What is it about?

We compared equally-raised wolves' and dogs' ability to form reputations of humans after watching them interact with another dog or after they interacted with the two humans. One human acted generously and fed them food and the other acted selfishly and withheld the food. There was no difference between wolves and dogs and they did not prefer the generous human over the selfish one.

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Why is it important?

Our findings suggest that wolves' and dogs' sociocognitive abilities are similar, providing support for the Canine Cooperation Hypothesis rather than domestication hypotheses that suggest dogs have acquired more advanced sociocognitive abilities than wolves because of their close co-habitation with humans. The results also contradict previous research that demonstrated animals are able to form reputations, so further research is needed.


This was a fun study to conduct, as I had the chance to work closely with hand-raised wolves and dogs.

Hoi-Lam Jim

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Wolves and dogs fail to form reputations of humans after indirect and direct experience in a food-giving situation, PLoS ONE, August 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271590.
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