A number of studies have examined the ability of dogs (Canis Familiaris) to follow human given cues. Dogs have been shown to reliably follow pointing cues. To date, few studies have investigated whether emotional cues are a factor in these canine choices. We tested dogs using a two-way object choice food task. Sixty large and medium breed dogs were tested in one of four conditions (positive baited, silent baited, negative non-baited and negative baited). Results showed that dogs reliably followed human pointing cues over emotional cues in three of the four conditions. In the negative non-baited bowl, dogs did not select the non-indicated, baited bowl over chance. This suggests that canines use pointing as a more salient cue than emotions in object choice tasks.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Gartman, Peggy Janell, "Social Referencing in Domestic Dogs: The Effects of Human Affective Behavior on Canines Point Following" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 5250.