+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
EurekaMag Most Shared ContentMost Shared
EurekaMag PDF Full Text ContentPDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full TextRequest PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter
Follow on Google+Follow on Google+
Follow on LinkedInFollow on LinkedIn

+ Translate

Is your choice my choice? The owners' effect on pet dogs' (Canis lupus familiaris) performance in a food choice task

Animal Cognition 11(1): 167-174

Is your choice my choice? The owners' effect on pet dogs' (Canis lupus familiaris) performance in a food choice task

This study investigates the influence of owners on their dogs' performance in a food choice task using either different or equal quantities of food. Fifty-four pet dogs were tested in three different conditions. In Condition 1 we evaluated their ability to choose between a large and small amount of food (quantity discrimination task). In Condition 2 dogs were again presented with a choice between the large and small food quantity, but only after having witnessed their owner favouring the small quantity. In Condition 3 dogs were given a choice between two equally small quantities of food having witnessed their owner favouring either one or the other. A strong effect of the owner on the dogs' performance was observed. In Condition 1 dogs as a group chose significantly more often the large food quantity, thus showing their ability to solve the quantity discrimination task. After observing their owner expressing a preference for the small food quantity they chose the large quantity of food significantly less than in the independent choice situation. The tendency to conform to the owner's choice was higher when the dogs had to choose between equally small quantities of food (Condition 3) rather than between a large and a small one (Condition 2). These results provide evidence that dogs can be influenced by their owners even when their indications are clearly in contrast with direct perceptual information, thus leading dogs to ultimately make counterproductive choices.

(PDF same-day service: $19.90)

Accession: 021226955

PMID: 17641921

DOI: 10.1007/s10071-007-0102-7

Related references

Are dogs (Canis familiaris) misled more by their owners than by strangers in a food choice task?. Animal Cognition 14(1): 137-142, 2011

An Investigation on Social Representations: Inanimate Agent Can Mislead Dogs (Canis familiaris) in a Food Choice Task. Plos One 10(8): E0134575-E0134575, 2016

Most domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) prefer food to petting: population, context, and schedule effects in concurrent choice. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 101(3): 385-405, 2014

Domestic dogs Canis familiaris understanding of Projected Video Images of a Human Demonstrator in an Object-choice Task. Ethology 119(10): 898-906, 2013

Shut up and pet me! Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) prefer petting to vocal praise in concurrent and single-alternative choice procedures. Behavioural Processes 110: 47-59, 2015

The performance of stray dogs (Canis familiaris) living in a shelter on human-guided object-choice tasks. Animal Behaviour 79(3): 717-725, 2010

Oxytocin enhances the appropriate use of human social cues by the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) in an object choice task. Animal Cognition 18(3): 767-775, 2015

How do guide dogs of blind owners and pet dogs of sighted owners (Canis familiaris) ask their owners for food?. Animal Cognition 11(3): 475-483, 2008

Determining preschoolers' preferences for choice-making opportunities: choice of task versus choice of consequence. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 43(3): 503-507, 2011

A comparison of pet and purpose-bred research dog (Canis familiaris) performance on human-guided object-choice tasks. Behavioural Processes 110: 60-67, 2015