Social learning from humans or conspecifics: differences and similarities between wolves and dogs


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Social learning from humans or conspecifics: differences and similarities between wolves and dogs

Friederike Range1,2* and Zsófia Virányi1,2
1Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Medical University of Vienna and University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
2Wolf Science Center, Ernstbrunn, Austria

Most domestication hypotheses propose that dogs have been selected for enhanced communication and interactions with humans, including learning socially from human demonstrators. However, to what extent these skills are newly derived and to what extent they originate from wolf–wolf interactions is unclear. In order to test for the possible origins of dog social cognition, we need to compare the interactions of wolves and dogs with humans and with conspecifics. Here, we tested identically raised and kept juvenile wolves and dogs in a social learning task with human and conspecific demonstrators. Using a local enhancement task, we found that both wolves and dogs benefitted from a…

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