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Relevance of Visual, Auditory, and Olfactory Cues in Pet Dogs’ Awareness of Humans
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... For example, just think about how a dog may growl viciously, but if their tail is wagging, other dogs' behaviour is dominated by what they see, and consider that it's time to play (rather than reading the multisensory cues as indicating aggressive intentions, as per the growling; Partan and Marler, 1999). Visual cues also dominate over auditory and olfactory cues when it comes to a dog's awareness of people (Fukuzawa and Watanabe, 2017). In fact, according to Adachi, Kuwahata, and Fujita (2007), dogs can even recall their owner's face on hearing the sound of Fig. 2. In humans, serving food from a smaller plate or bowl can give the illusion that there is more food. ...
While the growing global obesity crisis in humans has attracted a great deal of attention from the media and healthcare professionals alike, the rapid increase in weight problems reported amongst pets is now attracting widespread recognition too. In humans, the emerging science of gastrophysics offers a number of concrete suggestions as to how people can be nudged into eating less by means of the enhanced multisensory design of both foods and the environments in which they choose to eat. In this narrative review, the potential relevance of gastrophysics to helping tackle the growing problem of overweight and obese domestic dogs is reviewed. This involves discussion of both the important similarities and difference in the way in which people and their pets perceive food, and the likely role of various product-extrinsic factors on consumption in the two cases. Nevertheless, despite the differences, a number of suggestions for future research are forwarded that may help to address the growing problem of overweight pets, and the behaviours that give rise to it.
Providing behavioral care to animals in special circumstances, such as following a natural disaster or after removal from a cruelty or neglect situation, presents a variety of unique challenges. Following disasters, animals are often held in rudimentary field shelters until they are reunited with their owners or considered unclaimed. Cruelty cases involve populations of animals, such as dogs from organized dogfighting operations and animals from hoarding situations, that present with behavioral needs for safe and humane sheltering. Long‐term holds, often due to legal cases, compound shelter stress over time, which can lead to behavioral decline. These special circumstances represent substantial challenges to maintaining animal welfare. Even when faced with less‐than‐ideal conditions and other limitations, best efforts should be made to prevent, mitigate, or eliminate negative welfare and to facilitate psychological well‐being.
This article reviews recent research concerning dog-human relationships and how attributes that arise from them can be measured. It highlights the influence of human characteristics on dog behavior, and consequently, the dog-human bond. Of particular importance are the influences of human attitudes and personality. These themes have received surprisingly little attention from researchers. Identifying human attributes that contribute to successful dog-human relationships could assist in the development of a behavioral template to ensure dyadic potential is optimized. Additionally, this article reveals how dyadic functionality and working performance may not necessarily be mutually inclusive. Potential underpinnings of various dog-human relationships and how these may influence dogs' perceptions of their handlers are also discussed. The article considers attachment bonds between humans and dogs, how these may potentially clash with or complement each other, and the effects of different bonds on the dog-human dyad as a whole. We review existing tools designed to measure the dog-human bond and offer potential refinements to improve their accuracy. Positive attitudes and affiliative interactions seem to contribute to the enhanced well-being of both species, as reflected in resultant physiological changes. Thus, promoting positive dog-human relationships would capitalize on these benefits, thereby improving animal welfare. Finally, this article proposes future research directions that may assist in disambiguating what constitutes successful bonding between dogs and the humans in their lives.
False negatives are recorded in every chemical detection system, but when animals are used as a scent detector, some false negatives can arise as a result of a failure in the link between detection and the trained alert response, or a failure of the handler to identify the positive alert. A false negative response can be critical in certain scenarios, such as searching for a live person or detecting explosives. In this study, we investigated whether the nature of sniffing behavior in trained detection dogs during a controlled scent-detection task differs in response to true positives, true negatives, false positives, and false negatives. A total of 200 videos of 10 working detection dogs were pseudorandomly selected and analyzed frame by frame to quantify sniffing duration and the number of sniffing episodes recorded in a Go/No-Go single scent-detection task using an eight-choice test apparatus. We found that the sniffing duration of true negatives is significantly shorter than false negatives, true positives, and false positives. Furthermore, dogs only ever performed one sniffing episode towards true negatives, but two sniffing episodes commonly occurred in the other situations. These results demonstrate how the nature of sniffing can be used to more effectively assess odor detection by dogs used as biological detection devices.
Integration into human societies requires dogs to express adaptable social attitudes, involving high levels of attention to other individuals. In the present study, we developed a new behavioural test, to characterize selective attention towards humans. In the task, the dogs were exposed to the owner and an unfamiliar person, repeatedly entering the experimental room and leaving through different doors; at the end of the sequence the dogs were allowed to approach the doors. Attention was measured as the average length of gaze bouts and as the overall duration of visual orientation towards the different targets. Dogs gave preferential attention to the owner, who received longer gaze bouts and greater overall attention than the stranger. The preference was confirmed by the significant proportion of dogs that directed attention to the owner’s door at the end of the task. A modified version of the task was employed to measure dogs’ attention when the person’s head was not visible. This condition caused a decrease in attention parameters towards the owner. To determine the effects of old age on attention, the two tasks were then administered to dogs aged 7 years and older. Compared to adults, aged dogs showed lower owner-directed attention when the owner was not in sight and were more likely not to move at the end of the task. The results provide the first evidence that dogs’ interspecific attention depends on the nature of the dog–human relationship, on the availability of some distinctive features of the social stimulus and on the age of the dog.
On the basis of a study by D. J. Povinelli, D. T. Bierschwale, and C. G. Cech (1999), the performance of family dogs (Canis familiaris) was examined in a 2-way food choice task in which 4 types of directional cues were given by the experimenter: pointing and gazing, head-nodding ("at target"), head turning above the correct container ("above target"), and glancing only ("eyes only"). The results showed that the performance of the dogs resembled more closely that of the children in D. J. Povinelli et al.'s study, in contrast to the chimpanzees' performance in the same study. It seems that dogs, like children, interpret the test situation as being a form of communication. The hypothesis is that this similarity is attributable to the social experience and acquired social routines in dogs because they spend more time in close contact with humans than apes do, and as a result dogs are probably more experienced in the recognition of human gestures.
In a series of 3 experiments, dogs (Canis familiaris) were presented with variations of the human pointing gesture: gestures with reversed direction of movement, cross-pointing, and different arm extensions. Dogs performed at above chance level if they could see the hand (and index finger) protruding from the human body contour. If these minimum requirements were not accessible, dogs still could rely on the body position of the signaler. The direction of movement of the pointing arm did not influence the performance. In summary, these observations suggest that dogs are able to rely on relatively novel gestural forms of the human communicative pointing gesture and that they are able to comprehend to some extent the referential nature of human pointing.
The ability of animals to use behavioral/facial cues in detection of human attention has been widely investigated. In this test series we studied the ability of dogs to recognize human attention in different experimental situations (ball-fetching game, fetching objects on command, begging from humans). The attentional state of the humans was varied along two variables: (1) facing versus not facing the dog; (2) visible versus non-visible eyes. In the first set of experiments (fetching) the owners were told to take up different body positions (facing or not facing the dog) and to either cover or not cover their eyes with a blindfold. In the second set of experiments (begging) dogs had to choose between two eating humans based on either the visibility of the eyes or direction of the face. Our results show that the efficiency of dogs to discriminate between "attentive" and "inattentive" humans depended on the context of the test, but they could rely on the orientation of the body, the orientation of the head and the visibility of the eyes. With the exception of the fetching-game situation, they brought the object to the front of the human (even if he/she turned his/her back towards the dog), and preferentially begged from the facing (or seeing) human. There were also indications that dogs were sensitive to the visibility of the eyes because they showed increased hesitative behavior when approaching a blindfolded owner, and they also preferred to beg from the person with visible eyes. We conclude that dogs are able to rely on the same set of human facial cues for detection of attention, which form the behavioral basis of understanding attention in humans. Showing the ability of recognizing human attention across different situations dogs proved to be more flexible than chimpanzees investigated in similar circumstances.
Six dogs (Canis familiaris) were trained to sit and come reliably in response to tape-recorded commands. The phonemes within these commands were then changed, and the dogs' behavior in response to these modified commands was recorded. Performance markedly declined in all cases, with the type of alteration affecting response to the modified sit command but not to the modified come command. The results suggest that dogs do not perceive a tape-recorded command as simply a physical sound but that they recognize a relationship between certain sounds.
Experiments were performed with three dogs, Canis familiaris, trained in human scent discrimination (American Kennel Club utility obedience test), to evaluate whether the dogs could distinguish the scent of their handler from the scent of other humans, irrespective of the body part from which the scent had been collected. The dogs were successful at distinguishing scent obtained from the hand of their handler from that from the hands of strangers, but could not similarly distinguish their handler's scent when it was obtained from the crook of his arm. These results suggest either that there is no such thing as an individual human odour or that dogs trained with standard methods do not spontaneously identify individual odour components of scents taken from different parts of the body. The results also call into question the practice of using dogs to identify individuals from scented objects in law enforcement, unless the dogs used can be shown to be capable of performing discriminations of the type unsuccessfully attempted by the animals in the present study.
Dogs were initially trained to respond reliably to 'sit' and 'come' commands, when these were issued randomly in a variety of contexts. Then in a first experiment, the posture of the person giving the command, eye contact and the mode of delivery of the command were varied. Performance declined significantly when a tape-recorded version of the command was used and when the eyes of the experimental trainer were obscured with sunglasses when using the tape, but not when the sunglasses were used with the oral command. In a second experiment, the distance and position of the experimental trainer relative to an opaque screen were changed. Performance declined when the experimental trainer stood approximately 2.5 m away and was partially obscured by a screen. Response to the sit but not come command declined when the experimental trainer turned her back on the dog prior to issuing the command at this distance, but not when the experimental trainer subsequently stood behind the screen at this distance. The results suggest that non-verbal features moderate responsiveness to the command, and that this effect may depend partly on the dog's familiarity with the command possibly within a given context and the perceived proximity of the commander from the dog. # 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Domestic Animal Behavior for Veterinarians and Animal Scientists
- A K Houpt
Houpt, A.K. (2005) Domestic Animal Behavior for Veterinarians and Animal Scientists. 4th Edition, Blackwell Publishing, Iowa, USA.