Human Facial Expression Affects a Dog’s Response to Conflicting Directional Gestural Cues

Ford, Gretta, Guo, Kun and Mills, Daniel (2019) Human Facial Expression Affects a Dog’s Response to Conflicting Directional Gestural Cues. Behavioural Processes, 159 . pp. 80-85. ISSN 0376-6357

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Human Facial Expression Affects a Dog’s Response toConflicting Directional Gestural Cues
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There is growing scientific interest in both the ability of dogs to evaluate emotional cues and their response to social cueing, we therefore examined the interaction between these by investigating whether human facial expression impact on dogs’ approach preference to conflicting directional gestural signals. During testing, a human demonstrator simultaneously pointed in one direction and faced (looked towards) in another towards one of two food bowls placed on opposite sides of the demonstrator with either a happy, angry or neutral facial expression. Thirty-six pet dogs were assessed for their approach preference, approach time, alongside aspects of their temperament (positive/ negative activation and impulsivity via validated questionnaires). Dogs significantly preferred to follow the ‘point’ over ‘face’ cue when the demonstrator displayed angry or neutral expressions but showed no significant preference when the demonstrator displayed a happy expression. Additionally, dogs scoring higher for impulsivity approached the chosen cue significantly faster than those with lower scores. The findings show that dogs integrate information available from human emotional facial expressions with directional gestural information in their response choices within dog-human interactions.

Keywords:Facial expression, Human gesture, Impulsivity, Directional, Signals
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D390 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:34654
Deposited On:06 Feb 2019 16:52

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