Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 478291
Title Dominance in domestic dogs revisited: Useful habit and useful construct?
Author(s) Schilder, M.B.H.; Vinke, C.M.; Borg, J.A.M. van der
Source Journal of Veterinary Behavior 9 (2014)4. - ISSN 1558-7878 - p. 184 - 191.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.04.005
Department(s) Research Institute for Animal Husbandry
Behavioural Ecology
WIAS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2014
Keyword(s) free-ranging dogs - canis-familiaris - personality dimensions - agonistic interactions - nonhuman animals - gray wolves - behavior - hierarchies - traits - lupus
Abstract In the last decade, the validity and relevance of the dominance model was regularly put into question regarding relationships between canids like dogs and wolves, and consequently, humanedog relationships as well. The concept underlying this model, scientifically defined as an intervening variable reflecting status difference between individuals, is applicable when formal status signals symbolize the long-term relationship between individuals, resulting in a formalized dominance hierarchy. This article reviews the basics underlying the concept of dominance and reflects on the value and importance of some new quantitative studies on the applicability of the concept of dominance in domestic dogs. The conclusions are, first, that formal dominance is present in the domestic dog, expressed by context-independent unidirectional formal status signals. Consequently, formal dominance (e.g., submission) plays an important role in assessing status in dogedog relationships. Second, that nonverbal statuserelated communication in humans resembles that in dogs to a considerable degree, and hence dogs may be well able to interpret this human statuserelated nonverbal communication from their perspective. Dominance is therefore also likely to play a role in humanedog relationships. Hence, the dominance concept might be useful to explain the development of certain problems in dogedog and dogehuman relationships. However, enforcing a dominant status by a human may entail considerable risks and should therefore be avoided.
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