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Biologia Futura
Authors: Kálmán Czeibert, Attila Andics, Örs Petneházy, and Enikő Kubinyi

Background and aims

Dogs have recently become an important model species for comparative social and cognitive neuroscience. Brain template-related label maps are essential for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data analysis, to localize neural responses. In this study, we present a detailed, individual-based, T1-weighted MRI-based brain label map used in dog neuroimaging analysis.

Methods

A typical, medium-headed dog (a 7.5-year-old male Golden Retriever) was selected from a cohort of 22 dogs, based on brain morphology (shape, size, and gyral pattern), to serve as the template for a label map.

Results

Eighty-six 3-dimensional labels were created to highlight the main cortical (cerebral gyri on the lateral and medial side) and subcortical (thalamus, caudate nucleus, amygdala, and hippocampus) structures of the prosencephalon and diencephalon, and further main parts of brainstem (mesencephalon and rhombencephalon).

Discussion

Importantly, this label map is (a) considerably more detailed than any available dog brain template; (b) it is easy to use with freeware and commercial neuroimaging software for MRI and fMRI analysis; and (c) it can be registered to other existing templates, including a recent average-based dog brain template. Using the coordinate system and label map proposed here can enhance precision and standard localization during future canine neuroimaging studies.

Open access
Biologia Futura
Authors: Ivaylo Borislavov Iotchev, Anna Egerer, Serena Grafe, András Adorján, and Enikő Kubinyi

Introduction

The aim of this study was to explore spontaneous social interactions between dyads of unfamiliar adult dogs. Although intraspecific encounters are frequent events in the life of pet dogs, the factors that might influence encounters, such as sex, dyad composition, reproductive status, age, and state of cohabitation (keeping the dogs singly or in groups), remained unexplored.

Methods

In this study, we assigned unfamiliar, non-aggressive dogs to three types of dyads defined by sex and size. We observed their unrestrained, spontaneous behaviors in an unfamiliar dog park, where only the two dogs, the owners, and experimenter were present.

Results

We found that the dogs, on average, spent only 17% of the time (less than 1 min) in proximity. Sex, dyad composition, reproductive status, and age influenced different aspects of the interactions in dyads. Female dogs were more likely to initiate the first contact in their dyad but later approached the partner less frequently, were less likely to move apart, and displayed less scent marking. Following and moving apart were more frequent in male–male interactions. Neutered dogs spent more time following the other dog and sniffed other dogs more frequently. The time companion dogs spent in proximity and number of approaches decreased with age.

Conclusion

The study provides guidance for dog owners about the outcomes of intraspecific encounters based on the dog’s age, sex, and reproductive status, as well as the sex of the interacting partner.

Open access