August 2, 2022, 12:34 | Animals
Dogs create olfactory images of their toys at the same time as visual images.
This is reported by Ars Technica, Ukr.Media informs.
"If we understand what senses dogs use when searching for a toy, we will be able to find out how they think about them,' said Shani Dror of Ethwos Lorand University in Budapest.
Previous research has found that dogs usually rely on sight, or a combination of sight and smell, to locate objects they need. Some dogs are also able to associate certain words with objects, while dogs with special abilities for this are separated into a special group.
Scientists decided to find out whether the perception of objects differs in ordinary dogs. For this, a set of 10 toys of different shapes, sizes, colors and materials was used. The owner played with his dog using the chosen toy, sometimes placing it with other toys added as a distraction, and instructed the dog to retrieve the desired one. When the dog successfully retrieved the right toy, it received a reward.
The scientists then conducted an experiment in which the dogs searched for a toy in a bright room and with the lights off.
All dogs in the first experiment, regardless of whether they were GWL dogs or normal dogs, successfully found the desired toys both in the light , as well as in dark conditions, although they needed more time in the dark. Most of them, judging by the videos, guided by sight, although dogs have a good sense of smell. However, when searching for a toy in the dark, dogs sniffed more often and for longer.
In the second experiment, only dogs participated, and the owners commanded them to bring a specific toy when choosing from a large set. The dogs coped with this, while also relying on vision with the participation of smell, and smell was especially important when searching in the dark.
From this, the authors conclude that when dogs play with a toy, they fix its features by with the help of many senses, creating a multi-layered imaginary image. Preference is given to vision, but if necessary, it is supplemented by smell.