A New Study Reveals That Wolves Might Be A Human’s Best Friend
A study showed that wolves can differentiate strangers from people they know, and show much more affection to people who are familiar to them.
In stressful situations, a familiar person can also calm them down.
These reactions suggest that the dogs we have today could have come from an attachment that existed before domestication 15,000 years ago.
Ten wolves and 12 dogs were tested to see how they responded to stressful and strange situations.
They greeted the person they knew more affectionately by getting closer to them and spending more time with them.
There is no evidence that dog’s attachment to humans only develops after they become domesticated.
This connection to humans did not evolve exclusively in dogs, according to a study published in Ecology and Evolution.
A behavioral ecologist at Stockholm University, Sweden, and the study’s lead author, Dr. Hansen Wheat, said that the wolves preferred the familiar person over the stranger.
It was even more interesting that while the dogs didn’t seem to be affected by the test situation, the wolves were pacing the room.
In spite of this, when the familiar person re-entered the test room, who had been with the wolves all their lives, the pacing behavior stopped, indicating that the familiar person acted as a social stress buffer for the wolves.
It has never been demonstrated that this is true for wolves before, which adds to the strong bond between animals and their familiars.”
They have been raising the puppy wolves and dogs since they were ten days old.
In this test, the puppies were 23 weeks old.
According to Wheat, there was a need to thoroughly test this.
It is now appropriate to consider whether, combined with earlier studies making significant contributions to this question, variation in human-directed attachment behavior might have been a potential target of early selective pressures exerted during dog domestication if it existed in wolves.”
There are some similarities between dogs and wolves that can help us understand our dogs’ behavior.
During the early stages of dog domestication, wolves with human-directed attachments might have had a selective advantage.
Behavioral similarities and differences between dogs and wolves are being studied at Stockholm University by Wheat and her team.