Dogs Look to People for Answers; Wolves Do Not

A wolf won't look at you the same way as a dog. According to a Hungarian study (from Current Biology, 2003), dogs do far better at understanding people or even making the attempt, compared to socialized wolves. 

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Wolf

These days, for reasons I don't quite get - some are equating dogs and wolves. Sure, they're related - but there's miles of differences between them.

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Dog

It seems almost common sense to many - but this study proves that dogs are hard-wired to pay attention to people, while there's no ethological or genetic advantage for wolves to do that, so even socialized wolves are pretty inept at it. Some say wolves are smarter than dogs. Well, maybe. Probably, they are more wily. However, even socialized wolves are lame when it comes to picking up on human cues.

While socialized wolves can find a piece of hidden food with the help of human direction, it takes them awhile. Dogs instantly get follow us. In a second study, when dogs and wolves are pretty much given an impossible task, dogs look to people, actually working to get the human's attention to help them out. This strategy would never occur to wolf, no matter how socialized a wolf happens to be. 

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  • This is what I've been reading, and it just makes sense that if dogs and wolves were so much alike, wolves would live closer to humans and act more familiar with people in encounters. No one confuses domestic cats and big cats, even though they share many similarities.

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