Affiliation, dominance and friendship among companion dogs

in Behaviour
No Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

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.

Affiliation, dominance and friendship among companion dogs

in Behaviour

Sections

References

ArchieE.A.TungJ.ClarkM.AltmannJ.AlbertsS.C. (2014). Social affiliation matters: both same-sex and opposite-sex relationships predict survival in wild female baboons. — Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B: Biol. Sci. 281: 20141261.

AureliF.FraserO.N.SchaffnerC.M.SchinoG. (2012). The regulation of social relationships. — In: The evolution of primate societies ( MitaniJ.C.CallJ.KappelarP.M.PalombitR.A.SilkJ.B. eds). University of Chicago PressChicago, IL p.  531-551.

BaanC.BergmüllerR.SmithD.W.MolnarB. (2014). Conflict management in free-ranging wolves, Canis lupus. — Anim. Behav. 909: 327-334.

BatesD.MaechlerM.BolkerB.M.WalkerS. (2015). Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. — J. Stat. Softw. 67: 1-48.

BauerE.B.SmutsB.B. (2007). Cooperation and competition during dyadic play in domestic dogs. — Anim. Behav. 73: 489-499.

BergmanT.J.BeehnerJ.C. (2015). Measuring social complexity. — Anim. Behav. 103: 203-209.

BernsteinI.S. (1991). An empirical comparison of focal and ad libitum scoring with commentary on instantaneous scans, all occurrence and one–zero techniques. — Anim. Behav. 42: 721-728.

BlasiM.F.BoitaniL. (2014). Complex social structure of an endangered population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Aeolian Archipelago (Italy). — PLoS ONE 9: e11489.

BoissyA.ManteuffelG.JensenM.B.MoeR.O.SpruijtB.KeelingL.J.WinklerC.ForkmanB.DimitrovI.LaugbeinJ.BakkenM.AubertA. (2007). Assessment of positive emotions in animals to improve their welfare. — Physiol. Behav. 92: 375-397.

BoitaniL.CiucciP.OrtolaniA. (2007). Behaviour and social ecology of free-ranging dogs. — In: The behavioural biology of dogs ( JensenP. ed.). CAB InternationalWallingford p.  47-165.

BonanniR.CafazzoS. (2014). The social organisation of a population of free-ranging dogs in a suburban area of Rome: a reassessment of the effects of domestication on dogs’ behaviour. — In: The social dog: behaviour and cognition ( KaminskiJ.Marshall-PesciniS. eds). ElsevierAmsterdam p.  65-104.

BonanniR.CafazzoS.ValsecchiP.NatoliE. (2010a). Effect of affiliative and agonistic relationships on leadership behavior in free-ranging dogs. — Anim. Behav. 79: 981-991.

BonanniR.ValsecchiP.NatoliN. (2010b). Pattern of individual participation and cheating in conflicts between groups of free-ranging dogs. — Anim. Behav. 79: 957-968.

BradshawJ.W.S.NottH.M.R. (1995). Social and communication behavior of companion dogs. — In: The domestic dog: its evolution behavior and interactions with people ( SerpellJ. ed.). Cambridge University PressNew York, NY p.  115-130.

BradshawJ.W.S.BlackwellE.J.CaseyR.A. (2009). Dominance in dogs: useful construct or bad habit?J. Vet. Behav. Clin. Appl. Res. 3: 176-177.

BradshawJ.W.PullenA.J.RooneyN.J. (2015). Why do adult dogs ‘play’?Behav. Proces. 110: 82-87.

CafazzoS.ValsecchiP.BonanniR.NatoliE. (2010). Dominance in relation to age, sex, and competitive contexts in a group of free-ranging domestic dogs. — Behav. Ecol. 21: 443-455.

CafazzoS.BonanniR.ValseechiP.NatoliE. (2014). Social variables affecting mate preferences, copulation and reproductive outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs. — PLoS ONE 9: e98594.

CapraA.BarnardS.ValsecchiA.C. (2011). Flight, foe, fight! Aggressive interactions between dogs. — J. Vet. Behav.: Clin. Appl. Res. 6: 62.

CassidyK.A.MacNultyD.R.StahlerD.R.SmithD.W.MechL.D. (2015). Group composition effects on aggressive interpack interactions of gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park. — Behav. Ecol. 26(5): 1352-1360.

ConnorR.C.KeutzenM. (2015). Male alliances in Shark Bay: changing perspectives in a 30-year study. — Anim. Behav. 103: 223-235.

CoolsA.K.A.Van HoutA.J.M.NelissenM.H.J. (2008). Canine reconciliation and third-party-initiated post conflict affiliation: do peacemaking social mechanisms in dogs rival those of higher primates?Ethology 114: 53-63.

CordoniG. (2009). Social play in captive wolves (Canis lupus): not only an immature affair. — Behaviour 146: 1363-1385.

CordoniG.PalagiE. (2008). Reconciliation in wolves (Canis lupus): new evidence for a comparative perspective. — Ethology 114: 298-308.

CordsM.AureliF. (2000). Reconciliation and relationship qualities. — In: Natural conflict resolution ( AureliF.de WaalF.B.M. eds). University of California PressBerkeley, CA p.  177-198.

de WaalF.B.M. (1982). Chimpanzee politics. Power and sex among apes. — Harper & RowNew York, NY.

de WaalF.B.M. (1986). The integration of dominance and social bonding in primates. — Q. Rev. Biol. 61: 459-479.

DunbarR.I.M.ShultzS. (2010). Bondedness and sociality. — Behaviour 147: 775-803.

FehC.de MazièresJ. (1993). Grooming at a preferred site reduces heart rate in hoses. — Anim. Behav. 46: 1191-1194.

FentressJ.C.RyonJ.McLeodP.J.HavkinG.Z. (1987). A multidimensional approach to agonistic behavior in wolves. — In: Man and wolf: advances issues and problems in captive wolf research ( FrankH. ed.). Dr. W. JunkDordrecht p.  253-274.

FraserO.N.BugnyarT. (2010). The quality of social relationships in ravens. — Anim. Behav. 79: 927-933.

FreedmanA.H.GronauI.SchweizerR.M.Ortega-Del VecchyoD.HanE.SilvaP.M.GalaverniM.FanZ.MarxP.Lorente-GaldosB.BealeH.RamirezO.HormozdiariF.AlkanC.VilàC.SquireK.GeffenE.KusakJ.BoykoA.R.ParkerH.G.LeeC.TadigotlaV.SiepelA.BustamanteC.D.HarkinsT.T.NelsonS.F.OstranderE.A.Marques-BonetT.WayneR.K.NovembreJ. (2014). Genome sequencing highlights the dynamic early history of dogs. — PloS ONE 10: e1004016.

HandJ.L. (1986). Resolution of social conflicts: dominance, egalitarianism, spheres of dominance, and game-theory. — Q. Rev. Biol. 61: 201-220.

HandlemanB. (2008). Canine behavior: a photo illustrated handbook. — DogwiseWanatchee, WA.

HareB.TomaselloM. (2005). Human-like social skills in dogs?Trends Cogn. Sci. 9: 439-444.

HemelrijkC.K. (1990). Models of, and tests for, reciprocity, unidirectionality and other social interaction patterns at a group level. — Anim. Behav. 39: 1013-1029.

HennessyM.B.ZateR.MakenD.S. (2008). Social buffering of the cortisol response of adult female Guinea pigs. — Physiol. Behav. 93: 883-888.

HorowitzA. (2009). Attention to attention in domestic dog (Canis familiaris) dyadic play. — Anim. Cogn. 12: 107-118.

JenksS.M. (2011). A longitudinal study of the sociosexual dynamics in a captive family group of wolves: the university of Connecticut wolf project. — Behav. Genet. 41: 810-829.

JohnsonE.T.Snyder-MacklerN.BeehnerJ.C.BergmanT.J. (2014). Kinship and dominance rank influence the strength of social bonds in female geladas (Theropithecus gelada). — Int. J. Primatol. 35: 288-304.

KaminskiJ.Marshall-PesciniS. (eds) (2014). The social dog: behavior and cognition. — ElsevierAmsterdam.

KaplanJ.R.HeiseE.R.ManuckS.B.ShivelyC.A.CohenS.RabinB.S.KasprowiczA.L. (1991). The relationship of agonistic and affiliative behavior patterns to cellular immune function among cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) living in unstable social-groups. — Am. J. Primatol. 25: 157-173.

KuhnM. with contributions from Jed Wing Steve Weston Andre Williams Chris Keefer Allan Engelhardt Tony Cooper Zachary Mayer Brenton Kenkel the R Core Team Michael Benesty Reynald Lescarbeau Andrew Ziem Luca Scrucca Yuan Tang & Can Candan (2015). caret: classification and regression training. R package version 6.0-62. Available online at http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=caret.

LehnerP.N. (1992). Sampling methods in behavior research. — Poult. Sci. 71: 643-649.

LordK.FeinsteinM.SmithB.CoppingerR. (2013). Variation in reproductive traits of members of the genus Canis with special attention to the domestic dog (Canis familiaris). — Behav. Process. 92: 131-142.

MassenJ.J.M.SziplG.SpreaficoM.BugnyarT. (2014). Ravens intervene in other’s bonding attempts. — Curr. Biol. 24: 2733-2736.

MechL.D. (1970). The wolf: the ecology and behaviour of an endangered species. — Natural History PressNew York, NY.

MechL.D. (1999). Alpha status, dominance, and division of labor in wolf packs. — Can. J. Zool. 77: 1196-1203.

MechL.D.BoitaniL. (2003). Wolves: behavior ecology and conservation. — University of Chicago PressChicago, IL.

MiklósiA.TopálJ. (2013). What does it take to become ‘best friends’? Evolutionary changes in canine social competence. — Trends Cogn. Sci. 17: 287-294.

MiklósiA.TurcsánB.KubinyiE. (2014). The personality of dogs. — In: The social dog: behavior and cognition ( KaminskiJ.Marshall-PesciniS. eds). ElsevierAmsterdam p.  191-222.

MitaniJ.C. (2009). Male chimpanzees form enduring and equitable social bonds. — Anim. Behav. 77: 633-640.

Mondragón-CeballosR. (2001). Interfering in affiliations: sabotaging by stumptail macaques, Macaca arctoides. — Anim. Behav. 62: 1179-1187.

MoranG. (1982). Long-term patterns of agonistic interactions in a captive group of wolves (Canis lupus). — Anim. Behav. 30: 75-83.

PalS.K. (2005). Parental care in free-ranging dogs, Canis familiaris. — Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 90: 31-47.

PalS.K. (2014). Factors influencing intergroup agonistic behaviour in free-ranging domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). — Acta Ethol. 18: 209-220.

PalS.K.GhoshB.RoyS. (1998). Agonistic behavior of free-ranging dogs (Canis familiaris) in relation to season, sex and age. — Acta Theriol. 48: 271-281.

PalS.K.GhoshB.RoyS. (1999). Inter- and intra-sexual behavior of free-ranging dogs (Canis familiaris). — Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 62: 267-278.

PalagiE.NicotraV.CordoniG. (2015). Rapid mimicry and emotional contagion in domestic dogs. — Roy. Soc. Open Sci. 2: 150505.

R Core Team (2015). R: a language and environment for statistical computing. — R Foundation for Statistical ComputingVienna. Available online at https://www.R-project.org/.

RomeroT.NagasawaM.MogiK.HasegawaT.KikusuiT. (2014). Oxytocin promotes social bonding in dogs. — Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111: 9085-9090.

SchenkelR. (1967). Submission: it’s features and functions in wolf and dog. — Am. Zool. 7: 319-329.

SchneiderG.KruegerK. (2012). Third-party interventions keep social partners from exchanging affiliative interactions with others. — Anim. Behav. 83: 377-387.

ScottJ.FullerJ. (1965). Genetics and the social behavior of the dog. — University of Chicago PressChicago, IL.

SeyfarthR.M.CheneyD.L. (2012). The evolutionary origins of friendship. — Annu. Rev. Psychol. 63: 153-177.

SilkJ.B.SeyfarthR.M.CheneyD.L. (1999). The structure of social relationships among female savanna baboons in Moremi Reserve, Botswana. — Behaviour 136: 679-703.

SilkJ.B.BeehnerJ.C.BergmanT.J.CrockfordC.EnghA.L.MoscoviceL.R.WittigR.M.SeyfarthR.M.CheneyD.L. (2010). Strong and consistent social bonds enhance the longevity of female baboons. — Curr. Biol. 20: 1359-1361.

SilkJ.CheneyD.SeyfarthR. (2013). A practical guide to the study of social relationships. — Evol. Anthropol. 22: 213-225.

SmutsB.B. (2010). Domestic dogs. — In: Encyclopedia of animal behavior ( BreedM.D.MooreJ. eds). ElsevierNew York, NY p.  562-567.

SmutsB.B. (2014). Social behavior in companion dogs with an emphasis on play. — In: The social dog: behavior and cognition ( KaminskiJ.Marshall-PesciniS. eds). ElsevierAmsterdam p.  105-130.

StantonM.A.MannJ. (2012). Early social networks predict survival in wild bottlenose dolphins. — PLoS ONE 7: e47508.

TriskoR.K. (2011). Dominance egalitarianism and friendship at a dog daycare facility. — PhD thesis Department of Psychology University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI.

TriskoR.K.SmutsB.B. (2015). Dominance relationships in a group of domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). — Behaviour 152: 677-704.

van der BorgJ.A.M.SchilderM.B.H.VinkeC.M.de VriesH. (2015). Dominance in domestic dogs: a quantitative analysis of its behavioural measures. — PLoS ONE 10: e0133978.

van HooffJ.A.R.A.M.WensingJ.A.B. (1987). Dominance and its behavioral measures in a captive wolf pack. — In: Man and wolf: advances issues and problems in captive wolf research ( FrankH. ed.). Dr. W. JunkDordrecht p.  219-252.

WardC.BauerE.B.SmutsB.B. (2008). Partner preferences and asymmetries in social play among domestic dog, Canis lupus familiaris, littermates. — Anim. Behav. 76: 1187-1199.

WardC.TriskoR.K.SmutsB.B. (2009). Third-party interventions in dyadic play between littermates of domestic dogs, Canis lupus familiaris. — Anim. Behav. 78: 1153-1160.

WittigR.M.CrockfordC.LehmannJ.WhittenP.L.SeyfarthR.M.CheneyD.L. (2008). Focused grooming networks and stress alleviation in wild female baboons. — Horm. Behav. 54: 170-177.

ZahaviA. (1977). The testing of a bond. — Anim. Behav. 25: 246-247.

ZimenE. (1981). The wolf. A species in danger. — Delacorte PressNew York, NY.

Figures

  • View in gallery

    Scatter plot of gentle affiliative behaviours and play fighting scans.

  • View in gallery

    Histograms of play fighting and gentle affiliation: (A) Histogram of play scans per hour. (B) Histogram of gentle affiliative behaviours. Insets zoom on the tail.

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 73 73 27
Full Text Views 202 202 90
PDF Downloads 3 3 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0