Prospective object search in dogs: mixed evidence for knowledge of What and Where

Juliane Kaminski*, Julia Fischer, Josep Call

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated whether two dogs that had been specially trained to retrieve objects by their names were able to integrate information about the identity (What) as well as the location (Where) of those objects so that they could plan their search accordingly. In a first study, two sets of objects were placed in two separate rooms and subjects were asked to retrieve the objects, one after the other. Both dogs remembered the identity of the objects as they reliably retrieved the correct objects. One of the dogs was also able to integrate information about the object's location as he chose the correct location in which the object had been placed. Further investigation of the second dog's behavior revealed that she followed a more stereotyped search strategy. Despite this variation in performance, this study provides evidence for the memory of What and Where in a domestic dog and shows the prospective use of such information in a search task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-371
Number of pages5
JournalAnimal Cognition
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

Keywords

  • dogs
  • spatial cognition
  • carnivore
  • prospective search
  • memory
  • EPISODIC-LIKE MEMORY
  • MENTAL TIME-TRAVEL
  • JAYS APHELOCOMA-COERULESCENS
  • CANIS-FAMILIARIS
  • SCRUB JAYS
  • INVISIBLE DISPLACEMENT
  • ANIMALS
  • BEHAVIOR
  • REMEMBER
  • CACHES

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