Do as I … Did! Long-term memory of imitative actions in dogs (Canis familiaris)

Claudia Fugazza, Ákos Pogány, A. Miklósi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


This study demonstrates long-term declarative memory of imitative actions in a non-human animal species. We tested 12 pet dogs for their ability to imitate human actions after retention intervals ranging from 1 to 24 h. For comparison, another 12 dogs were tested for the same actions without delay between demonstration and recall. Our test consisted of a modified version of the Do as I Do paradigm, combined with the two-action procedure to control for non-imitative processes. Imitative performance of dogs remained consistently high independent of increasing retention intervals, supporting the idea that dogs are able to retain mental representations of human actions for an extended period of time. The ability to imitate after such delays supports the use of long-term declarative memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-269
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016



  • Declarative memory
  • Deferred imitation
  • Dogs
  • Long-term memory
  • Long-term recall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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