Dogs together, and to work well with people because they share behavioral traits with wolves, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. (Dave Kettering/the Telegraph Herald via AP, File)
Dogs together, and to work well with people as a result of “the wolf within,” new research suggests.
The study, published in Scientific Reports last week claimed that dogs are good with people as a result of the specific behavioral characteristics that they share with the wolves.
Led by Friederike Range of the Konrad Lorenz Institute at the University of Veterinary medicine in Vienna, researchers have studied how dogs and grey wolves together with the man to the solution of specific tasks.
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They tested 15 young grey wolves, from 2 to 8 years, and 12 of mixed breed dogs from 2 to 7 years, at the Wolf Science Center in Austria.
Both types of animals were socialized with people early on and had close ties with the man. They were all kept under similar conditions.
The researchers compared the behavior of the animals worked with people to complete a string-pulling task and found both dogs and wolves were able to work together.
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However, wolves initiated more, while dogs only followed the human actions.
“The detailed analysis of the cooperative interactions revealed interesting differences between wolves and dogs. It shows that, while the wolves have the tendency to initiate behavior and take the lead, dogs are more likely to wait and see what the human partner is, and follow that problem,” the Range said.
Past hypotheses have suggested that dogs developed joint qualities they were domesticated, but this new research suggests that they were naturally cooperative.
Range and his colleagues suggested that when animals were domesticated, the more submissive dogs were chosen for breeding, which is the reason why they are so reverent today.