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  • 1.
    Agnvall, Beatrix
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Bélteky, Johan
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Katajamaa, Rebecca
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Is evolution of domestication driven by tameness? A selective review with focus on chickens2018In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 205, p. 227-233Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Domestication of animals offers unique possibilities to study evolutionary changes caused by similar selection pressures across a range of species. Animals from separate genera tend to develop a suite of phenotypic alterations referred to as "the domesticated phenotype". This involves changes in appearance, including loss of pigmentation, and alterations in body size and proportions. Furthermore, effects on reproduction and behaviour are typical. It is hypothesized that this recurring phenotype may be secondary effects of the increased tameness that is an inevitable first step in the domestication of any species. We first provide a general overview of observations and experiments from different species and then review in more detail a project attempting to recreate the initial domestication of chickens. Starting from an outbred population of Red Junglefowl, ancestors of all modem chickens, divergent lines were selected based on scores in a standardized fear-of-human test applied to all birds at 12 weeks of age. Up to the eighth selected generation, observations have been made on correlated effects of this selection on various phenotypes. The fear score had a significant heritability and was genetically correlated to several other behavioural traits. Furthermore, low-fear birds were larger at hatch, grew faster, laid larger eggs, had a modified metabolism and increased feed efficiency, had modified social behaviour and reduced brain size. Selection affected gene expression and DNA-methylation in the brains, but the genetic and epigenetic effects were not specifically associated with stress pathways. Further research should be focused on unraveling the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the correlated side-effects of reduced fear of humans.

  • 2.
    Andersson, Annelie
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Valros, Anna
    University of Helsinki, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine – Research Centre for Animal Welfare, Department of Production Animal Medicine,00014 Helsinki, Finland.
    Rombin, Johan
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Extensive infanticide in enclosed European wild boars (Sus scrofa)2011In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 134, no 3, p. 184-192Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Infanticidal behaviour is wide-spread among animals of various taxonomic groups, but has not previously been reported in European wild boars, which are commonly kept in enclosures in Sweden and Finland for meat and recreation purposes. We studied the behaviour of wild boars in one enclosure during three reproductive seasons. Non-maternal infanticide was documented in 14 out of 22 litters, causing the deaths of all piglets in all but one affected litters. Infanticide was typically performed during or shortly after parturition by a sow which was older and larger than the victimised sow, and we found no effect of relatedness. A questionnaire sent to 112 owners of enclosures in Sweden and Finland resulted in 62 responses. Although the owners were often not able to provide exact figures on reproduction and mortality, non-maternal infanticide was reported to be the most common cause of piglet mortality, which in total was estimated to 29.1%. The occurrence of infanticide was unrelated to size of enclosure and to variations in husbandry routines, which all together may suggest that the behaviour is part of the normal behavioural repertoire in European wild boars. The observed levels of infanticide constitute a major welfare problem in captive wild boars.

  • 3.
    Foyer, Pernilla
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Bjällerhag, Nathalie
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Wilsson, Erik
    Swedish Armed Forces Dog Instruct Centre, Sweden .
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Behaviour and experiences of dogs during the first year of life predict the outcome in a later temperament test2014In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 155, p. 93-100Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Early life experiences are known to shape the behavioural development of animals, and therefore events occurring during preadolescence and adolescence may have long-term effects. In dogs, this period of time may be important for later behaviour and thereby also the suitability of dogs for different working tasks. We used the breeding practice for Swedish military working dogs to investigate this possibility. German Shepherds were bred at a central facility and then kept in host families for about a year, before participating in a standardised test determining their temperament, behaviour, and suitability for further training. We surveyed the link between the behaviour of 71 prospective military working dogs in their home situations during the first year of life as assessed by an amended C-BARQ survey, and their performance in a temperament test (T-test) applied at about 17 months of age. Dogs which scored high for C-BARQ category "Trainability" showed a significantly higher success rate in the T-test (P less than 0.001), while dogs that scored high for "Stranger-directed fear", "Non-social fear" and "Dog-directed fear" showed a significantly lower success rate (all P less than 0.05). Also dogs with higher C-BARQ scores on "Hyperactivity/restlessness, difficulties in settling down" (P=0.028), and "Chasing/following shadows or light spots" (P=0.035) were more successful, as were dogs left longer times at home (2.97 +/- 0.32 vs. 2.04 +/- 0.33 h/day; P=0.050). Index value, describing the expected success rate in the T-test, was negatively correlated with "Non-social fear" (r = -0.35) and "Stranger directed fear" (r = -0.35). The combined effect of the significant C-BARQ categories explained 29.5% of the variance in the later T-test results (P=0.006). The results indicate that the experiences and behaviour of the dogs during their first year of life is crucial in determining their later behaviour and temperament, something that could potentially be used to improve selection procedures for working dogs. Furthermore, an unsuspected result was that success in the T-test was correlated with behaviours usually associated with problem behaviour, which calls for a deeper analysis of the selection criteria used for working dogs.

  • 4.
    Foyer, Pernilla
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Wilsson, Erik
    Swedish Armed Forces Dog Instruction Centre, Märsta, Sweden.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Early experiences modulate stress coping in a population of German shepherd dogs2013In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 146, no 1-4, p. 79-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Early experiences may alter later behavioural expressions in animals and these differences can be consistent through adulthood. In dogs, this may have a profound impact on welfare and working ability and, it is therefore interesting to evaluate how experiences during the first weeks of life contribute to shaping the long-term behaviour. We analysed data from 503 dogs from 105 litters, bred at the Swedish Armed Forces Dog Kennel. For each dog, the data comprised information on dam and sire, sex, litter size, sex ratio of litter, date of birth, and weight at birth, and at 10 days of age. Between the ages of 377 and 593 days, the dogs were tested in a temperament test, assessing their suitability as working dogs. The behaviour test comprised 12 different sub-tests, and was scored on a behavioural rating scale. A principal component analysis showed that the test performance could largely be attributed to four principal components (explaining 55.7% of variation), labelled Confidence, Physical Engagement, Social Engagement and Aggression. We analysed the effects of the different early life variables and sex on the principal component scores (PC scores) using linear modelling. PC scores on Confidence were affected by parity, sex and litter size, and Physical Engagement was affected by parity, growth rate, litter size and season of birth. Social Engagement was affected by growth rate and sex, and Aggression was affected by sex. Some of these effects disappeared when they were combined into a single linear model, but most of them remained significant also when controlling for collinearity. The results suggest that the early environment of dogs have long-lasting effects on their behaviour and coping styles in a stressful test situation and this knowledge can be used in the work with breeding of future military or police working dogs.

  • 5.
    Hanson, Michaela
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jojola, Susan M.
    AFB International, 3 Research Park Drive, St. Charles, MO 63304, USA.
    Rawson, Nancy E.
    AFB International, 3 Research Park Drive, St. Charles, MO 63304, USA.
    Crowe, Melissa
    AFB International, 3 Research Park Drive, St. Charles, MO 63304, USA.
    Laska, Matthias
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Facial expressions and other behavioral responses to pleasant andunpleasant tastes in cats (Felis silvestris catus)2016In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 181, p. 129-136Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The goal of the present study was to assess how cats react to tastes previously reported to be preferredor avoided relative to water. To this end, the facial and behavioral reactions of 13 cats to differentconcentrations of l-Proline and quinine monohydrochloride (QHCl) as well as mixtures with differentconcentrations of the two substances were assessed using a two-bottle preference test of short duration.The cats were videotaped and the frequency and duration of different behaviors were analyzed. Significantdifferences in the cats’ behavior in response to the taste quality of the different solutions included,but were not limited to, Tongue Protrusions (p < 0.039), Mouth smacks (p = 0.008) and Nose Licks (p = 0.011)with four different stimulus concentrations. The cats responded to preferred taste by keeping their Eyeshalf-closed (p = 0.017) for significantly longer periods of time with four different stimulus concentrationscompared to a water control. When encountering mixtures containing l-Proline and QHCl the cats performedTongue protrusion gapes (p < 0.038) significantly more frequently with three different stimulusconcentrations compared to an l-Proline control. A stepwise increase in the concentration of l-Prolinefrom 5 mM to 500 mM in mixtures with 50 M QHCl did not overcome the negative impact of the bittertaste on intake. The results of the present study suggest that behavioral responses provide an additionaldimension and may be more informative than consumption data alone to assess whether cats perceivetastes as pleasant or unpleasant. Thus, the analysis of behavioral responses to different taste qualitiesmay be a useful tool to assess and improve the acceptance of commercial food by cats.

  • 6.
    Håkansson, Jennie
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Bratt, Carl
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Behavioural differences between two captive populations of red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) with different genetic background, raised under identical conditions2007In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 102, no 1-2, p. 24-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ex situ conservation of threatened species may lead to behavioural adaptation, which can affect success of reintroduction attempts. In previous studies, we investigated the effects of captivity on the behaviour of red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) and found that captive populations differed behaviourally as well as genetically. The aim of the present study was to compare the behaviour of two of the previously studied populations, raised under identical conditions. Eggs were collected from birds at Copenhagen zoo (Cop) and Götala research station (Got) and were incubated and hatched together. Twenty-eight birds (16 Got and 12 Cop) were reared together and tested in eight different behavioural tests, measuring different aspects of fear-related behaviours as well as exploratory and social behaviours. The study revealed several differences in fear-related behaviours between the populations but none in exploratory or social behaviours. In general, one of the populations (Cop) showed more intense fear behaviours than the other (Got), which instead were less fearful in their behaviours. This indicates that breeding animals in captivity may lead to behavioural modifications, which can affect the outcome of reintroductions. The results further suggest that fear-related behaviours are dependent on the genetic background of the animals while social behaviours may be more influenced by the social environment. Since fear-related behaviours, such as predator avoidance and fear of humans, are essential for a life in the wild, these aspects are crucial for the breeding of animals in captivity for conservation purposes.

  • 7.
    Håkansson, Jennie
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    A longitudinal study of antipredator behaviour in four successive generations of two populations of captive red junglefowl2008In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 114, no 3-4, p. 409-418Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Conservation breeding and reintroduction into the wild can only be an effective management tool if behaviours essential for a life in the wild are maintained in captivity. The aim of this study was to investigate how a protected captive environment influences antipredator behaviour over generations. The red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) was used as a case study. Birds from two different captive populations were followed over four generations. In the last three generations, all birds were hatched and reared in the same indoor settings. Antipredator behaviour was measured in each generation in a standardised test where the birds were exposed to a simulated predator attack. The test was divided into three parts: pre-exposure period, exposure and post-exposure periods. There was an interaction effect between Population and generation (F-3.129 = 4.84, P < 0.01) on behaviour during the pre-exposure period, suggesting that the birds "baseline" agitation level may have been altered differently in the two populations. Population differences were also found during the post-exposure period but the populations tended to become more similar over successive generations in their behaviour after the exposure. Furthermore, there were significant effects of generation (H (d.f. = 1, N = 137) = 10.94, P < 0.05) as well as population (H (d.f. = 1, N = 137) = 5.17, P < 0.05) on the immediate reaction to the simulated predator attack. In conclusion, over four successive generations, the two populations altered their antipredator behaviour and tended to become more similar. This study shows that antipredator behaviour may change over generations in a captive environment. This is likely to be one of the most crucial factors for successful reintroduction into the wild and hence, it is a very important aspect to consider for conservation breeding.

  • 8.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Behaviour epigenetics – The connection between environment, stress and welfare2014In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 157, p. 1-7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Epigenetics refers to chemical modifications of DNA, which do not change the base-pairsequence. This involves, for example, methylation of cytosine and different alterations inhistone chemistry. Such modifications affect how genes are expressed and can occur as aresponse to stress, mediated by steroid hormones. Hence, the coordination of how genesare expressed, the orchestration of the genome so to say, responds dynamically to environ-mental challenges. In this selective review, the evidence in support of such mechanismsis discussed. Data show that epigenetic mechanisms can be affected by stress in differentlife phases, even prenatally, and this can cause long-term modifications of behaviour andstress susceptibility. Several studies show that such effects can even persist into cominggenerations. Research on chickens demonstrates that chronic, as well as brief events ofstress cause transgenerationally stable changes of brain gene expression, behaviour andHPA-axis sensitivity. Evidence is also reviewed, suggesting that epigenetic variation mayhave been a substrate for selection during domestication. It is concluded that the mainresearch challenge for the future is to understand the gene × epigenetics × environmentinteraction, and incorporate this into the field of animal welfare.

  • 9.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Domestication-From behaviour to genes and back again2006In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 97, no 1, p. 3-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During domestication, animals have adapted with respect to behaviour and an array of other traits. This tends to give rise to a specific domestication phenotype, involving similar changes in colour, size, physiology and behaviour among different species. Hence, domestication offers a model for understanding the genetic mechanisms involved in the trade-off between behaviour and other traits in response to selection. We compared the behaviour and other phenotypic traits of junglefowl and white leghorn layers, selected for egg production (and indirectly for growth). To examine the genetic mechanisms underlying the domestication-related differences, we carried out a genome scan for quantitative trait loci (QTLs) affecting behaviour and production traits in F2-birds of a junglefowl×white leghorn intercross. Several significant or suggestive QTLs for different production traits were located and some of these coincided with QTLs for behaviour, suggesting that QTLs with pleiotropic effects (or closely linked QTLs) may be important for the development of domestication phenotypes. Two genes and their causative mutations for plumage colouration have been identified, and one of these has a strong effect on the risk of being a victim of feather pecking, a detrimental behaviour disorder. It is likely that fast and large evolutionary changes in many traits simultaneously may be caused by mutations in regulatory genes, causing differences in gene expression orchestration. Modern genomics paired with analysis of behaviour may offer a route for understanding the relation between behaviour and production and predicting possible side-effects of breeding programs.

  • 10.
    Jensen, Per
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Buitenhuis, B.
    Kjaer, J.
    Zanella, A.
    Mormède, P.
    Pizzari, Tom
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Genetics and genomics of animal behaviour and welfare-Challenges and possibilities2008In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 113, no 4, p. 383-403Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally, the contribution of applied ethology to animal welfare science has concentrated on understanding the reactions of animals to their housing conditions. Domestication has had small effects on fundamental aspects of animal behaviour, and therefore, the needs of present day domesticated animals are closely related to the evolutionary history of the ancestors. However, the last decades have seen an unprecedented intensification of selection for increased production, which has significant side-effects on behaviour and welfare. Understanding the nature of such side-effects have therefore emerged as a central problem to animal welfare science. Modern genetics and genomics offer tools for such research, and this review outlines some of the available methods and how these have been, and could be, used to enrich animal welfare science. An outline is given on traditional genetic selection methods applied on behaviour and welfare related variables. Significant improvements in levels of fearfulness and abnormal behaviour have been achieved by selecting populations against these traits. As a next step, it is necessary to map the loci involved in affecting these traits, and quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis have been used for this. An overview of QTL-analyses of welfare related traits in different species is given, including how this analysis has provided new insights into the genetic architecture of the stress response. Beyond allelic differences, which can be mapped with QTL-analysis, welfare related biological responses may be mediated by acquired modifications in expression levels of genes and gene complexes. This can be analysed with cDNA microarray technology, and a review of relevant work in this respect is given. Many of the changes in genetic control mechanisms observed during selection are results of evolutionary responses, for example related to sexual selection. An overview with a genetic perspective is provided of this often neglected aspect of domestication in relation to animal welfare problems. It is concluded that modern selection of farm animals pose a serious challenge to animal welfare, but also previously unknown possibilities to improve welfare by using high precision breeding techniques. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 11.
    Lindqvist, Christina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Effects of age, sex and social isolation on contrafreeloading in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and White Leghorn fowl2008In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 114, no 3-4, p. 419-428Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Contrafreeloading (CFL), i.e. choosing to work to obtain food over free food, has been studied in many different species. White Leghorn laying hens selected for high production have a lower extent of CFL compared to their wild ancestor, red junglefowl. We studied the effects of age, sex and social isolation. on the extent of CFL in red junglefowl and White Leghorn layers.

    For 48 h, 30 birds of each breed were allowed a choice, between freely available food and food mixed with wood shavings. Both females and males were tested individually as young birds (8-10 weeks old) and when they were sexually mature (27-29 weeks old). To test the possible effects of social isolation, the same birds were also tested in pairs at 30 weeks of age.

    Junglefowl showed a higher extent of CFL at the younger age compared to Leghorns (33.7% vs. 22.7%: P = 0.05) and both breeds showed higher extent of CFL at a young age than when sexually mature (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences between the two breeds when they were sexually mature and tested individually but, when tested in pairs, junglefowl showed higher extent of CFL than Leghorns (31.7% vs. 17.0%; P < 0.001). There were no differences in the extent of CFL between the sexes in either breed.

    The results indicate that age and social isolation influence the extent of CFL in fowl. Furthermore, the results support earlier findings that the extent of CFL is lower in Leghorns than junglefowl, indicating a possible side-effect of selection for increased production.

  • 12.
    Pettersson, Helena
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Kaminski, Juliane
    Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
    Herrmann, Esther
    Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
    Tomasello, Michael
    Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
    Understanding of human communicative motives in domestic dogs2011In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 133, no 3-4, p. 235-245Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    himpanzees find it easier to locate food when a human prohibits them from going to a certain location than when she indicates that location helpfully. Human children, in contrast, use the cooperative gesture more readily. The question here was whether domestic dogs are more like chimpanzees, in this regard, or more like human children. In our first study we presented 40 dogs with two communicative contexts. In the cooperative context the experimenter informed the subject where food was hidden by pointing helpfully (with a cooperative tone of voice). In the competitive context the experimenter extended her arm towards the correct location in a prohibitive manner, palm of hand out (uttering a forbidding command in a prohibitive tone of voice). Dogs were successful in the cooperative condition (P=0.005) but chose randomly in the competitive condition (P=0.221). The second study independently varied the two characteristics of the communicative gesture (the gesture itself and the tone of voice). In addition to replicating dogs better performance with the cooperative gestures, this study suggests that tone of voice and context had more effect than type of gesture. In the context of food acquisition, domestic dogs, like human children, seem more prepared to use human gestures when they are given cooperatively.

  • 13.
    Sundman, Ann-Sofie
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Persson, Mia
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Grozelier, Anna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Halldén, Lise-Lotte
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Roth, Lina
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Understanding of human referential gestures is not correlated to human-directed social behaviour in Labrador retrievers and German shepherd dogs2018In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 201, p. 46-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dogs are known to excel in interspecific communication with humans and both communicate with humans and follow human communicative cues. Two tests commonly used to test these skills are, firstly, the problem-solving paradigm, and, secondly, following human referential signals, for example pointing. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether dogs that seek more human contact in an unsolvable problem-solving paradigm also better understand human communicative cues in a pointing test. We also assessed between- and within-breed variation in both tests. 167 dogs were tested and were of the breeds German shepherd dog and Labrador retriever. The Labradors were separated into the two selection lines: common type (bred for show and pet) and field type (bred for hunting). A principal component analysis of behaviours during the problem solving revealed four components: Passivity, Experimenter Contact, Owner Contact and Eye Contact. We analysed the effect of these components on success rate in the pointing test and we found no effect for three of them, while a negative correlation was found for Owner Contact (F(1,147) = 6.892; P = 0.010). This was only present in common-typed Labradors. We conclude that the ability to follow a pointing cue does not predict the propensity for human-directed social behaviour in a problem-solving situation and suggest that the two tests measure different aspects of human-directed social behaviour in dogs.

  • 14.
    Väisänen, Johanna
    et al.
    Department of Animal Environment and Health, Section of Ethology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, Sweden.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Social versus exploration and foraging motivation in young red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and White Leghorn layers2003In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 84, no 2, p. 139-158Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social coherence tendency is an important behavioural characteristic in young fowl related to an underlying social motivation that can be modified by breeding. Our aim was to investigate if selection for productive traits in a certain White Leghorn layer strain has influenced different components of social motivation compared to the ancestor, red junglefowl. From both breeds, 29 chicks were tested between 4 and 7 weeks of age in four behavioural tests designed to study social motivation. A runway test was used to measure social reinstatement behaviour. Social coherence tendency versus foraging motivation was measured in both novel and familiar environments following 0 and 3 h food deprivation. The novel environment was an L-shaped social versus foraging arena and the familiar environment was identical to the chicks’ home pens. Both included stimulus birds in a box and food at opposite ends of the test arenas. Furthermore, spacing behaviour of groups consisting of three chicks was observed in a novel pen. The runway test revealed a stronger social affiliation in junglefowl when the social contact had first been reinstated. In the social versus foraging arena, junglefowl moved more whereas Leghorns spent more time immobile. These differences were greater with 3 h food deprivation. Deprivation and breed had a significant interaction resulting in more time spent feeding by junglefowl but not by Leghorns. Contrary to this, in the familiar pen, Leghorns responded to deprivation by feeding more and keeping longer distance to the stimulus birds than junglefowl. In the novel pen, Leghorn chicks had shorter nearest neighbour distances than junglefowl. The results indicate that the adaptability of the birds to their social and physical environment may have been influenced by means of selection for increased production capacity. Leghorns from the studied strain may have greater problems in adapting to a new environment.

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Output format
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf