quality issues in products such as donkey milk, and may be perceived to be more humane. Cutaneous habronematidosis (CH) is a highly prevalent parasitic seasonally recurrent skin disease causes distress and relapsing wounds to the animals. CH hypersensibility heritability was 0.0346. Genetic parameters and breeding values for functional traits enable planning strategies for endangered donkey breed preservation and breeding what may turn into a measure to improve animal welfare indirectly.Multiple births in equids are dangerous situations that compromise the life of the dam and offspring. However, embryo collection techniques take advantage of individuals whose multiple ovulations allow flushing more fertilized embryos from the oviduct. Heritabilities ranged from 0.18 to 0.24. Genetic and phenotypic correlations ranged from 0.496 to 0.846 and 0.206 to 0.607, respectively.
Article
Synopsis Given their remarkable phenotypic diversity, dogs present a unique opportunity for investigating the genetic bases of cognitive and behavioral traits. Our previous work demonstrated that genetic relatedness among breeds accounts for a substantial portion of variation in dog cognition. Here, we investigated the genetic architecture of breed differences in cognition, seeking to identify genes that contribute to variation in cognitive phenotypes. To do so, we combined cognitive data from the citizen science project Dognition.com with published breed-average genetic polymorphism data, resulting in a dataset of 1654 individuals with cognitive phenotypes representing 49 breeds. We conducted a breed-average genome-wide association study to identify specific polymorphisms associated with breed differences in inhibitory control, communication, memory, and physical reasoning. We found five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that reached genome-wide significance after Bonferroni correction, located in EML1, OR52E2, HS3ST5, a U6 spliceosomal RNA, and a long noncoding RNA. When we combined results across multiple SNPs within the same gene, we identified 188 genes implicated in breed differences in cognition. This gene set included more genes than expected by chance that were (1) differentially expressed in brain tissue and (2) involved in nervous system functions including peripheral nervous system development, Wnt signaling, presynapse assembly, and synaptic vesicle exocytosis. These results advance our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of complex cognitive phenotypes and identify specific genetic variants for further research.
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Under natural conditions, an animal orienting to an air-borne odor plume must contend with the shifting influence of meteorological variables, such as air temperature, humidity and wind speed, on the location and the detectability of the plume. Despite their importance, the natural statistics of such variables are difficult to reproduce in the laboratory and hence few studies have investigated strategies of olfactory orientation by mobile animals under different meteorological conditions. Using trained search and rescue dogs, we quantified the olfactory orientation behaviors of dogs searching for a trail (aged 1-3 hours) of a hidden human subject in a natural landscape, under a range of meteorological conditions. Dogs were highly successful in locating the human target hidden 800 m from the start location (93% success). Humidity and air temperature had a significant effect on search strategy: as air conditions became cooler and more humid, dogs searched significantly closer to the original trail. Dogs also modified their speed and head position according to their search location distance from the original trail. When close to the trail, dogs searched with their head up and ran quickly but when their search took them farther from the trail, they were more likely to search with their nose to the ground, moving more slowly. To our knowledge, this is the first study of a mammalian species responding to localized shifts in ambient conditions and it lays the foundation for future studies of olfactory orientation, and the development of a highly tractable mammalian species for such research.
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While domestic dogs, Canis familiaris, have been found to be skillful at social cognitive tasks and even some meta-cognitive tasks, they have not passed the test of mirror self-recognition (MSR). Acknowledging the motivational and sensory challenges that might hinder performance, even before the question of self-recognition is broached, this study creates and enacts a novel design extrapolated from the species' natural behaviour. Given dogs' use of olfactory signals in communication, this experiment presents dogs with various canisters for approach and investigation. Each holds an odorous stimulus: in the critical test, either an “olfactory mirror” of the subject − the dog's own urine − or one in which the odour stimulus is modified. By looking at subjects' investigation times of each canister, it is shown that dogs distinguish between the olfactory “image” of themselves when modified: investigating their own odour for longer when it had an additional odour accompanying it than when it did not. Such behaviour implies a recognition of the odour as being of or from “themselves." The ecological validity of this odour presentation is examined by presenting to the subjects odours of other known or unknown dogs: dogs spend longer investigating the odour of other dogs than their own odour. Finally, in a second experiment, subjects spent longer with the modified stimulus than with the modified odour by itself, indicating that novelty alone does not explain the dogs' behavior. This study translates the MSR study for a species whose primary sensory modality is olfaction, and finds both that natural sniffing behaviour can be replicated in the lab and that dogs show more investigative interest in their own odours when modified.
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Infrared thermography (IRT) can be used to identify stressors associated with greyhound racing procedures. However, factors unrelated to stress may influence measurements. Validation of an eye side (right or left) and a reference point on the eye is required if IRT is to be standardised for industry use. Infrared images of greyhound heads (n = 465) were taken pre-racing and post-racing at three racetracks. Average temperature was recorded at seven different locations on each eye. A multivariate analysis model determined how several factors influenced eye temperature (ET) pre-racing and post-racing. As expected, ET increased after racing, which may be attributed to physical exertion, stress and arousal. The right eye and lacrimal caruncle had the highest sensitivity to temperature changes and could be considered reference points for future studies. Additionally, dogs that raced later had higher ET, and Richmond racetrack had the lowest pre-race ET, but the highest post-race ET. This may suggest that arousal increases as the race meet progresses and certain track attributes could increase stress. Furthermore, ET increased as humidity increased, and higher post-race ET was associated with light-coloured, young and low-performing dogs. Environmental and biological factors need to be considered if IRT is to become accurate in the detection of canine stress and monitoring of greyhound welfare.
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A key element thought to have changed during domestication is dogs’ propensity to communicate with humans, particularly their inclination to gaze at them. A classic test to measure this is the ‘unsolvable task’, where after repeated successes in obtaining a reward by object-manipulation, the animal is confronted with an unsolvable version of the task. ‘Looking back’ at humans has been considered an expression of dogs seeking help. While it occurs more in dogs than in socialized wolves, the level of exposure to human communication also appears to play a role. We tested similarly raised adult wolves and mixed breed dogs, pet dogs and free-ranging dogs. Unlike previous studies, as well as species and levels of socialization, we included ‘persistence’ in trying to solve the task as a potential explanatory factor. Wolves were more persistent than all dog groups. Regardless of socialization or species, less persistent animals looked back sooner and longer. Free-ranging dogs, despite little exposure to dog-human communication, behaved similarly to other dogs. Together, results suggest that basic wolf-dog differences in motivation and exploration may override differences in human-directed behaviour when animals are equally socialized, and that once the human is considered a social partner, looking behaviour occurs easily.
Chapter
In modern science, however, applied animal behavior is a remarkably new field. Animal machines created such a strong public reaction that the British government set up a technical committee to investigate the welfare of farm animals. Animal behavior has been applied in efforts to reduce harm to animals caused by human actions. One of the major applications of animal behavior is the design of better environments for captive, farmed, and laboratory animals, partly for the practical goal of making the environments function better, and partly to improve the welfare of the animals that live in them. The animals' welfare is presumably improved because they show little fear of people and a less pronounced physiological stress response to handling. Many concerns about animal welfare are primarily concerns about the affective states of animals—their “emotions,” “feelings,” and other pleasant or unpleasant experiences. Abnormal animal behavior has provided a strong stimulus to understand affective states of animals.
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Introduction: Hypoglycemia (Hypo) is the most common side effect of insulin therapy in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Over time, patients with T1D become unaware of signs and symptoms of Hypo. Hypo unawareness leads to morbidity and mortality. Diabetes alert dogs (DADs) represent a unique way to help patients with Hypo unawareness. Our group has previously presented data in abstract form which demonstrates the sensitivity and specificity of DADS. The purpose of our current study is to expand evaluation of DAD sensitivity and specificity using a method that reduces the possibility of trainer bias. Methods: We evaluated 6 dogs aging 1-10 years old who had received an average of 6 months of training for Hypo alert using positive training methods. Perspiration samples were collected from patients during Hypo (BG 46-65 mg/dL) and normoglycemia (BG 85-136 mg/dl) and were used in training. These samples were placed in glass vials which were then placed into 7 steel cans (1 Hypo, 2 normal, 4 blank) randomly placed by roll of a dice. The dogs alerted by either sitting in front of, or pushing, the can containing the Hypo sample. Dogs were rewarded for appropriate recognition of the Hypo samples using a food treat via a remote control dispenser. The results were videotaped and statistically evaluated for sensitivity (proportion of lows correctly alerted, "true positive rate") and specificity (proportion of blanks + normal samples not alerted, "true negative rate") calculated after pooling data across all trials for all dogs. Results: All DADs displayed statistically significant (p value <0.05) greater sensitivity (min 50.0%-max 87.5%) to detect the Hypo sample than the expected random correct alert of 14%. Specificity ranged from a min of 89.6% to a max of 97.9% (expected rate is not defined in this scenario). Conclusions: Our results suggest that properly trained DADs can successfully recognize and alert to Hypo in an in vitro setting using smell alone.
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