Dog communication signals are meant for us? Parama University study said

Over the past twenty years we have seen a huge increase in research interest in the knowledge and behavior of dogs living in our family. Numerous details of their interactions and how they interface with us have been deepened, yet to this day there are many questions to which we have yet to find definitive answers.

This is a concern Communication signal Dogs interact with each other and with our humans: When dogs show signs of excitement or calm, do they do it with their mate, or are they just a reflection of a change in their excitement?

To find an answer to this still controversial area, the Department of Chemistry, University of Parma, Life and Environmental Sustainability has created a study during which dogs will be exposed to the same conditions, first in absentia and then in presence. A social partner.

Behavioral differences in social and antisocial situations

“Animals can communicate voluntarily but also in a passive way, which is unconscious – Giulia Pedretti, a researcher at the University of Parma, explained the code to the team – so the goal is to observe the behavioral differences proposed by a person when he is alone. Or see in front of people.

To understand what behavior Parma researchers will observe, however, we need to take a step back and clarify the meaning of the term. ExcitementOr the parameters that are defined in neuropsychology Level of emotion. This is where the study of dog behavior begins, Excitement This is a very important factor, because it allows us to understand the amount of feeling that the animal is feeling and provides important clues as to how it is feeling.

“Behaviors that are used as level indicators Excitement This usually includes a person raising their hips, licking their lips or noses, lifting their nostrils and panting – the researchers explained. FreezingThat is stability, and changes in facial expressions, especially the position of the ears and mouth.

The first person to assume that these signals were used as a means of communication by dogs was Norwegian trainer and author Turid Rugas, who had been dedicated to the subject since the late 1980s. The hypothesis that made Rugas’ research famous is that the dog evolved a series. Visual cues Able to resist the aggression of the person in front of him in order to calm him down and thus avoid conflict.

If these signals actually have a communicative meaning, then researchers expect dogs to behave differently socially than in antisocial situations. “In particular, we expect so-called quiet signals to be emitted with greater frequency in social situations, especially towards other dogs,” explains Giulia Pedretti.

The purpose of the study

To carry out this study, however, the University of Parma requires a human-dog pair who are willing to actively participate in the experiment: “The activity will be divided into four days and will run until July – the researcher explained – So that participation in the test can be felt with joy. “

Volunteer wanted!
In the picture: Volunteer wanted!

“The experiments will be carried out inside a room where a partition is specially placed with an opening that will be covered by a plexiglass panel and a green panel – explained Pedretti – we will propose in different situations and first we will get it. Food intake 6.

After 10 repetitions the food cannot be reached by the plexiglass layer and at this point, thanks to the video footage, the movement of the facial muscles will be monitored that individuals will use in the proposed expression in the face of the situation. .

“The same test will be repeated in the presence of other dogs – the researchers explained – and to test the level of arousal associated with a fellow dog, we will also take a sample of saliva before and after the session. ‘ Each session of the test will end with three moments where the dog will take food again from the open to end the experience in a positive way.

Finally, the final test provides the presence of a human on the opposite side of the plexiglass: “It is now scientifically proven that We are also true social partners for dogs And so it would be interesting to understand that when they are in front of us, they behave differently than when they are related to their peers. “

Anyone wishing to participate in the test can write to giulia.pedretti@unipr.it

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