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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903/10602

Title: Domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris) react to what others can and cannot hear
Authors: Kundey, Shannon M.A.
De Los Reyes, A.
Taglang, C.
Allen, R.
Molina, S.
Royer, E.
German, R.
Type: Article
Keywords: Canis familiaris
Dog
Perspective taking
Social cognition
Issue Date: Jul-2010
Series/Report no.: Applied Animal Behaviour Science;
Abstract: Recent research suggests some nonhuman primates (e.g., chimpanzees, rhesus macaques) consider what others hear when acting in competitive situations. We explored whether dogs living in private homes or sourced from an animal shelter would show this same predilection. Following an inhibition task where dogs (Canis familiaris) were commanded not to take a treat left on a plate by a human, we presented subjects with the opportunity to take food from one of two containers. These containers were located within the proximity of a human gatekeeper who was either looking straight ahead or not looking at the time of choice. One container was silent when food was inserted or removed while the other was noisy. Among pet dogs (20 total; 10 in each condition) randomly assigned to the Looking or Not Looking condition, four subjects approached the silent container in the Looking condition (binomial test: P = 0.8) while 10 approached the silent container in the Not Looking condition (binomial test: P = 0.004). We compared pet dogs’ pattern of performance between conditions using a chi-square test for independence, which indicated that dogs significantly preferred the silent container only in the Not Looking condition (Chi-square [1] = 8.8, P = 0.003). This outcome suggests dogs preferentially attempted to retrieve food silently only when silence was germane to obtaining food unobserved by the human gatekeeper. Interestingly, dogs sourced from a local animal shelter evidenced similar outcomes. Among shelter dogs (20 total; 10 in each condition) randomly assigned to the Looking or Not Looking condition, four subjects approached the silent container in the Looking condition (binomial test: P = 0.8) while nine approached the silent container in the Not Looking condition (binomial test: P = 0.02).We compared shelter dogs’ pattern of performance between conditions using a chi-square test for independence, which indicated that dogs significantly preferred the silent container only in the Not Looking condition (Chi-square [1] = 5.5, P = 0.02). This result suggests shelter dogs, like pet dogs, preferentially tried to retrieve food silently only if silence was relevant to obtaining food unobserved by a human gatekeeper. This result conflicts with other recent data suggesting that shelter dogs perform more poorly than pet dogs in tasks involving human social cues.
Description: Corresponding author at: Hood College, Department of Psychology, 401 Rosemont Avenue, Room ROS 27, Frederick, MD 21701, USA. Tel.: +1 301 696 3877. E-mail address: kundey@hood.edu (S.M.A. Kundey).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1903/10602
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Works

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