Wednesday, 18 October 2017

'Big, bad wolf' image flawed - scientists

By Helen BriggsBBC News

16 October 2017 

New research casts doubt on the idea that dogs are naturally more tolerant and friendly than wolves.

In tests of cooperation skills, wolves outperformed their domesticated relatives.

Scientists say the findings challenge assumptions about how dogs were tamed from wolves and came to live alongside humans.

Previous evidence has suggested that the domestication process may have given dogs a more tolerant temperament.

"We still have very much this idea of the big, bad wolf and the cuddly pooch on your sofa," Dr Sarah Marshall-Pescini, who led the research, told BBC News.

"But, I think the simplest message is that the story is not quite as clear as that."
Social bonds

Wolves are highly social animals. They live in close-knit family groups, raise puppies together and hunt in groups.

This sort of behaviour is not seen in modern dogs, despite the idea that domestication selected for dogs that were more tolerant and friendly, both of each other, and humans.

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