CEU Event: It’s a dog’s life: Investigating behavioral, cognitive, and memory differences between owned and she

When: Ongoing
Where: Online


CPDT-KSA Knowledge: 0.00 CBCC-KSA Knowledge: 2.00
CPDT-KSA Skills: 0.00 CBCC-KSA Skills: 0.00


In this talk Lisa Gunter MA will discuss similarities and differences in the behavior and cognition of dogs living in home versus shelter environments. Previous research has found significantly elevated levels of cortisol in dogs living in shelters compared to dogs living in homes. However few studies have examined possible behavioral and cognitive differences between these two groups of dogs. In this talk, Lisa will discuss her current research comparing dogs living in an animal shelter and owned dogs on a series of behavioral persistence, affective bias, memory, and reversal tasks. In Study 1, dogs were trained to touch their nose to an experimenter’s hand for a food reinforcer, and their persistence was measured when food was no longer delivered. Dogs living in homes persisted longer in this resistance-to-extinction task than shelter dogs. In Study 2, dogs were tested in a spatial location affective bias task to infer differences in their underlying state as measured by latency to approach ambiguous and unbaited probe locations. Shelter dogs perceived the near negative probe location more pessimistically than owned dogs. In Study 3, dogs’ short-term memory was tested at varying intervals of time on a novel task: a treat was placed behind a box with an identical distractor nearby, and the number of errors was recorded. While owned dogs were more often correct than shelter dogs at all intervals, the difference was not significant. Finally, dogs’ sensitivity to reinforcement contingency was tested in a reversal learning task. Dogs were presented two identical boxes, one baited, the other not. After a dog reached a criterion level of success in selecting the baited box, the baiting of the boxes was reversed. Reversals continued for 30 trials, and number of correct choices was recorded. Preliminary results from this and the previous studies will be presented and discussed. Join us for the live online presentation on June 20th 2017, 8pm ET, or for the recorded version after.

Sponsor:E-training for Dogs
Speaker(s):Lisa Gunter, MA & Moderated by Monique Udell, PhD

Contact: Cheryl Aguiar
 Email: cheryl@e-trainingfordogs.com
 Phone: 970-231-9965
 Web: http://e-trainingfordogs.com/2011/03/the-library/