In what sense are dogs special? Canine cognition in comparative context

Journal article


Lea, S. and Osthaus, B. 2018. In what sense are dogs special? Canine cognition in comparative context. Learning & Behavior. 46 (4), pp. 335-363. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13420-018-0349-7
AuthorsLea, S. and Osthaus, B.
Abstract

The great increase in the study of dog cognition in the current century has yielded insights into canine cognition in a variety of domains. In this review, we seek to place our enhanced understanding of canine cognition into context. We argue that in order to assess dog cognition, we need toregard dogs from three different perspectives: phylogenetically, as carnivoran and specifically a canid; ecologically, as social, cursorial hunters; and anthropogenically, as a domestic animal. A principled understanding of canine cognition should therefore involve comparing dogs’ cognition with that of other carnivorans, other social hunters, and other domestic animals.

This paper contrasts dog cognition with what is known about cognition in species that fit into these three categories, with a particular emphasis on wolves, cats, spotted hyenas, chimpanzees, dolphins, horses, and pigeons. We cover sensory cognition, physical cognition, spatial cognition, social cognition, and self-awareness. Although the comparisons are in-complete, because of the limited range of studies of some of the other relevant species, we conclude that dog cognition is influenced by the membership of all three of these groups, and taking all three groups into account, dog cognition does not look exceptional.

KeywordsDog; cognition; carnivora; social hunting; domestic animal; comparative cognition
Year2018
JournalLearning & Behavior
Journal citation46 (4), pp. 335-363
PublisherSpringer
ISSN1543-4508
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3758/s13420-018-0349-7
Publication dates
Online24 Sep 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Sep 2018
Accepted30 Aug 2018
Output statusPublished
Additional information

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium

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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/88ww9/in-what-sense-are-dogs-special-canine-cognition-in-comparative-context

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