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Authors

  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.
  • Karen London, Ph.D.
    London is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Pet Dog Trainer who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in the domestic dog.

« Dogs Pay Attention To Where Other Dogs Are Looking During Play | Main | A Rudimentary Theory Of Mind In Dogs And Other Animals »

October 20, 2008

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chie

thanks for the infos!!!!!!

Randall Johnson

On behalf of the readers of Dog Behavior Blog, I would like to thank Adam Miklósi for sharing some of the findings of his ground-breaking experiments on the similarities and differences in dogs and wolves. For those interested in a visual record, a photo album of the wolf handraising experiment can be found at http://csf2008.elte.hu/social/photos.html. The University of Vienna’s Wolf Science Center (http://www.wolfscience.at/english) also runs a wolf handraising program, along with other projects that strive to better understand the complex wolf-dog-human relationship.
Wolves, in and of themselves, are fascinating and charismatic, capable of inspiring awe, fear, and respect in humans, sometimes at the same time. Yet, for most of us, our day-to-day relationship is with that marvelously transformed wolf known as the ‘dog’. Yes, there are things we can do that dogs can’t, and vice versa, but, as Dr. Miklósi’s research has indicated, there is a significant area of overlap between our two species, cognitively, socially, and emotionally, and let’s face it, most successful relationships are based on having more things in common than differences. It’s not surprising that dogs and human infants share many cognitive and emotional features in common because, by and large, dogs have been ‘infantilized’—that is to say, spoken to /treated as if they were human children—probably since the beginning of the domestication / co-evolution process, call it what you will. That barking was evolved from a warning signal in wolves to a broader, more subtle ‘vocabulary’ in dogs is especially intriguing and there may be additional subtleties in dog barks and other vocalizations waiting to be revealed. Another particularly interesting research area is the personality overlap between humans and dogs and I hope someone can find a way to elaborate upon it.

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