Below is a bit more information about the studies and information about arranging a time to participate.
The purpose is generally to learn more about how dogs think about the world. Participation usually takes about 1 hour total. They only use positive reward in our studies (treats and praise). Although they have 2-calorie treats, IAMs dog food, and water for use in the lab, they can also accommodate special food requests for most brands or you can bring in your dogs’ favorite treats. Here’s a little information about some of the tasks that they use (You can also visit http://sites.google.com/site/hooddogstudy/ to learn more.). However, the exact tasks that you and your dog(s) participate in might vary depending on when you come in.
1. How long can your dog wait for a treat? They would ask you to place a piece of food on a dish and ask your dog not to take it. They measure how long it takes before your dog takes the treat.
2. What does your dog understand about others’ interactions? Your dog would watch a demonstrator interact with 2 actors displaying different traits (e.g., generous vs. selfish or stern vs. lenient). After watching the demonstration, your dog would be given a choice of which demonstrator he/she would like to take a treat from. They repeat this several times to see how your dog’s choices vary over time.
3. Does your dog understand causal events? They would show your dog a series of events with toy race cars on a track. They would record how long he/she looked at each event on the track.
4. How do your choices as an owner affect your dog’s choices? Most dogs prefer larger quantities of food. That is, if given a choice between 8 pieces of food and 1 piece of food, dogs choose the 8 pieces. However, what if you, his/her owner, display a dislike for that larger quantity? Would your dog then prefer the smaller quantity? In this task, They vary how you act towards food and observe your dog’s reactions over a number of trials.
– Dogs must not be aggressive with new people or around food.
– Dogs must be over 6 months of age and in good health.