Neophilia in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and its implication for studies of dog cognition

  title={Neophilia in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and its implication for studies of dog cognition},
  author={Patricia Kaulfuss and Daniel S. Mills},
  journal={Animal Cognition},
This study examined novel-object preference in dogs. In a free choice test 17 dogs were presented with a novel toy in a line up with two familiar toys. The unfamiliar object was chosen first in 38 out 50 tests suggesting a strong preference for novel over familiar items. Neophilia may be an adaptive trait for domestic dogs that has helped their adaptation towards man. 

Tables and Topics from this paper

Object Neophilia in Domestic Purebred Dogs
Differing degrees of neophilic tendency may exist among breeds, and these tendencies may have played a role in the domestication of dogs, and may lend insight into breed characteristics.
Running head : NEOPHILIA IN DOGS 1 Object Neophilia in Domestic Purebred Dogs
Neophilia is defined as a preference for novelty. This characteristic has been described in a variety of animal species, and may have been a contributing factor in the domestication of dogs. This
The influence of relationships on neophobia and exploration in wolves and dogs
The results suggest that the presence of conspecifics supported the exploration of novel objects in both wolves and dogs, particularly within kin and that this may be interpreted as risk sharing.
Why do adult dogs ‘play’?
It is suggested that the domestic dog's characteristic playfulness in social contexts is an adaptive trait, selected during domestication to facilitate both training for specific purposes, and the formation of emotionally-based bonds between dog and owner.
Captivity and habituation to humans raise curiosity in vervet monkeys.
It is concluded that varying levels of human and/or human artefact habituation, rather than the risks present in natural environments, better explain variation in curiosity in a sample of vervet monkeys.
How do guide dogs and pet dogs (Canis familiaris) ask their owners for their toy and for playing?
  • F. Gaunet
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Animal Cognition
  • 2009
It is shown that dogs possess partially intentional non-verbal deictic abilities: they exhibit successive visual orienting between a partner and objects, apparent attention-getting behaviours, no sensitivity to the visual status of humans for communication, and persistence in communicative behaviours when apparent attempts to “manipulate” the human partner fail.
Do Dogs Provide Information Helpfully?
The results might suggest that informative motives could possibly underlie dogs’ showing, and it is also possible that dogs might have indicated the location of the hidden object because they recognised it as the target of the human’s search.
Neophobia in 10 ungulate species—a comparative approach
The hypothesis that larger group size predicts lower levels of neophobia is supported, and ungulates are confirmed as a highly promising taxon to study animal behavior and cognition with a comparative perspective.
Exclusion performance in visual simple discrimination in dogs (Canis familiaris)
based on exclusion have been investigated in different species because of its emergent nature, leading to evidence of rudimentary symbolic behavior in non-verbal organisms. Simple discrimination
Do Domestic Dogs Understand Human Actions as Goal-Directed?
Results provide the first evidence that a non-primate species can perceive another individual’s actions as goal-directed, and discuss results in terms of the prevailing mentalisitic and non-mentalistic hypotheses regarding goal-attribution.


The Domestication of Social Cognition in Dogs
It is found that wolves who were raised by humans do not show these same skills, whereas domestic dog puppies only a few weeks old, even those that have had little human contact, do show these skills.
Clever hounds: social cognition in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris)
This paper reviews the reasons why domestic dogs make good models to investigate cognitive processes related to social living and describes experimental approaches that can be adopted to investigate
Quantity-based judgments in the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
The results suggest that, like apes tested on similar tasks, some dogs can form internal representations and make mental comparisons of quantity.
Word learning in dogs?
It is questioned whether the dog is reasoning by exclusion and, if so, whether the learned heuristics, default assumptions, and pragmatic reasoning as they apply to children and might apply to dogs are compared.
Comparative social cognition: what can dogs teach us?
Research in comparative social cognition addresses how challenges of social living have formed the cognitive structures that control behaviours involved in communication, social learning and social
The development of a psychometric scale for the evaluation of the emotional predispositions of pet dogs
Many pet dogs exhibit problem behaviours which can be corrected through the judicious use of positive and negative reinforcers in training. However, animals often vary in their sensitivity and
A nonverbal test of knowledge attribution: a comparative study on dogs and children
The sensitivity of eleven pet dogs and eleven 2.5-year-old children to others' past perceptual access was tested for object-specificity in a playful, nonverbal task in which a human Helper's
A nonverbal test of knowledge attribution: a comparative study on dogs and children
Even the subtle distinction made by the children can be interpreted without a casual understanding of knowledge-formation in others in a playful, nonverbal task in which a human Helper’s knowledge state regarding the whereabouts of a hidden toy and a stick was systematically manipulated.
Personality Dimensions in Nonhuman Animals
The evolutionary continuity between humans and other animals suggests that some dimensions of personality may be common across a wide range of species. Unfortunately, there is no unified body of
Comparative social cognition.
It is concluded that animals are excellent ethologists, but on the whole, poor psychologists, and those studies that present a good case for mental attribution all possess high ecological validity, including studies on food competition by chimpanzees and cache-protection strategies by corvids.