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Behavioral Effects of Rearing Dogs With Cats During the 'Critical Period of Socialization'

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Social behavior of dogs raised singly with cats from 25 days to 16 weeks of age was studied. A series of tests evaluated the effects of such restricted social experience and later recovery and comparisons were made between cats and dogs that had or had not prior social experience with an alien species. Dogs raised with cats showed a marked intra-species avoidance and lack of species or self-identity. The intra-specifically directed greeting was absent but reappeared following intra-species socialization, together with species or self-identity. Only cats with prior experience with a dog interacted socially with dog raised dogs while the latter always solicited play from cats.

Affiliations: 1: (Psychology Department, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A.

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