Sucking behavior in neonate dogs

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The sucking behavior of newborn cocker spaniel puppies was investigated. The conditions selected were (1) dropper, (2) bottle, and (3) breast feeding, starting at birth. The results indicate that non-nutritional sucking takes place in dropper- and bottle-fed puppies but only rarely in nursed puppies. “When the experimenter-fed subjects were returned to the mother, non-nutritional sucking diminished to a great extent and was almost completely extinguished.” The results support the notion that a sucking need exists, but “it is quite possible that the behavior of human infants in response to such a situation as was provided by this experiment might be significantly different from that in dogs.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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