Exploring the utility of traditional breed group classification as an explanation of problem-solving behavior of the domestic dog (Canisfamiliaris)

Clarke, Tracey, Mills, Daniel and Cooper, Jonathan (2019) Exploring the utility of traditional breed group classification as an explanation of problem-solving behavior of the domestic dog (Canisfamiliaris). Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 33 . pp. 103-107. ISSN 1558-7878

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2019.06.004

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Exploring the utility of traditional breed group classification as anexplanation of problem-solving behavior of the domestic dog (Canisfamiliaris)
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Abstract

Classification plays a pivotal role in our attempts to develop an understanding and expectation of animal behavior. The hypothesis underpinning traditional breed group classification of domestic dogs is that behavioral differences among breeds may be explained by selection to perform particular roles. Consequently, breed group membership may provide an explanation of differences in performance in problem-solving tests. This study examined owner-reported performance of 8,063 pedigree dogs of three problem-solving tests designed to assess performance of different aspects of animal cognition. We asked (1) whether there are significant differences in problem-solving performance between members of breed groups in their performance of 3 cognitive tests and (2) the utility of breed group profiles in providing an explanation for the highest performing breeds. Results indicate that counter to popular perception of breeds as distinct populations manifesting differing and predictable “breed-group typical” cognitive abilities, the findings revealed no such differences in problem-solving performances between breed groups although there was variation between breeds. High-performing breeds could not be explained by a particular morphology type or original breed origin function as reflected in Kennel Club classifications. It is suggested that breed group classifications are inadequate in yielding useful explanations of problem-solving performance. The results caution against an overreliance on such classifications for understanding dog behavior

Keywords:behavior, dog breed group, classification, probem-solving
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D900 Others in Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:37266
Deposited On:27 Sep 2019 08:28

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