Familiarity with humans affect dogs’ tendencies to follow human majority groups
A familiaridade com os seres humanos afeta as tendências dos cães em seguir grupos de maioria humana
Miho nagasawa, Kazutaka Mogi, Hisashi ohtsuki, Takefumi Kikusui
Recently, copying others’ behaviour has attracted attention among researchers. It aids individuals in reducing uncertainty about the knowledge of the environment and helps them in acquiring an adaptive behaviour at a lower cost than by learning it by themselves. Among the copying strategies, conformity, which is the copying of behavioural decisions presented by the majority, has been well studied and reported in many animals, including humans. The previous study showed that dogs did not conform to their multiple conspecific individuals; however, dogs have evolved to increase their adaptability while living with humans, and it is plausible that dogs have selected appropriate behaviour according to the behaviour of humans. Therefore, we investigated which factors influenced the choice of dogs in a situation where they have to choose one of two numerically unbalanced human groups. The results showed that the dogs followed the human majority group under certain conditions, depending on the familiarity with the human demonstrators. These results are important in considering the significance of groups for dogs and the factors of group formation, and will also provide a clue as to how dogs have penetrated into human society.