Navigation Links
Teaching young wolves new tricks
Date:1/31/2014

Wolves were domesticated more than 15,000 years ago and it is widely assumed that the ability of domestic dogs to form close relationships with humans stems from changes during the domestication process. But the effects of domestication on the interactions between the animals have not received much attention. The point has been addressed by Friederike Range and Zsfia Virnyi, two members of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) who work at the Wolf Science Center (WSC) in Ernstbrunn, Niedersterreich.

Wolves copy other wolves solving problems

The scientists found that wolves are considerably better than dogs at opening a container, providing they have previously watched another animal do so. Their study involved 14 wolves and 15 mongrel dogs, all about six months old, hand-reared and kept in packs. Each animal was allowed to observe one of two situations in which a trained dog opened a wooden box, either with its mouth or with its paw, to gain access to a food reward. Surprisingly, all of the wolves managed to open the box after watching a dog solve the puzzle, while only four of the dogs managed to do so. Wolves more frequently opened the box using the method they had observed, whereas the dogs appeared to choose randomly whether to use their mouth or their paw.

Watch closely

To exclude the possibility that six-month old dogs fail the experiment because of a delayed physical or cognitive development, the researchers repeated the test after nine months. The dogs proved no more adept at opening the box than they were at a younger age. Another possible explanation for the wolves' apparent superiority at learning is that wolves might simply be better than dogs at solving such problems. To test this idea, the researchers examined the animals' ability to open a box without prior demonstration by a dog. They found that the wolves were rarely successful. "Their problem-solving capability really seems to be based on the observation of a dog performing the task," says Range. "The wolves watched the dog very closely and were able to apply their new knowledge to solve the problem. Their skill at copying probably relates to the fact that wolves are more dependent on cooperation with conspecifics than dogs are and therefore pay more attention to the actions of their partners."

The researchers think that it is likely that the dog-human cooperation originated from cooperation between wolves. During the process of domestication, dogs have become able to accept humans as social partners and thus have adapted their social skills to include interactions with them, concomitantly losing the ability to learn by watching other dogs.


'/>"/>
Contact: Friederike Range
friederike.range@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-664-602-576-252
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 2014 ASMCUE and ASM General Meeting collaborate to offer the latest in teaching and research
2. Mainz University collaborates with 3 Chinese universities in research and teaching
3. MARC travel awards announced for 2013 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
4. 9 UT Arlington educators honored for teaching excellence
5. Teaching complete evolutionary stories increases learning
6. Education resource focuses on teaching population genetics using current research
7. Teaching the brain to speak again
8. Univ. of Miami profs Chen and Soden named Fellows of AMS, Albrecht receives AMS Teaching Award
9. Surprising teaching tool in K-12 science education -- Zebrafish research
10. Young gamers offer insight to teaching new physicians robotic surgery
11. Partnership enhances biology teaching at California community colleges
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2016)... 2016 Einzigartige ... und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler Kommunikationsdienste, ... SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie einzusetzen. ... Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps neben ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... March 22, 2016 Unique ... passcodes for superior security   ... provider of secure digital communications services, today announced it ... and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial ... and voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... --> --> ... Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global Industry Analysis, ... global digital door lock systems market in terms of revenue ... forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% during the ... enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial activity driving ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ... today announced that its Board of Directors has approved the ... second quarter of 2016. The cash dividend ... July 29, 2016 to stockholders of record as of the ... dividends are subject to approval of the Board of Directors ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... May 22, 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found ... cancer, malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. ... Rome’s Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Anton Paar USA, located in Ashland, Virginia is pleased to ... new structure adds a third office building to the current facilities. , Growth ... of land, along with office space adjacent to the previous main building. Through remodels ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... - I dati saranno presentati nel ... ° Congresso della Società Americana di Oncologia ... conclusioni dello studio indicano un tasso di risposta del 56% ... presenta una d urata della risposta (Duration Of Response, ... dei pazienti ha riscontrato un beneficio clinico.      ...
Breaking Biology Technology: