Navigation Links
Dogs Get Petty About Treats
Date:12/8/2008

Study found they would withhold paws in face of unfair reward system

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- It's a dog-envy-dog world, and a jealous dog isn't likely to take it lying down.

According to new research in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, dogs who sense that another canine is getting better treatment will go on strike, er, make that a paw strike. They refused to "shake hands" if they weren't getting equal "pay."

For this experiment, dogs and their owners were divided into pairs. The paired dogs sat next to each other, with owners behind them, and were asked to put their paw into the researcher's hand. Once the "shake" was successfully completed, each dog was rewarded with either a piece of sausage or a piece of bread.

But if the dog who "shook" was denied its treat and the partner was not, resentment seemed to build up, with the denied dog eventually refusing to lift its paw.

Dogs stopped cooperating earlier if another dog was present than if they were on their own in the same scenario. They also appeared more stressed if a partner was getting a reward and they weren't than if they were denied rewards in a solo setting.

The quality of the reward itself didn't matter to the canine subjects.

The immediate good news for dog owners is that you don't have to feel guilty if one dog is getting liver and the other a regular dog biscuit (as long as both pooches are getting something).

Of course, it's not truly clear if "envy" is the right word to describe these patterns. "Envy implies a certain emotional state and a thought process, at least by the classic definition," said Bonnie V. Beaver, a professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station. "We don't know what they're thinking. We know that at least without appropriate rewards, they're not willing to continue working. This gives us a scientific procedure that allows us to give better evaluation."

But precise definitions don't really matter, as the potential significance of the findings goes beyond that.

This "sensitivity to inequity" may be crucial in the evolution of cooperation.

According to the study authors, from the University of Vienna in Austria, it had once been believed that this trait belonged only to humans.

But previous studies have suggested capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees also express resentful behavior when there's not equal pay for equal work. However, in these species, the quality of the reward did matter.

Other animals, including wolves, African wild dogs and mongooses, also appear to cooperate with each other in certain activities, such as raising pups.

Dogs show cooperation with humans if not as much with each other. This connection with humans seems to foreshadow canines' reactions when humans give preferential treatment.

"This shows a behavioral connection [among animals]," Beaver said. "Previous studies have shown that primates will do this kind of behavior, much more like people, and now we've taken it back a little bit further to a less human form to see this in dogs. Is this in cats? In birds? . . . Is this a relatedness or is it something that evolved separately in different species? This gives us more information."

More information

The Humane Society of the United States has more on dog behavior.



SOURCES: Bonnie V. Beaver, D.V.M., professor, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station; Dec. 8-12, 2008, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Sweet Surprise: Even Former Critics Dispel Long-Held Myths About High Fructose Corn Syrup
2. Look Before You Leap: Allsup Cautions Medicare Recipients about the Prescription Drug Donut Hole
3. New recommendations by scientific societies about late-onset hypogonadism
4. Largest study of fertility patients shows concerns about embryo disposition
5. Posit Science Invited to Speak at Johns Hopkins University About Cutting Edge Cognitive Training Interventions
6. Consumers Uncertain About Their Medical Diagnosis & Treatment
7. NFID Expands Educational Efforts To Reach Racial, Ethnic Families About Dangers of Meningitis
8. Dont Know How Much an X-Ray Costs You? Highmark Network Providers Will Begin Having Conversations With Highmark Members About Their Actual Cost of Care
9. QLT to repurchase up to US$ 50 million of common shares - Modified "Dutch Auction" tender offer to commence on or about December 4, 2008
10. FTC Acts to Prevent Tobacco Industry Deception About Tar, Nicotine Levels; Congress Should Give FDA Authority Over Tobacco Products
11. The SCAN Foundation Announces New Grants Aimed at Refocusing the Debate About Healthcare for Seniors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Dogs Get Petty About Treats 
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... seniors, today announced rapid completion of the strategic executive team expansion needed to ... additions to the ChenMed executive team,” says Christopher Chen, MD, ChenMed Chief Executive ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... According to the ... yet poor sleep is likely not the only cause of the sunken-eye look, which ... make you look older or in poor health are likely due to genetics, dehydration, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Square, PA (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... days. That means many students are thinking about summer internships , which can ... lack thereof). , The pros at Garden Media Group, a boutique public relations firm ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... Healthcare products at competitive pricing. Verisys through its FACIS and ... License restrictions and Disciplinary actions. , “We are delighted to be able to ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 ... ... (LEAD Coalition) stands with all Americans facing life-altering and fatal diseases in ... proposed budget makes shortsighted decisions that would eviscerate care, services, and hope for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... By Procedure, Replacement Procedure By Technique, Repair Procedure By Technique, By ... ... Market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 13.35% during ... driven by rising aging population, growth in population with heart disease ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... BARBARA, Calif. and INDIANAPOLIS ... (NYSE: LLY ) and the William Sansum ... the lives of Latino people affected by diabetes through ... tremendous burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease bears a ... United States ," said David Kerr , ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 ... Pharmaceutical and Healthcare disease pipeline guide Primary Hyperoxaluria ... of the Primary Hyperoxaluria (Genito Urinary System And ... a rare condition characterized by recurrent kidney and ... a substance called oxalate. Symptoms include blood in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: