Social learning from conspecifics and humans in dog puppies

Claudia Fugazza, Alexandra Moesta, Ákos Pogány, A. Miklósi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Social learning is especially advantageous for young individuals because it reduces the risks of trialand- error learning, while providing an efficient way of acquiring information. Whereas adult dogs are known to excel in social learning skills, the ontogeny of this process has been mainly overlooked. The focus of our study was to investigate whether the capacity of social learning is already developed in dogs at an early age. We tested 8-week-old dog puppies on their ability to learn socially to open a puzzle box baited with food and on their capacity to retain the acquired information in their memory. Puppies were tested with conspecific and human demonstrators. We further investigated on whether demonstrations performed by their mother or by an unfamiliar conspecific model affected puppies' learning trend differently. We found that social learning skills are present in 8 weeks old puppies and they remembered this experience for 1 hour. Puppies learned to solve the task from both conspecific and human demonstrators, thereby endorsing dogs' flexibility in learning from different social partners. Unexpectedly, puppies were more likely to learn from unfamiliar conspecifics than from their mother, probably as a result of greater attention payed to the demonstration performed by the unfamiliar model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9257
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

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Social learning from conspecifics and humans in dog puppies. / Fugazza, Claudia; Moesta, Alexandra; Pogány, Ákos; Miklósi, A.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 9257, 01.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fugazza, Claudia ; Moesta, Alexandra ; Pogány, Ákos ; Miklósi, A. / Social learning from conspecifics and humans in dog puppies. In: Scientific Reports. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 1.
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