Scent-Mediated Kin Recognition and a Similar Type of Long-Term Olfactory Memory in Domestic Dogs (Canis Familiaris)
Eight purebred dogs, separated from their mother for 7’68 months (Median: 33) spent more time (p <. 02) reacting to her scent than to that of an unfamiliar, like-breed female, thus displaying scent-mediated kin recognition. Newborn dogs reared for sale are nurtured by human caretakers, thereby creating an enduring social bond. Consistent with this view, 9 purebred dogs separated from their caretaker for 11’39 months (Median: 13) spent more time (p <. 01) reacting to their caretaker’s scent than to that of a like-sex stranger living with a dog of the same breed and sex. The temporal limits of scent-mediated kin recognition and memory of their caretaker’s scent remain to be explored.
KeywordsEndogenous Opioid Cocker Spaniel Reliable Preference Human Caretaker Human Scent
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