Dogs’ use of the solidity principle: revisited

Müller, Corsin A., Riemer, Stefanie, Range, Friederike and Huber, Ludwig (2014) Dogs’ use of the solidity principle: revisited. Animal Cognition, 17 (3). pp. 821-825. ISSN 1435-0448

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Item Type:Article
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A wealth of comparative data has been accumulated over the past decades on how animals acquire and use information about the physical world. Domestic dogs have typically performed comparably poorly in physical cognition tasks, though in a recent study Kundey et al. (Anim Cogn 13:497-505, 2010) challenged this view and concluded that dogs understand that objects cannot pass through solid barriers. However, the eight subjects in the study of Kundey et al. may have solved the task with the help of perceptual cues, which had not been controlled for. Here, we tested dogs with a similar task that excluded these cues. In addition, unlike the set-up of Kundey et al., our set-up allowed the subjects to observe the effect of the solid barrier. Nevertheless, all 28 subjects failed to solve this task spontaneously and showed no evidence of learning across 50 trials. Our results therefore call into question the earlier suggestion that dogs have, or can acquire, an understanding of the solidity principle.

Keywords:Physical knowledge; Object knowledge; Perceptual cues; Canis familiaris, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C990 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:17803
Deposited On:09 Jul 2015 14:44

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