Photographie d'un homme dans les bois, tenant un chien-loup.

Relationships between dogs, wolves and humans

The wolves cooperate, the dogs submit

What two psychologists from the Austrian University of Vienna have come up with goes beyond this observation: evolutionary biology has always assumed that, over thousands of years, humans selected the most ‘cooperative’ wolves – which, from cross-breeding to cross-breeding, gave rise to the dogs as we know them.

However, according to these two psychologists, who bred four packs of two to six dogs and the same number of wolves in the laboratory, it is the wolves that are more cooperative: they are more inclined to share their food, whereas in dogs it is the dominant male that monopolises the bowl.

What does this mean in the household? In the eyes of the dog, it is the human who represents the dominant male, and over the last 10,000 years dogs have gradually been ‘programmed’ to submit to this hierarchical relationship.

These results were presented at the recent conference of the Animal Behaviour Society at Princeton University.

Artificial intelligence translation of an original text by Agence Science Presse
Click here to read the French version

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