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Dogs, unlike wolves, are born to communicate with people

Earlier this year, researchers discovered new support for this second idea when measuring how well the dog’s family was able to track pointing gestures. Puppies that are more closely related to each other gave more similar scores on the pointing test.This is their score Partially explained By their genetics.

The dog’s ability to complete this task can be a product of domestication. Humans may have intentionally or unintentionally encouraged dogs to become more effective communicators. People may have deliberately been able to breed the most friendly dogs to each other, or the most friendly individuals may have been the most successful in living with humans. Alternatively, you can inherit abilities from the common ancestors of dogs and modern wolves. To distinguish between these two possibilities and limit the effects of environmental factors, researchers sought to compare similarly-reared dogs with wolf puppies. NS 2008 study The pointing task found that dogs were better than wolves, but a paper published the following year. Duplication failed The difference.

This new study has a much larger sample size, with wolves more Human contact with dogs Less than Contact concludes that dogs are certainly better at this task than wolves, says Juliane Bräuer, head of the Dog Studies Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Human History and Science. “It was a fairly large sample size, especially for wolves,” she says. “Finding a testable wolf is always a challenge.”

The dog’s ability to follow pointing cues appears to be a product of domestication. There are important genetic differences between dogs and wolves working here. But where genetics goes remains an open question. Hair believes that an important factor is the evolved reduction of the natural fear that wolves have towards humans. (“Wolves are giant wolves,” says Callahan-Beckel.) As a pack hunter, wolves need to be able to coordinate with other members of their species. Hair believes that in the process of domestication, dogs expand their set of potential coordinating partners to include people. “The dog inherited the skill set of understanding others from the wolf,” he says. “When fear was replaced by charm, those skills were strengthened.”

But perhaps dogs simply tend to learn from humans and do so incredibly quickly. In support of this second possibility, Win points out that older dog puppies in the study performed better on pointing tasks than younger puppies. This suggests that some learning had been done.

In general, Win finds it difficult to believe that dogs have a deep-seated ability to understand human gestures and human intentions. “When our own children are not born with the ability to follow human pointing gestures, it is highly unlikely that dogs will be born with the innate ability to follow human pointing gestures,” he says. increase.

However, Hare and Wynne agree that there is one big, noticeable difference between dogs and wolves, regardless of how they are raised. Dogs are much more attracted to humans. Callahan-Beckel and Callahan-raised wolves often have their breeders rubbing their bellies and scratching the back of their ears as adults. But strange humans are a different story. In this study, dog puppies were 30 times more likely to touch unfamiliar humans than wolf puppies.

Some wolves consider Callahan Beckel and Callahan to be lifelong mothers and greet their pet dogs to greet their owners when they return home from work. But others reveal their genetic history when they eventually come to see as leaders to overthrow their breeders. This was recently caused by Callahan Beckel, who decided that the wolf Adam she raised became the leader of his herd and that he was also her boss.

“I still love Adam. I still love him very much,” says Callahan Beckel. “And I walk to the fence [saying], “Oh, Adam, that’s my good boy,” and he hit the fence as hard as he could, with his tail raised and roaring, trying to kill me. And that’s exactly their way. “


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Dogs, unlike wolves, are born to communicate with people

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