Family dogs have become a favoured species in comparative cognition research, but they may be subject to cognitive differences arising from genetic (breeding lines) or cultural differences (e.g. preferred training methods). Such variation is of concern as it affects the validity and generalisability of experimental results. Despite its importance, this problem has not been specifically addressed to date. Therefore, we aimed to test the influence of three factors on reproducibility: testing site (proximal environment), breed and sex (phenotype). The same experimenter tested cognitive performance by more than 200 dogs in four experiments. Additionally, dogs’ performance was tested in an obedience task administered by the owner. …
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Dóra Szabó, Daniel S. Mills, Friederike Range, Zsófia Virányi, Ádám Miklósi (2017): Is a local sample internationally representative? Reproducibility of four cognitive tests in family dogs across testing sites and breeds. Animal Cognition, 1-15.