Cross-species referential signalling events in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris)

Worsley, HK and O'Hara, SJ ORCID: 2018, 'Cross-species referential signalling events in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris)' , Animal Cognition, 21 (4) , pp. 457-465.

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Referential gestures are used by a signaller to draw a recipient’s attention to a specific object, individual or event in the environment. These gestures have received much research attention in relation to human and non-human primates with great apes being shown to possess impressive gestural repertoires. Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) meanwhile provide an ideal non-primate candidate for investigating referential signalling due to their unique relationship with humans that centres on non-verbal communication with frequent interaction. Here we observed 37 pet dogs in their own homes. Owners recorded 242 videos containing 47 potential referential gesture events. We analysed those recordings to reveal evidence of 19 referential gestures performed by domestic dogs during everyday communicative bouts with humans, showing that the gestures conform to the five features of referential signalling. Our study exposes impressive gesturing abilities in a non-primate mammal; especially when viewed in the context of the cross-species rather than intraspecific communication.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Animal Cognition
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1435-9448
Related URLs:
Depositing User: S O'Hara
Date Deposited: 11 May 2018 08:20
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 23:16

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