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  Dogs display owner-specific expectations based on olfaction

Bräuer, J., & Blasi, D. (2021). Dogs display owner-specific expectations based on olfaction. Scientific Reports, 11(1): 3291, pp. 1-10. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-82952-4.

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 Creators:
Bräuer, Juliane1, Author              
Blasi, Damian, Author
Affiliations:
1Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074311              

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Free keywords: Behavioural ecology, Psychology
 Abstract: Most current knowledge about dogs’ understanding of, and reacting to, their environment is limited to the visual or auditory modality, but it remains unclear how olfaction and cognition are linked together. Here we investigate how domestic dogs search for their owners using their excellent olfactory sense. We raise the question whether dogs have a representation of someone when they smell their track. The question is what they expect when they follow a trail or whether they perceive an odour as a relevant or non-relevant stimulus. We adopted a classical violation-of-expectation paradigm—and as targets we used two persons that were both important to the dog, usually the owners. In the critical condition subjects could track the odour trail of one target, but at the end of the trail they find another target. Dogs showed an increased activity when the person did not correspond with the trail compared to a control condition. Moreover, we found huge individual differences in searching behaviour supporting the assumption that dogs are only able to smell when they really sniff, and that the temperature has an influence on dogs performance. Results are discussed in the light of how cognitive abilities, motivation and odour perception influence each other.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-02-08
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 10
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 Table of Contents: Methods
- Subjects.
- Setup.
- Procedure.
- Design.
- Coding and analysis.
Results
Discussion
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-82952-4
Other: shh2840
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Title: Scientific Reports
  Abbreviation : Sci. Rep.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London, UK : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 11 (1) Sequence Number: 3291 Start / End Page: 1 - 10 Identifier: ISSN: 2045-2322
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2045-2322