It’s becoming clear that dogs have been selected and bred for their ability to attend to and interpret humans:
“A review of domestic dogs’ (Canis familiaris) human-like behaviors: or why behavior analysts should stop worrying and love their dogs.”
—by Monique A. R. Udell and C. D. L. Wynne
Dogs likely were the first animals to be domesticated and as such have shared a common environment with humans for over ten thousand years. Only recently, however, has this species’ behavior been subject to scientific scrutiny. Most of this work has been inspired by research in human cognitive psychology and suggests that in many ways dogs are more human-like than any other species, including nonhuman primates. Behavior analysts should add their expertise to the study of dog behavior, both to add objective behavioral analyses of experimental data and to effectively integrate this new knowledge into applied work with dogs.
Key words: gestures, object permanence, theory of mind, social cognition, dogs