The effect of preferential paw usage on dogs' (Canis familiaris) performance in a manipulative problem-solving task

S. Marshall-Pescini*, S. Barnard, N. J. Branson, P. Valsecchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a number of species, individuals showing lateralized hand/paw usage (i.e. the preferential use of either the right or left paw) compared to ambilateral individuals have been shown to be more proactive in novel situations. In the current study we used an established test to assess preferential paw usage in dogs (the Kong test) and then compared the performance of ambilateral and lateralized dogs as well as left- vs. right-pawed dogs in a novel manipulative problem solving task. Results showed an equal proportion of ambilateral and lateralized dogs but contrary to predictions non-lateralized dogs were faster at accessing the apparatus in test trials. No differences emerged between right- and left-pawed dogs. Results are discussed in relation to previous studies on lateralization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-43
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioural Processes
Volume100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Dog
  • Handedness
  • Lateralization
  • Problem-solving
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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