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How Much Are Dogs Influenced by Local Culture?

JULIE HECHT: ‘Dogs in Budapest, Vienna and Lincoln participated in four tests: a Human Point-Following Test, a Problem-Solving Test, a Means-End Test (with a training and a test phase), and a Memory Test. Tests covered different cognitive arenas… The main finding: A dog here is pretty much like a dog there. At least when it comes to the cognitive processes and problem-solving skills investigated here. Regardless of location, pet dogs in Budapest, Vienna, and Lincoln performed pretty similarly on the four cognitive tests…

Of course, local and individual factors can also affect how dogs behave…. Kama Brown, CPDT-KA, argues that more regular and ubiquitous socialization prepares European dogs to participate in daily activities like visiting markets, museums, and restaurants, or riding trains *mostly* without a hitch. In Europe, dogs are more frequently permitted access to public spaces and appear to generally behave socially appropriately.

“Unlike the restrictions put on U.S. dog owners, Europeans are able to consistently expose their dogs to new sounds, sights and smells, which mentally enriches the dogs without overstimulating them,” Brown argues. And no matter where dogs find themselves, individual differences can stem from an interplay between genetics and environmental inputs, which can include dog personality, breed, breed line, as well as life experiences or training experiences’. SOURCE…


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