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Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Vol 6, No 1, January/February 2011

Funding for this study was provided by FAPESP S~ao


Paulo Research Foundation and Capes Foundation.
Key words: Canis lupus; cortisol metabolites; feces; stress;
hierarchy

DO DOGS HAVE A THEORY OF MIND?


M. Trojan*, A. Reinholz-Trojan, K. Zieba, K. Wieczorek
University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
*Corresponding author: maciej@psych.ww.edu.pl
The studies on cognitive ability, called the theory of mind,
originate in developmental psychology. This ability develops
in human during ontogenesis and enables someone to take
other peoples perspectives and to predict their states of mind
and/or behavior. Several tests can be used to examine this ability, including the false-belief test, a form of which has been
adapted to animal studies (the object-choice paradigm), which
is based on an animals ability to understand human gestures.
In our experiment, we wanted to check whether dogs could
make the correct decision when the pointing gesture
indicated false information.
The study was divided into three parts. In the first phase
(pointing), the experimenter pointed at one of two buckets in
which the reward had been previously hidden out of the dogs
sight. The correct reaction was to choose the bucket suggested
by the pointer. In the second phase (hard version false-belief
test), like in the first phase, the pointer pointed at one of the
buckets, and after that, the two buckets switched positions in
the presence of the dog but out of the pointers sight. Then,
the pointer pointed at the same bucket as before, now the one
without the reward. The third phase (easy version false-belief
test) was similar to the second except that this time the reward
was removed from one bucket and placed in the other one in the
presence of the dog. In the second and third phase the right
reaction was choosing the opposite bucket to the one pointed at.
Our results show a significant decrease in the dogs efficiency
in the second phase of the experiment and large variation in individual results, as well as a reversion of dogs efficiency level
in the third phase.
These results are not consistent with data provided by
other researchers and indicate that dogs do not understand
object permanence. The third phase, in which the dogs
performed very well, may not necessarily indicate that
dogs use the theory of mind, because the dogs did not
pass the original Alain Tshudin version of the test, but only
its easier form.
Key words: pointing; theory of mind

CAN DOGS (CANIS FAMILIARIS) USE A MIRROR TO SOLVE


A PROBLEM?
Tiffani Howell*, Pauleen Bennett
Animal Welfare Science Centre, School of Psychology and
Psychiatry, Monash University, Building 17, Clayton, VIC
3800, Australia

*Corresponding author: tiffani.howell@monash.edu;


Phone: 161 (0)3 9905 1713
Cognitive research involving mirror use has been used in
several species in order to determine whether animals
understand the concept of reflection. Mirror selfrecognition could be indicative of self-awareness in animals, but this would require understanding the function of
the mirror as a reflected image. Most animals are not born
with this ability and must learn it; however, pet dogs often
live indoors and are exposed to mirrors from puppyhood
even if they are not specifically trained with mirrors. We
tested whether pet dogs understood reflection without
specific training. Dog subjects (n540) were placed individually in a room containing a 1.5m ! 1m freestanding mirror, positioned parallel to and facing a wall containing a
large window, through which the adjoining room was
clearly visible. The attention of the dog was drawn to the
mirror, and the second owner silently entered the adjoining
room and displayed a favorite toy. The aim was to determine whether dogs could understand the nature of the reflection, and thus locate the owner holding the toy. Three
conditions were tested, lasting one minute each. Condition
1: window and mirror covered. Condition 2: mirror uncovered, window covered. Condition 3: window and mirror uncovered. For each condition we calculated frequency of:
attending to the mirror; exploratory behaviors toward mirror (e.g., sniffing within 60 cm of mirror, walking around/
behind mirror, jumping onto mirror with front paws); attending to the window; head turns from the mirror to the
window and vice versa. With a few, albeit extremely important, exceptions, our results suggest that most dogs do not
spontaneously use the information in the mirror to solve
this problem.
Key words: mirror; dog; self-recognition; problem-solving

OPERANT CONDITIONING PARAMETERS IN CANCER


DETECTION DOGS
Marta Walczak*, Tadeusz Jezierski,
Aleksandrea G
orecka-Bruzda, Ewa Adamkiewicz
Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding of the Polish
Academy of Sciences, Jastrzebiec, Poland
*Corresponding author: martawalczak@yahoo.com
The aim of this study was to assess the progress in operant
conditioning during three consecutive training phases, until
expertise level in detection of odor markers of cancer
diseases was reached. Breath samples taken from 45, 57,
and 80 patients with diagnosed melanoma, breast and lung
cancer, respectively, were used. Control breath samples
were taken from 396 healthy volunteers. Five naive German
shepherds and one Labrador retriever from two age groups,
20 vs. 6 months old, were used for the training, which used
a lineup of 5 samples. In the training phase 1, the dogs were
trained to indicate the target sample by sitting or lying