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Behavioural responses of Canis familiaris to different tail lengths of a remotely-controlled life-size dog replica

Behavioural responses of Canis familiaris to different tail lengths of a remotely-controlled... <jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The tail of dogs and allies (Canidae) is important for intraspecific communication. We used a life-sized dog model and varied the tail length and motion as an experimental method of examining effects of tail-docking on intraspecific signaling in domestic dogs, Canis familiaris. We videotaped interactions of 492 off-leash dogs and quantified size and behaviour of approaching dogs to the model's four tail conditions (short/still, short/wagging, long/still, long/wagging). Larger dogs were less cautious and more likely to approach a long/wagging tail rather than a long/still tail, but did not differ in their approach to a short/still and a short/wagging tail. Using discriminant analyses of behavioural variables, dogs responded with an elevated head and tail to a long/wagging tail model relative to the long/still tail model, but did not show any differences in response to tail motion when the model's tail was short. Our study provides evidence that a longer tail is more effective at conveying different intraspecific cues, such as those provided by tail motion, than a shorter tail and demonstrates the usefulness of robotic models when investigating complex behavioural interactions.</jats:p> </jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Behaviour Brill

Behavioural responses of Canis familiaris to different tail lengths of a remotely-controlled life-size dog replica

Behaviour , Volume 145 (3): 377 – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2008 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0005-7959
eISSN
1568-539X
DOI
10.1163/156853908783402894
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The tail of dogs and allies (Canidae) is important for intraspecific communication. We used a life-sized dog model and varied the tail length and motion as an experimental method of examining effects of tail-docking on intraspecific signaling in domestic dogs, Canis familiaris. We videotaped interactions of 492 off-leash dogs and quantified size and behaviour of approaching dogs to the model's four tail conditions (short/still, short/wagging, long/still, long/wagging). Larger dogs were less cautious and more likely to approach a long/wagging tail rather than a long/still tail, but did not differ in their approach to a short/still and a short/wagging tail. Using discriminant analyses of behavioural variables, dogs responded with an elevated head and tail to a long/wagging tail model relative to the long/still tail model, but did not show any differences in response to tail motion when the model's tail was short. Our study provides evidence that a longer tail is more effective at conveying different intraspecific cues, such as those provided by tail motion, than a shorter tail and demonstrates the usefulness of robotic models when investigating complex behavioural interactions.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Journal

BehaviourBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2008

Keywords: DOG BEHAVIOUR; ROBOTIC MODEL; TAIL-DOCKING; CANIDAE; INTRASPECIFIC COMMUNICATION

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