Save

Affiliation, dominance and friendship among companion dogs

In: Behaviour
Authors:
Rebecca K. Trisko aDepartment of Psychology, University of Michigan, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043, USA

Search for other papers by Rebecca K. Trisko in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Aaron A. Sandel bDepartment of Anthropology, University of Michigan, 1085 S. University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

Search for other papers by Aaron A. Sandel in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Barbara Smuts aDepartment of Psychology, University of Michigan, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043, USA

Search for other papers by Barbara Smuts in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$40.00

Dog social behaviour has been well studied, but little is known about affiliative relationships between dogs. We report a yearlong study of dominance and affiliation in 24 dogs at a dog daycare facility and provide additional details on dog relationships through long-term observations of pairs of dogs who lived together in the same household or met frequently for years. Companion dogs formed highly differentiated relationships with one another. At daycare, some dyads affiliated and displayed one-way submission (formal dominance), others affiliated without a dominance relationship (egalitarian), and the majority of dyads did not affiliate at all (agonistic or non-interactive). The dogs in household environments showed formal and egalitarian relationships, and two dyads exchanged two-way agonism without submission (unresolved). Sex influenced the types of relationships dogs formed, with mixed sex dyads more likely to affiliate and less likely to exhibit dominance than same-sex pairs. Dominance influenced the nature of affiliation in relationships; egalitarian dyads were more likely to play and showed more equitable gentle affiliation. Gentle affiliation was reciprocal in the group as a whole, but it was highly skewed in many dyads, especially those with dominance relationships. Gentle affiliation was usually, but not always, directed up the hierarchy. Certain dyads affiliated at much higher rates than others, indicating that the dogs formed friendships. Most friends were mixed sex and/or egalitarian pairs, but friendships occurred in all of the sex class/dominance combinations. Long-term observations demonstrated how dyadic relationships can change over time. Such highly differentiated relationships suggest significant social complexity in dogs.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1943 448 23
Full Text Views 427 36 0
PDF Views & Downloads 250 58 0