Navigation Links
Why Dogs, Unlike Wolves, Can Be Tamed
Date:1/24/2013

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Differences in dogs' and wolves' sensory and socialization experiences when they are puppies explain why one is easily tamed and the other remains wild, according to a new study.

Dogs and wolves are genetically close but little has been known about sensory development in wolf pups. It was widely assumed that they were much like dogs in that regard. This new study shows otherwise.

Kathryn Lord, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, studied the responses of seven wolf and 43 dog pups to familiar and new smells, sights and sounds. She focused on a four-week developmental phase called the critical period of socialization, when the pups begin walking and exploring their environment.

During this stage, dogs can be introduced to people and other animals and things and will be comfortable with them for the rest of their lives. The same is true for wolf pups in their environment. But when this stage is over, new sights, sounds and smells will trigger fear.

The findings, published in the February issue of the journal Ethology, could prove useful in managing wild and captive wolf populations, Lord said.

Lord confirmed that both wolf and dog pups develop the sense of smell at an average of 2 weeks of age, hearing at 4 weeks and vision by 6 weeks. Wolves, however, begin the critical period of socialization at 2 weeks while dogs begin it at 4 weeks.

Wolf pups are still blind and deaf when they begin to walk and explore their environment at 2 weeks, Lord discovered.

"No one knew this about wolves, that when they begin exploring they're blind and deaf and rely primarily on smell at this stage, so this is very exciting," Lord said in a university news release.

"When wolf pups first start to hear, they are frightened of the new sounds initially, and when they first start to see they are also initially afraid of new visual stimuli," Lord explained. "As each sense engages, wolf pups experience a new round of sensory shocks that dog puppies do not."

Dog pups only begin to explore and walk after their senses of smell, hearing and sight are functioning.

"It's quite startling how different dogs and wolves are from each other at that early age, given how close they are genetically," Lord said. "A litter of dog puppies at 2 weeks are just basically little puddles, unable to get up or walk around. But wolf pups are exploring actively, walking strongly with good coordination and starting to be able to climb up little steps and hills."

She said these significant differences in dog and wolf pups' development and experiences make a major difference in their ability to form attachments to other species, notably humans.

More information

The San Diego Zoo has more about wolves.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of Massachusetts, Amherst, news release, Jan. 18, 2013


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Surly People Tend to Like Fierce Dogs, Study Shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Why Dogs, Unlike Wolves, Can Be Tamed
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... 2016 — 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST, http://www.fdanews.com/fixeddosecombination ... life cycle of pharmaceutical products, garnering increased attention from all stakeholders in the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... nominations have closed for the ISE Southeast Awards 2016. Finalists and winners of ... the ISE® Southeast Executive Forum and Awards Gala on March 15, 2016 at ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO Kenneth Fisher ... Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and Peggy Kearns Director, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare ... System. This will be the first Fisher House in Nevada, and will provide ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Erlanger Agency has announced a new partnership ... The latest campaign focuses on the fight against breast cancer, fundraising for a local ... here . , Carmen is a loving single mother of two boys who ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... For Coast Dental dentist ... Sweeney, RDH, and dental assistant Terrell Moore shortly before 7 a.m. to volunteer at ... dental professionals, donating their time and skills to help hundreds of uninsured and underinsured ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Stem cells are primitive cells found in all multi-cellular ... to differentiate into mature cell types Stem cells are ... embryonic stem cells were derived from embryos in 1981, ... culturing of embryonic stem cells from non-human primates occurred ... As a result of these discoveries, stem cells can ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Walgreens has committed to ... states and Washington, D.C. as part ... that was commended by shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow. ... You Sow. "Many people hold on to unneeded drugs because ... have tragic consequences." --> Conrad MacKerron , ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...  NOIT™ Research LLC, a private, leading-edge autism research ... to assist needy families in obtaining one of its ... February 10, 2016 and March 31, 2016, the company ... NOIT is an auditory stimulus that plays a key ... Beth Shier , NOIT Research director. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: