Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) use human and conspecific social cues to locate hidden food
Ten domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) of different breeds and ages were exposed to 2 different social cues indicating the location of hidden food, each provided by both a human informant and a conspecific informant (for a total of 4 different social cues). For the local enhancement cue the informant approached the location where food was hidden and then stayed beside it. For the gaze and point cue, the informant stood equidistant between 2 hiding locations and bodily oriented and gazed toward the 1 in which food was hidden (the human informant also pointed). Eight of the 10 subjects, including the one 6-month-old juvenile, were above chance with 2 or more cues. Results are discussed in terms of the phylogenetic and ontogenetic processes by means of which dogs come to use social cues to locate food.