Graduation Year

2016

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan Universtiy

Start Date

18-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

18-4-2015 3:00 PM

Description

Each year 6 to 8 million pet dogs enter shelters, and approximately 60% are euthanized. Unfortunately, many dogs are taken to shelters or euthanized due to behavioral problems. Identifying dogs who may have these behaviors allows owners to be informed and prepared for these dogs, reducing the number returned to shelters. One way to identify potential problems may be through measuring self-control in dogs. We have adapted our methods from a similar method used with capuchin monkeys (Bramlett et al., 2012). We constructed a wheel with food that rotated in front of dog subjects. The dog had the choice to eat less-preferred kibble or wait an additional few seconds for a preferred jerky treat. Dogs wait for food, and demonstrate variation in how long they wait. Future studies will explore how long dogs can wait and if variation in self-control predicts behavioral problems.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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Apr 18th, 2:00 PM Apr 18th, 3:00 PM

Do Dogs Possess Self-Control?

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan Universtiy

Each year 6 to 8 million pet dogs enter shelters, and approximately 60% are euthanized. Unfortunately, many dogs are taken to shelters or euthanized due to behavioral problems. Identifying dogs who may have these behaviors allows owners to be informed and prepared for these dogs, reducing the number returned to shelters. One way to identify potential problems may be through measuring self-control in dogs. We have adapted our methods from a similar method used with capuchin monkeys (Bramlett et al., 2012). We constructed a wheel with food that rotated in front of dog subjects. The dog had the choice to eat less-preferred kibble or wait an additional few seconds for a preferred jerky treat. Dogs wait for food, and demonstrate variation in how long they wait. Future studies will explore how long dogs can wait and if variation in self-control predicts behavioral problems.