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


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.

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Correspondence to Daniel S. Mills.

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Kaulfuß, P., Mills, D.S. Neophilia in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and its implication for studies of dog cognition. Anim Cogn 11, 553–556 (2008).

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  • Dog
  • Neophilia
  • Novelty Preference
  • Choice test
  • Word learning