Animal Cognition

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 553–556 | Cite as

Neophilia in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and its implication for studies of dog cognition

  • Patricia Kaulfuß
  • Daniel S. MillsEmail author
Short Communication


This study examined novel-object preference in dogs. In a free choice test 17 dogs were presented with a novel toy in a line up with two familiar toys. The unfamiliar object was chosen first in 38 out 50 tests suggesting a strong preference for novel over familiar items. Neophilia may be an adaptive trait for domestic dogs that has helped their adaptation towards man.


Dog Neophilia Novelty Preference Choice test Word learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Animal Welfare and Ethology, Institute of Veterinary PhysiologyUniversity of GiessenGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare Group, Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of LincolnRiseholme Park, LincolnUK

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