Simple Mechanisms Can Explain Social Learning in Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris)

@article{Mersmann2011SimpleMC,
  title={Simple Mechanisms Can Explain Social Learning in Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris)},
  author={Dorit Mersmann and Michael Tomasello and Josep Call and Juliane Kaminski and Michael Taborsky},
  journal={Ethology},
  year={2011},
  volume={117},
  pages={675-690}
}
Recent studies have suggested that domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) engage in highly complex forms of social learning. Here, we critically assess the potential mechanisms underlying social learning in dogs using two problem-solving tasks. In a classical detour task, the test dogs benefited from observing a demonstrator walking around a fence to obtain a reward. However, even inexperienced dogs did not show a preference for passing the fence at the same end as the demonstrator. Furthermore, dogs… 

Figures from this paper

Goats learn socially from humans in a spatial problem-solving task
Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) coordinate their actions in a problem-solving task
TLDR
Although the performance of the pairs did not depend on the divisibility of the reward, pairs were quicker at coordinating their actions when both anticipated rewards, suggesting that their solutions were achieved by each individual attempting to maximize for itself.
Social learning from humans or conspecifics: differences and similarities between wolves and dogs
TLDR
Dogs but also wolves can use information provided by both human and conspecific demonstrators in a local enhancement task, and it is suggested that a more fine-scale analysis of dog and wolf social learning is needed to determine the effects of domestication.
Human Demonstration Does Not Facilitate the Performance of Horses (Equus caballus) in a Spatial Problem-Solving Task
TLDR
It is found that horses did not solve the detour task more often or faster with human demonstration, but both test groups improved rapidly over trials, suggesting that horses prefer to use individual rather than social information when solving a spatial problem-solving task.
Do Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) Make Counterproductive Choices Because They Are Sensitive to Human Ostensive Cues?
TLDR
Results show that dogs' evaluation errors are indeed caused by a social bias, but, somewhat contrary to previous studies, they highlight the potent effect of stimulus enhancement (handling the target) in influencing the dogs' response.
Social learning across species: horses (Equus caballus) learn from humans by observation
TLDR
It is demonstrated that horses learn socially across species, in this case from humans, given that they identify individual humans and orientate on the focus of human attention.
Selective overimitation in dogs
TLDR
It is concluded that the eagerness of dogs to learn from humans and to copy even unnecessary actions is strongly facilitated by their relationship with the particular human.
Dog Imitation and Its Possible Origins
TLDR
This chapter reports recent evidence first of social facilitation and social influences on individual learning and then of true social learning in dogs and proposes imitation has been inherited from their ancestors, wolves, which are well known for their advanced social system, including cooperative breeding and hunting.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 76 REFERENCES
How does dominance rank status affect individual and social learning performance in the dog (Canis familiaris)?
TLDR
The results suggest that perceived dominance rank in its own group has a strong effect on social learning in dogs, but this effect seems to depend also on the demonstrator species.
Verbal attention getting as a key factor in social learning between dog (Canis familiaris) and human.
TLDR
The results show that the main factor of a successful human demonstration is the continuous verbal communication with the dog during detouring, and provide evidence that in adult dogs, communicative context with humans is needed for effective interspecific social learning to take place.
Social learning in dogs : the effect of a human demonstrator on the performance of dogs in a detour task
TLDR
The experiments show that dogs are able to rely on information provided by human action when confronted with a new task and easily adopted the detour behaviour shown by humans to reach their goal.
Preference for copying unambiguous demonstrations in dogs (Canis familiaris).
TLDR
It is found that dogs' trial-and-error experience influences strongly the direction of the dogs' detours later, even if the demonstrator showed detours along the opposite side of the fence.
Interaction between individual experience and social learning in dogs
We investigated the interaction between individual experience and social learning in domestic dogs, Canis familiaris. We conducted two experiments using detour tests, where an object or food was
Selective Imitation in Domestic Dogs
...
1
2
3
4
5
...