Eighty-seven pet dogs (Canis familiaris) were involved in an experiment in which they had to solve a task to obtain a ball. After witnessing a full demonstration by their owner (10 times pushing the handle of the box, which released a ball), most dogs preferred to touch the handle sooner and more frequently in comparison with other parts of the box, and they used the handle to get the ball. In contrast, dogs in 3 control groups developed their own respective methods. The lack of emergence of the ball and playing after the demonstration did not affect the learning performance strongly. This suggests that in dogs the outcome of a demonstration plays only a restricted role in the manifestation of social learning.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Psychology (miscellaneous)