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Title: Wolves, Dogs and Humans- The Old Triangle: Science and Training at the Wolf Science Center

When: Ongoing

Where: Online

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CPDT-KA:0CBCC-KA:2
CPDT-KSA Knowledge:0CBCC-KSA Knowledge:2
CPDT-KSA Skills:0CBCC-KSA Skills:0

Description


Why did wolves in their domesticated form (dogs) turn into the closest animal buddy of man? Wolves and humans are both hypercursorial hunters, adaptable to a wide range of environments and show a similar social orientation: both species cooperate over hunting, caring for offspring and in warfare against neighbors. At the Wolf Science Center we experimentally investigate and compare the cognitive abilities of wolves and dogs and their cooperative orientation among themselves and with humans. Our 13 wolves and 10 dogs (will be 20/20 by 2015) have equivalent rearing and care and interact with WSC staff (six trainers, scientists) on a daily basis in training and testing. Thereby, wolves and dogs are equally well socialized with humans and the respective settings they may encounter, providing a base for fair scientific comparison. Wolves and dogs are integrated in packs when at least 5 months of age. Animals are never punished or dominated and training from early on and daily hands-on interactions (training, testing, leash walking) are based on positive re-enforcement and relationship building. A number of hypotheses imply that through domestication, dogs have become intrinsically better than wolves in interacting and cooperating with humans (Frank 1980, Hare and Tomasello 2005, Hare et al. 2012, Gacsi et al. 2009). However, this may not be true, as wolves are much more dependent on fine-grained social interactions with pack members than dogs, which may also be expressed in their interactions with humans when properly socialized with them. For example, Range and Viranyi (2013) found that wolves are more attentive imitators with conspecific models than dogs (see also Udell et al. 2008). Recently, we used leash walking with equally raised and kept dogs and wolves as an experimental paradigm to compare the quality of common action of these dogs and wolves with differently familiar humans (Kotrschal et al. unpubl.). Animals were walked along standard tracks and behaviou

Sponsor: E-training for Dogs

Speaker(s): Dr. Kurt M. Kotrschal, PhD & Monique Udell, PhD (moderator)


Contact: Cheryl Asmus
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 Phone: 970-231-9965
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