Weber’s Law and the Scalar Property of Timing: A Test of Canine Timing
School of Psychology, The University of Waikato/Te Whare Whãnanga o Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
School of Psychology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2019 / Revised: 4 October 2019 / Accepted: 9 October 2019 / Published: 14 October 2019
Understanding the perceptual abilities of companion animals such as dogs adds to our understanding of the cognitive abilities of non-human animals. This study assessed the time perception abilities of dogs. In this study, dogs were required to identify whether the duration of a light was of a short or long duration by pressing a response lever. Dogs were able to correctly classify the durations as short or long. When given durations that were intermediate of the original short and long stimuli, their performance approached chance levels near the middle of the short and long durations. The performance of dogs on this task was similar to other animals, such as rats, pigeons and possums. Aspects of their performance also challenged some long-held assumptions of existing models of time perception. Research that assesses the cognitive abilities of dogs remains a fertile area of research that will improve our understanding about their abilities and limits.