In this chapter, we explore whether domestic dogs and gray wolves share a similar cognitive development with regards to how they represent physical and/or social objects. To reach this objective, we examine two key components of the Piagetian theory of cognitive development in the gray wolf: object permanence and sensorimotor intelligence. We detail how the capacity to search and locate disappearing objects develops in wolves and compare these data with those observed in previous studies with dogs. We then further describe an observational study of sensorimotor intelligence with these wolves. Overall, the results suggest that the development of object permanence is similar in dogs and wolves, both species reaching Stage 5b of object permanence by the age of 11 weeks. In terms of sensorimotor intelligence, Stage 4 was the upper limit of sensorimotor intelligence we observed in wolves. Moreover, up to 6 weeks of age, the behaviors of wolf puppies are directed predominantly towards their conspecifics, and by Week 8, wolves' interest in inanimate object increases significantly. In discussion, we explore the factors affecting the development of object permanence and sensorimotor intelligence in canines.
|Title of host publication||Domestic Dog Cognition and Behavior|
|Subtitle of host publication||The Scientific Study of Canis familiaris|
|Publisher||Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg|
|Number of pages||20|
|ISBN (Print)||3642539939, 9783642539930|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2014|