Dogs and their human companions: The effect of familiarity on dog-human interactions

Andrea Kerepesi, A. Dóka, A. Miklósi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There are few quantitative examinations of the extent to which dogs discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar persons. In our study we have investigated whether dogs show differential behaviour towards humans of different degrees of familiarity (owner, familiar person, unfamiliar person). Dogs and humans were observed in eight test situations: (1) Three-way strange situation test, (2) Calling in from food, (3) Obedience test, (4) Walking away, (5) Threatening approach, (6) Playful interaction, (7) Food inhibition test and (8) Manipulation of the dog's body.Dogs distinguished between the owner and the two other test partners in those tests which involved separation from the owner (Test 1, 4), were aversive for the dog (Test 5) or involved playing interaction (Test 6). Our results revealed that the owner cannot be replaced by a familiar person in situations provoking elevated anxiety and fear.In contrasts, dogs did not discriminate between the owner and the familiar person in those tests that were based on obedient behaviour or behaviour towards an assertive person (Tests 2, 3, 7 and 8). Dogs' former training experience reduced the difference between their behaviour towards the owner and the familiar person in situations requiring obedience but it did not mask it totally. The dogs' behaviour towards each of the humans participating in the tests was consistent all over the test series.In summary, dogs discriminated between their owner and the unfamiliar person and always preferred the owner to the unfamiliar person. However, the discrimination between the owner and the familiar person is context-specific.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Canine Behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Processes
Volume110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

Dogs
dogs
testing
Recognition (Psychology)
Food-Drug Interactions
Masks
Walking
Fear
Canidae
human behavior
anxiety
Anxiety
fearfulness
walking
Food

Keywords

  • Dog-human interaction
  • Familiar person
  • Obedience
  • Owner
  • Separation
  • Unfamiliar person

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Dogs and their human companions : The effect of familiarity on dog-human interactions. / Kerepesi, Andrea; Dóka, A.; Miklósi, A.

In: Behavioural Processes, Vol. 110, 01.01.2015, p. 27-36.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0b72558846fb4557b0b87ccb5581dbd3,
title = "Dogs and their human companions: The effect of familiarity on dog-human interactions",
abstract = "There are few quantitative examinations of the extent to which dogs discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar persons. In our study we have investigated whether dogs show differential behaviour towards humans of different degrees of familiarity (owner, familiar person, unfamiliar person). Dogs and humans were observed in eight test situations: (1) Three-way strange situation test, (2) Calling in from food, (3) Obedience test, (4) Walking away, (5) Threatening approach, (6) Playful interaction, (7) Food inhibition test and (8) Manipulation of the dog's body.Dogs distinguished between the owner and the two other test partners in those tests which involved separation from the owner (Test 1, 4), were aversive for the dog (Test 5) or involved playing interaction (Test 6). Our results revealed that the owner cannot be replaced by a familiar person in situations provoking elevated anxiety and fear.In contrasts, dogs did not discriminate between the owner and the familiar person in those tests that were based on obedient behaviour or behaviour towards an assertive person (Tests 2, 3, 7 and 8). Dogs' former training experience reduced the difference between their behaviour towards the owner and the familiar person in situations requiring obedience but it did not mask it totally. The dogs' behaviour towards each of the humans participating in the tests was consistent all over the test series.In summary, dogs discriminated between their owner and the unfamiliar person and always preferred the owner to the unfamiliar person. However, the discrimination between the owner and the familiar person is context-specific.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Canine Behavior.",
keywords = "Dog-human interaction, Familiar person, Obedience, Owner, Separation, Unfamiliar person",
author = "Andrea Kerepesi and A. D{\'o}ka and A. Mikl{\'o}si",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.beproc.2014.02.005",
language = "English",
volume = "110",
pages = "27--36",
journal = "Behavioural Processes",
issn = "0376-6357",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dogs and their human companions

T2 - The effect of familiarity on dog-human interactions

AU - Kerepesi, Andrea

AU - Dóka, A.

AU - Miklósi, A.

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - There are few quantitative examinations of the extent to which dogs discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar persons. In our study we have investigated whether dogs show differential behaviour towards humans of different degrees of familiarity (owner, familiar person, unfamiliar person). Dogs and humans were observed in eight test situations: (1) Three-way strange situation test, (2) Calling in from food, (3) Obedience test, (4) Walking away, (5) Threatening approach, (6) Playful interaction, (7) Food inhibition test and (8) Manipulation of the dog's body.Dogs distinguished between the owner and the two other test partners in those tests which involved separation from the owner (Test 1, 4), were aversive for the dog (Test 5) or involved playing interaction (Test 6). Our results revealed that the owner cannot be replaced by a familiar person in situations provoking elevated anxiety and fear.In contrasts, dogs did not discriminate between the owner and the familiar person in those tests that were based on obedient behaviour or behaviour towards an assertive person (Tests 2, 3, 7 and 8). Dogs' former training experience reduced the difference between their behaviour towards the owner and the familiar person in situations requiring obedience but it did not mask it totally. The dogs' behaviour towards each of the humans participating in the tests was consistent all over the test series.In summary, dogs discriminated between their owner and the unfamiliar person and always preferred the owner to the unfamiliar person. However, the discrimination between the owner and the familiar person is context-specific.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Canine Behavior.

AB - There are few quantitative examinations of the extent to which dogs discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar persons. In our study we have investigated whether dogs show differential behaviour towards humans of different degrees of familiarity (owner, familiar person, unfamiliar person). Dogs and humans were observed in eight test situations: (1) Three-way strange situation test, (2) Calling in from food, (3) Obedience test, (4) Walking away, (5) Threatening approach, (6) Playful interaction, (7) Food inhibition test and (8) Manipulation of the dog's body.Dogs distinguished between the owner and the two other test partners in those tests which involved separation from the owner (Test 1, 4), were aversive for the dog (Test 5) or involved playing interaction (Test 6). Our results revealed that the owner cannot be replaced by a familiar person in situations provoking elevated anxiety and fear.In contrasts, dogs did not discriminate between the owner and the familiar person in those tests that were based on obedient behaviour or behaviour towards an assertive person (Tests 2, 3, 7 and 8). Dogs' former training experience reduced the difference between their behaviour towards the owner and the familiar person in situations requiring obedience but it did not mask it totally. The dogs' behaviour towards each of the humans participating in the tests was consistent all over the test series.In summary, dogs discriminated between their owner and the unfamiliar person and always preferred the owner to the unfamiliar person. However, the discrimination between the owner and the familiar person is context-specific.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Canine Behavior.

KW - Dog-human interaction

KW - Familiar person

KW - Obedience

KW - Owner

KW - Separation

KW - Unfamiliar person

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84920191382&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84920191382&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.02.005

DO - 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.02.005

M3 - Article

C2 - 24548652

AN - SCOPUS:84920191382

VL - 110

SP - 27

EP - 36

JO - Behavioural Processes

JF - Behavioural Processes

SN - 0376-6357

ER -