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« The Eyes Have It --What Can Be Seen in a Dog's Eyes | Main | Another Difference Between Wolves And Dogs »

June 01, 2008


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Randall Johnson

The Hungarian group is certainly one of the leading pioneers in canine cognition research. Another group in The Netherlands, working out of Vrije University in Amsterdam, is also taking a close look at the roles played by scent and body language in dog communication and the researchers claim to have developed a new approach to raising dogs without traditional reinforcement techniques. In a personal communication received from this group in 2006, I was told that behaviorists and trainers are moving away from the wolf society model of dog training because dog societies are quite different from those of wolves. For one thing, dogs aren’t as ‘fixated’ on social rank and hierarchy issues, so they’re not constantly looking for opportunities to challenge a higher-ranked animal to improve their own social position. Forcing a dog pup into submission the way a higher-ranking wolf would maintain its position over a lower-ranking wolf doesn’t make sense when you consider the differences between C. lupus and C. familiaris and their respective social organizations. More information about the “De Roeder” research may be found at:

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