Los perros prestan mucha más atención a la cara de sus propietarios que a desconocidos (ING)

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Los perros prestan mucha más atención a la cara de sus propietarios que a desconocidos (ING)

Mensaje  Shibabcn el Mar Oct 26, 2010 10:27 pm

Los perros no se fijan únicamente en las llamadas de las personas, si no que miran a la cara de sus dueños para reconocerlos y hacerles caso, como refleja un estudio publicado en Animal Behaviour. Es más, los científicos han comprobado que los cánidos tienen muchas dificultades para reconocer a su dueño cuando tiene la cara tapada. Para ello, los científicos, liderados por Paolo Mogillo (U. de Padua), introdujeron en la investigación a un perro al que situaron en una habitación acompañado por su propietario y otra persona desconocida...

Scientists have shown just how much dogs rely on seeing their owners faces in order to recognise them.
The researchers also measured how much dogs prefer to gaze at and follow their owners, rather than a stranger.
In the journal Animal Behaviour, the team described how dogs had difficultly recognising their human "best friend" when the person had their face covered.
The study sheds more light on how thousands of years of domestication has affected the behaviour of canines.

This is very likely to be a by-product of thousands of years of domestication
Paolo Mongillo, University of Padua
Paolo Mongillo from the University of Padua in Italy led the study. He explained that, although many researchers have studied how dogs interact with humans, no one had yet investigated how the animals focused on one person in preference to another - or just how much companion dogs "prefer" their owners.
Dr Mongillo's team invented an experiment to measure this.
"We had the dog in an empty room and we instructed the owner and another person - someone unfamiliar to the dog - to walk across the room several times," the scientist explained.
"The people walked in opposite directions, so they crossed many times in front of the dog and we measured how long the dog looked at one person versus another."
The research team then instructed the two people to leave the room via two different doors and allowed the dog to approach one of the doors.
"Most of the dogs gazed at their owners for most of the time and then chose to wait by the owner's door," said Dr Mongillo.


More about wild dogs and wolves from BBC Wildlife Finder
He described this as an "expected" result but something that no one has measured before.
"If you imagine a dog in a real setting in a city or anywhere in the middle of a crowd or a crowded space, you can see how the animal must have adapted to give preferential attention to its owner," said Dr Mongillo.
In the second part of the study, the scientists asked the people to cover their faces; the human volunteers then walked across the room with bags over their heads.
During this phase of the experiment, the dogs were much less attentive to their owners. This revealed just how much the animals relied on human faces for recognition.
Wild dogs rely on body signals and on cues from other animals in their social groups, but studies including this one suggest that domestic dogs are so attuned to human social groups that they are even able to recognise some human facial expressions.

When the people covered their faces the dogs paid less attention to their owners

"This is very likely to be a by-product of thousands of years of domestication," said Dr Mongillo.
Studies of the genetic differences between dogs and their wolf ancestors suggests that canines were first domesticated between 15,000 and 40,000 years ago.
Dogs and dementia
In the same study, the team investigated the effects of ageing on the dogs' attention.
They found that "aged" dogs - seven years and older - were less able to focus on their owner and also were less likely to choose the owner's door.


Visit Animal Behaviour to learn more about dogs and their owners
"There have been studies to show that dog ageing is similar to human ageing in terms of cognitive impairment," said Dr Mongillo.
So studying ageing in dogs could help our knowledge of human as well as animal age-related diseases.



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