Dogs enjoy solving problems

17 Aug

From the journal Animal Cognition, “Positive affect and learning: exploring the ‘Eureka Effect’ in dogs.” From the abstract:

“Experimental dogs showed signs of excitement (e.g., increased tail wagging and activity) in response to their achievements, whereas controls showed signs of frustration (e.g., chewing of the operant device) in response to the unpredictability of the situation. The intensity of emotional response in experimental dogs was influenced by the reward type, i.e., greatest response to food and least to another dog. Our results suggest that dogs react emotionally to problem-solving opportunities and that tail wagging may be a useful indicator of positive affective states in dogs.”

Here is a good popular account of the study.

I know this video is only tangentially related to this post, but I can’t resist an excuse to share it:

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