Oxytocin modulates responses to inequity in dogs

Although several animals respond negatively to inequity, the underlying neurochemistry of the process remains poorly understood. In this study, we tested whether the neuropeptide oxytocin mediates responses to inequitable outcomes in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). Subjects exchanged tokens to receive a food reward in conditions in which the distribution of reward varied. Dogs did respond […]

Welfare concerns associated with pedigree dog breeding in the UK

In the UK, numerous pedigree dogs of many breeds experience compromised welfare due to the direct and indirect effects of selective breeding. Many breeds are selected to have physical conformations which, although perceived by some to be desirable, have direct negative effects upon their welfare. Dogs are regularly bred whose heads are too large and […]

Landmark-based search memory in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris)

Recent studies have suggested that any animal that relies on landmark-based search memory encodes and uses metric properties of space to navigate. So far, however, metric information provided by landmarks has been predominantly investigated in avian species. In the present study, I investigated whether the domestic dog (Canis familiaris), a mammalian species, encodes the distance […]

Breed differences in dogs’ (Canis familiaris) gaze to the human face

Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) have been submitted to a vast process of artificial selection and to date, there are hundreds of breeds that differ in their physical and behavioral features. In addition, dogs possess important skills to communicate with humans. Previous evidence indicates that those abilities are related to the domestication process and are modulated […]

Do More Sociable Dogs Gaze Longer to the Human Face than Less Sociable Ones?

Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) are especially skillful in communicating with humans, and they rely on special abilities to do that. One of these skills involves gazing at human faces in cases of uncertainty or when seeking for something out of reach. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between dogs’ sociability level and the ability […]

Visual categorization of natural stimuli by domestic dogs

One of the fundamental issues in the study of animal cognition concerns categorization. Although domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) are on the brink to become one of the model animals in animal psychology, their categorization abilities are unknown. This is probably largely due to the absence of an adequate method for testing dogs’ ability to discriminate […]

Object permanence in domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and gray wolves (Canis lupus)

Recent evidence suggests that phylogenetic constraints exerted on dogs by the process of domestication have altered the ability of dogs to represent the physical world and the displacement of objects. In this study, invisible (Experiment 1) and visible (Experiment 2) displacement problems were administered to determine whether domestic dogs’ and gray wolves’ cognitive capacities to […]

Behavioural and physiological indicators of shelter dogs’ welfare: Reflections on the no-kill policy on free-ranging dogs in Italy revisited on the basis of 15 years of implementation

The Italian National Law 281 of 1991 forbids the euthanatization of free-ranging dogs, unless they have an incurable illness or are proved to be dangerous. Without neglecting the undeniable benefits of the “no-kill” policy, nevertheless it has brought about a chronic overpopulation in shelters and, as a result, higher costs of management and welfare problems […]

Canine aggression toward family members in Spain: Clinical presentations and related factors

Canine aggression toward family members represents a potential hazard for the owner’s health and can severely compromise the welfare of the affected dogs. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the main features of canine aggression toward family members using cases from a referral practice. The cases were examined with respect to behavioral […]

Rehabilitation program for urban free-ranging dogs in a shelter environment can improve behavior and welfare

The aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy of a rehabilitation program on improving behavior and welfare of a group of urban free-ranging dogs kept in a dog shelter. In this study, a rehabilitation protocol including training and adaptability to home environment was applied to 8 urban free-ranging dogs kept in a […]