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Several studies suggest that dogs as well as primates utilise a mental representation of the signaller after hearing its vocalization, and can match this ... more »
Several studies suggest that dogs as well as primates utilise a mental representation of the signaller after hearing its vocalization, and can match this representation with other features provided by the visual modality. Recently it was found that a dogs’ growl is context specific, and contains information about the caller’s body size. Whether dogs can use the encoded information is as yet unclear. In this experiment, we tested whether dogs can assess the size of another dog if they hear an agonistic growl paired with simultaneous video projection of two dog pictures. One of them matched the size of the growling dog, while the other one was either 30% larger or smaller. In control groups, noise, cat pictures or projections of geometric shapes (triangles) were used. The results showed that dogs look sooner and longer at the dog picture matching the size of the caller. No such preference was found with any of the control stimuli, suggesting that dogs have a mental representation of the caller when hearing its vocalization. « less
uploaded by Tamás Faragó
10:11
The transmission of cultural knowledge requires learners to identify what relevant information to retain and selectively imitate when observing others' ... more »
The transmission of cultural knowledge requires learners to identify what relevant information to retain and selectively imitate when observing others' skills. Young human infants-without relying on language or theory of mind-already show evidence of this ability. If, for example, in a communicative context, a model demonstrates a head action instead of a more efficient hand action, infants imitate the head action only if the demonstrator had no good reason to do so, suggesting that their imitation is a selective, interpretative process. Early sensitivity to ostensive-communicative cues and to the efficiency of goal-directed actions is thought to be a crucial prerequisite for such relevance-guided selective imitation. Although this competence is thought to be human specific, here we show an analog capacity in the dog. In our experiment, subjects watched a demonstrator dog pulling a rod with the paw instead of the preferred mouth action. In the first group, using the ''inefficient'' action was justified by the model's carrying of a ball in her mouth, whereas in the second group, no constraints could explain the demonstrator's choice. In the first trial after observation, dogs imitated the nonpreferred action only in the second group. Consequently, dogs, like children, demonstrated inferential selective imitation. « less
uploaded by Zsófia Virányi
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We aimed to measure dogs’ social interactions with humans in an indoor test (Social Interaction Test, SIT) simulating everyday situations in a laboratory of ... more »
We aimed to measure dogs’ social interactions with humans in an indoor test (Social Interaction Test, SIT) simulating everyday situations in a laboratory of our department. We supposed that dogs with different personality profiles show different behaviours in the SIT. In this phase called Proximity seeker 4., the owner manipulates objects in a given order. He/she has to pick up seven numbered objects (1: pen, 2: nylon bag, 3: candle, 4: magazine, 5: wooden cube, 6: pot, 7: a glove) one by one and carry to a predetermined point. When finished, the owner puts all seven objects into the drawers and sits back on the chair. The observed behaviours of the dog are the following: proximity to owner, exploration, following the owner's path. (See the definitions in the video.) « less
uploaded by Barbara Gáspár
2:11
Studies have shown that dogs are able to discriminate between human emotional expressions, understand them as referential to a given object and rely on ... more »
Studies have shown that dogs are able to discriminate between human emotional expressions, understand them as referential to a given object and rely on these cues when making a choice. However, previous studies provided rather ambiguous results regarding the dogs’ ability to recognize the valence of the negative human emotions, presumably because they did not take into account the dogs’ own interest in the object eliciting the negative human emotion. In our experiment dogs observed their owner expressing different emotions towards two uniform plastic bottles. The bottles eliciting the more positive emotion was baited with a piece of food, the other bottle contained a small stone. Four dog groups were tested based on the condition they received: 1) happy vs neutral, 2) happy vs disgust, 3) neutral vs disgust and 4) neutral vs neutral (with the same two baiting), as a control group. Contrary to previous studies using free–choice paradigm, we used a task-driven approach. After the demonstration the dogs had to fetch one object to the owner to receive its content. We analyzed which object the dogs first touched and which they fetched to the owner. The dogs’ performance in the Neutral–Neutral (control) group did not differ from the chance level, indicating that they were not able to use the odour of the bottles or other irrelevant cues when making their choice. In contrast, subjects were able to distinguish between the happy and neutral expression of the owner: they both approached and fetched the ‘happy’ object. In the Happy–Disgust and Neutral–Disgust groups the dogs’ first approach was random, suggesting that they found the ‘disgusting’ object equally attractive. Nevertheless, the dogs preferentially fetched the object marked with the relatively more positive emotion (happy or neutral) to the owner in both conditions. Our results demonstrate that dogs are able to recognize which is the more positive among two emotions, and in a fetching task situation they override their own interest in the ‘disgusting’ object, and fetch what the owner prefers. « less
uploaded by Borbála Turcsán
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Both dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) exon 3 and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) intron 4 repeat polymorphisms have been linked to activity and impulsivity in German ... more »
Both dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) exon 3 and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) intron 4 repeat polymorphisms have been linked to activity and impulsivity in German Shepherd dogs (GSDs). However, the results in GSDs may not be generalisable to other breeds, as allelic frequencies vary markedly among breeds. We selected the Siberian Husky for further study, because it is highly divergent from most dog breeds, including the GSD. « less
uploaded by Eniko Kubinyi
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We have constructed a questionnaire to investigate the separation behavior in a sample of family dogs (Canis familiaris) (N = 45) and in parallel we have ... more »
We have constructed a questionnaire to investigate the separation behavior in a sample of family dogs (Canis familiaris) (N = 45) and in parallel we have observed dogs’ separationrelated behavior in a simple behavioral test (Separation and greeting test, S&G). We recorded the dogs’ behavior during the separation from and reunion (greeting) with the owner. We investigated whether owners’ report about their dogs’ separation behavior reflected the separation behavior under controlled testing conditions. Furthermore, we wanted to find out whether the duration of separation affected the behavior of dogs and whether there was some relationship between separation and greeting behavior. Dogs that were rated by their owner to be more “anxious” during separation and “happier” at reunion, showed more activity and stress-related behavior during separation, and more affection toward the owner during greeting. Dogs with owner-reported separation-related disorder (SRD) showed more stress-related behavior, they spent less time near the owner’s chair during separation, and were more active during greeting than dogs without SRD. The two groups of dogs did not differ in affectionate behavior shown toward the owner. Nonaffected dogs’ activity decreased with increasing separation duration, but dogs with SRD did not show this change in their separation behavior. Our results show that owners’ have a realistic view on their dogs’ separation behavior. In addition, dogs with SRD may not be “hyper-attached” to their owners because they do not show more affection during greeting. Moreover, dogs with SRD do not show preference for the owners’ objects left behind and they cannot be easily calmed by the returning owner. Our questionnaire and the Separation and greeting test could be used for screening dogs with suspected separation-related behavior problems. « less
uploaded by Vera Konok