Animal Cognition

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 107–118

Attention to attention in domestic dog (Canis familiaris) dyadic play

Original Paper

Abstract

The social cognitive capacities of dogs, including their communication skills and use of visual attention cues, have recently been investigated in numerous experimental studies. This paper reports on research of domestic dog behavior in a natural setting, which shows sensitivity to the visual attention of their partners when engaged in dyadic rough-and-tumble play. The sequential behaviors and head-direction of both dogs were noted throughout the bouts. The behaviors were differentially used according to the partner’s posture. Play signals were sent nearly exclusively to forward-facing conspecifics; attention-getting behaviors were used most often when a playmate was facing away, and before signaling an interest to play. In addition, the mode of attention-getter matched the degree of inattentiveness of the playmate: stronger attention-getters were used when a playmate was looking away or distracted, less forceful ones when the partner was facing forward or laterally. In other words, these dogs showed attention to, and acted to manipulate, a feature of other dogs that mediates their ability to respond: which feature in human interaction is called “attention”.

Keywords

Visual attention cues Dogs Social cognition Play 

References

  1. Agnetta B, Hare B, Tomasello M (2000) Cues to food location that domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) of different ages do and do not use. Anim Cogn 3:107–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bakeman R, Gottman JM (1997) Observing interaction: an introduction to sequential analysis, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  3. Baron-Cohen S (1991) Precursors to a theory of mind: understanding attention in others. In: Whiten A (ed) Natural theories of mind: evolution, development and simulation of everyday mindreading. Basil Blackwell, Oxford, pp 233–251Google Scholar
  4. Bauer EB, Smuts BB (2007) Cooperation and competition during dyadic play in domestic dogs, Canis familiaris. Anim Beh 73:489–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bekoff M (1972) The development of social interaction, play, and meta-communication in mammals: an ethological perspective. Q Rev Biol 47:412–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bekoff M (1974) Social play in coyotes, wolves, and dogs. BioScience 24:225–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bekoff M (1995) Play signals as punctuation: the structure of social play in canids. Behaviour 132:419–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bekoff M, Byers J (eds) (1998) Animal play: evolutionary, comparative, and ecological perspectives. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  9. Bradshaw J, Nott H (1995) Social and communication behaviour of companion dogs. In: Serpell J (ed) The domestic dog: its evolution, behaviour, and interactions with people. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 115–130Google Scholar
  10. Bruner JS (1981) Intention in the structure of action and interaction. In: Lipsitt LP, Rovee-Collier CK (eds) Advances in infancy research, vol 1. Ablex Publishing Corporation, Norwood, pp 41–56Google Scholar
  11. Bruner J, Jolly A, Sylva K (eds) (1976) Play—its role in development and evolution. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Burghardt GM (2005) The genesis of animal play: testing the limits. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  13. Call J (2001) Chimpanzee social cognition. Trends Cogn Sci 5:388–393PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Call J, Bräuer J, Kaminski J, Tomasello M (2003) Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) are sensitive to the attentional state of humans. J Comp Psychol 117:257–263PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Call J, Hare B, Tomasello M (1998) Chimpanzee gaze following in an object choice task. Anim Cogn 1:89–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Call J, Tomasello M (1994) Production and comprehension of referential pointing by orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). J Comp Psychol 108:307–317PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Clutton-Brock J (1999) A natural history of domesticated mammals. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  18. Collier-Baker E, Davis JM, Suddendorf T (2004) Do dogs (Canis familiaris) understand invisible displacement? J Comp Psychol 118:421–433PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cooper JJ, Ashton C, Bishop S, West R, Mills DS, Young RJ (2003) Clever hounds: social cognition in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris). App Anim Behav Sci 81:229–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Coppinger R, Schneider R (1995) Evolution of working dogs. In: Serpell J (ed) The domestic dog: its evolution, behaviour, and interactions with people. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 21–47Google Scholar
  21. Fagen R (1981) Animal play behavior. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  22. Fiset S, LeBlanc V (2007) Invisible displacement understanding in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris): the role of visual cues in search behavior. Anim Cogn 10:211–224PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fox MW (1978) The dog: its domestication and behavior. Garland STPM Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Fuller JL, Fox MW (1969) The behavior of dogs. In: Hafez ESE (ed) The behaviour of domestic animals. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, pp 438–481Google Scholar
  25. Gácsi M, Miklósi A, Varga O, Topál J, Csányi V (2004) Are readers of our face readers of our minds? Dogs (Canis familiaris) show situation-dependent recognition of human’s attention. Anim Cogn 7:144–153PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gómez JC (1991) Visual behaviour as a window for reading the mind of others in primates. In: Whiten A (ed) Natural theories of mind: evolution, development and simulation of everyday mindreading. Basil Blackwell, Oxford, pp 195–207Google Scholar
  27. Gómez JC (1996) Nonhuman primate theories of (nonhuman primate) minds: some issues concerning the origins of mindreading. In: Carruthers P, Smith PK (eds) Theories of theories of mind. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 330–343Google Scholar
  28. Hare B, Brown M, Williamson C, Tomasello M (2002) The domestication of social cognition in dogs. Science 298:1634–1636PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hare B, Call J, Tomasello M (1998) Communication of food location between human and dog (Canis familiaris). Evol Commun 2:137–159Google Scholar
  30. Hare B, Call J, Tomasello M (2001) Do chimpanzees know what conspecifics know? Anim Behav 61:139–151PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hare B, Tomasello M (1999) Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) use human and conspecific social cues to locate hidden food. J Comp Psychol 113:173–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hauser MD (1996) The evolution of communication. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  33. Hopkins WD, Taglialatela JP, Leavens DA (2007) Chimpanzees differentially produce novel vocalizations to capture the attention of a human. Anim Behav 73:281–286PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Horowitz AC (2002) The behaviors of theories of mind, and a case study of dogs at play. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  35. Horowitz AC, Bekoff M (2007) Naturalizing anthropomorphism: behavioral prompts to our humanizing of animals. Anthrozoös 20:23–35Google Scholar
  36. Lehner P (1996) Handbook of ethological methods, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  37. Martin P, Bateson P (2007) Measuring behaviour: an introductory guide, 3rd edn. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  38. Martin P, Caro TM (1985) On the functions of play and its role in behavioral development. Adv Stud Behav 15:59–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McKinley J, Sambrook TD (2000) Use of human-given cues by domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and horses (Equus caballus). Anim Cogn 3:13–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Miklósi Á, Polgárdi R, Topál J, Csányi V (1998) Use of experimenter-given cues in dogs. Anim Cogn 1:113–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Miklósi Á, Polgárdi R, Topál J, Csányi V (2000) Intentional behaviour in dog–human communication: an experimental analysis of “showing” behaviour in the dog. Anim Cogn 3:159–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Miklósi Á, Soproni K (2006) A comparative analysis of animals’ understanding of the human pointing gesture. Anim Cogn 9:81–93PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Miklósi Á, Topál J, Csányi V (2004) Comparative social cognition: What can dogs teach us? Anim Behav 67:995–1004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mitchell RW, Edmonson E (1999) Functions of repetitive talk to dogs during play: control, conversation, or planning? Soc Anim 7:55–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Moore C, Dunham PJ (1995) Joint attention: its origins and role in development. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
  46. Pellis SM (1991) How motivationally distinct is play? A preliminary case study. Anim Behav 42:851–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Povinelli DJ, Nelson KE, Boysen ST (1990) Inferences about guessing and knowing by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). J Comp Psychol 104:203–210PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Quaranta A, Siniscalchi M, Vallortigara G (2007) Asymmetric tail-wagging responses by dogs to different emotive stimuli. Curr Biol 17(6):199–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rooney NJ, Bradshaw JWS (2002) An experimental study of the effects of play upon the dog–human relationship. Appl Anim Behav Sci 75:161–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Schwab C, Huber L (2006) Obey or not obey? Dogs (Canis familiaris) behave differently in response to attentional states of their owners. J Comp Psych 120:169–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Scott JP, Fuller JL (1965) Dog behavior: the genetic basis. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  52. Serpell J (ed) (1995) The domestic dog: its evolution, behaviour, and interactions with people. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  53. Simonet P, Murphy M, Lance A (2001) Laughing dog: vocalizations of domestic dogs during play encounters. Paper presented at the meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, Corvallis, ORGoogle Scholar
  54. Smith PK (1982) Does play matter? Functional and evolutionary aspects of animal and human play. Behav Brain Sci 5:139–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Smith WJ (1991) Animal communication and the study of cognition. In: Ristau CA (ed) Cognitive ethology: the minds of other animals. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, pp 209–230Google Scholar
  56. Soproni K, Miklósi Á, Topál J, Csányi V (2002) Dogs’ (Canis familiaris) responsiveness to human pointing gestures. J Comp Psychol 116:27–34PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Theall LA, Povinelli DJ (1999) Do chimpanzees tailor their gestural signals to fit the attentional state of others? Anim Cogn 2:207–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tomasello M, Call J (1997) Primate cognition. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  59. Tomasello M, Call J, Nagell K, Olguin R, Carpenter M (1994) The learning and use of gestural signals by young chimpanzees: a trans-generational study. Primates 35:137–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tomasello M, George B, Kruger A, Farrar J, Evans E (1985) The development of gestural communication in young chimpanzees. J Hum Evol 14:175–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tomasello M, Hare B, Agnetta B (1999) Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, follow gaze direction geometrically. Anim Behav 58:769–777PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Vilà C, Savolainen P, Maldonado JE, Amorim IR, Rice JE, Honeycutt RL, Crandall KA, Lundeberg J, Wayne RK (1997) Multiple and ancient origins of the domestic dog. Science 276:1687–1689PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Virányi Zs, Topál J, Miklósi Á, Csányi V (2006) A nonverbal test of knowledge attribution: a comparative study on dogs and children. Anim Cogn 9:13–26PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Whiten A (1997) The Machiavellian mindreader. In: Whiten A, Byrne RW (eds) Machiavellian intelligence II: extensions and evaluations. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 144–173Google Scholar
  65. Whiten A (2000) Chimpanzee cognition and the question of mental re-representation. In: Sperber D (ed) Metarepresentation: a multidisciplinary perspective. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 139–167Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBarnard College New YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations