Earlier this year, researchers found new support for the second idea when they measured the extent of the ability to track pointing gestures in dog families.The more closely related puppies have similar scores in the pointing test, this indicates that their scores may Partial explanation Through their genes.
The dog’s ability to complete this task may be a product of domestication. Humans intentionally or unintentionally promote dogs to become more effective communicators; people could have purposefully raised the friendliest dogs, or the friendliest people could have been the most successful with humans. Or, this ability can be inherited from the common ancestor of dogs and modern wolves. In order to distinguish between these two possibilities and limit the impact of environmental factors, the researchers tried to compare similarly-bred dogs and wolf puppies.A sort of 2008 research Found that dogs do better than wolves in pointing tasks, but a paper published the following year Copy failed That difference.
The sample size of this new study is much larger and compares wolves with more Human and dog contact less Julian Blauer, head of the Dog Research Laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Human History Sciences, said that contact has cemented the conclusion that dogs are indeed better at this task than wolves. “This is a considerable sample size, especially for wolves,” she said. “Finding a testable wolf is always a challenge.”
Therefore, the dog’s ability to follow instructional cues seems to be a product of domestication—there are important genetic differences between dogs and wolves here. But where does genetics play a role is still an open question. Hare believes that the key factor is the declining natural fear of humans by wolves. (“Wolves are huge wolves,” Callahan-Beckel said.) As group hunters, wolves need to be able to coordinate with other members of their species. Hare believes that in the process of domestication, dogs have expanded their set of potential coordinating partners to include people. “Dogs inherited a set of skills to understand others from wolves,” he said. “When fear is replaced by attraction, these skills will be enhanced.”
But maybe dogs are more inclined to learn from humans and learn very fast. In support of the second possibility, Wynne pointed out that the older puppies in the study performed better than younger puppies on pointing tasks, indicating that some learning is in progress.
Overall, Wynne found it difficult to believe that dogs have a deep-rooted ability to understand human gestures or human intentions. He said: “When our own children are born without the ability to follow human pointing gestures, it is absurd that dogs are born with the ability to follow human pointing gestures.”
However, Hare and Wynne both agree that there is a major and significant difference between dogs and wolves, no matter how they are raised: dogs are far more attractive to humans. The wolves raised by Callahan-Beckel and Callahan often have their breeders rubbing their abdomen and scratching behind their ears as adults. However, strange humans are another matter. In this study, puppies are 30 times more likely to come into contact with strange humans.
Some wolves will treat Callahan-Becker and Callahan as their mothers for life, and greet them like a pet dog’s owner coming home from get off work. But when others finally saw their breeders as the overthrown leader, they revealed their genetic history. This happened recently to Callahan-Beckel, when Adam, a wolf she raised, became the leader of his pack-and then decided that he was also her boss.
“I still love Adam. I still love him very much,” Callahan Becker said. “Then I walked to the fence [saying]”Oh, Adam, that’s my good boy,” he slammed into the fence with all his strength, roaring, cocked his tail, trying to kill me. This is their way. “
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