Skip to comments.Wolves make dog's dinner out of domestication theory
Posted on 09/26/2008 5:15:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Dogs are no better than wolves at picking up on human cues... When tasked with choosing between two paint cans based on a trainer's hand signal, tamed wolves actually proved more adept at picking the right can. This casts doubt on the idea that domestication some 15,000 years ago imbued dogs with a window into the human mind, says Clive Wynne, an animal psychologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Rather, dogs -- and tamed wolves -- probably learn to associate human arm movements with treats, play and affection. Researchers who argue for a dog "theory of mind" are overlooking this obvious explanation, Wynne says. "I think what's going on here is straightforward conditioning," he says. "Have they forgotten about Pavlov?"
(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...
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Well, that must be what it is.
Well then, that isn’t what makes dogs and wolves different, is it?
Hey maybe it’s that dogs LOVE us!!!
So what. Cats have trained humans. I quiver with fear every time mine gives me that evil look demanding treats NOW!
Well, it has more to do with Skinner than Pavlov, but the point is made. Have they forgotten about "Clever Hans", the equine sensation who could do math problems, as long as his trainer was the one asking the questions?
“Any idiot can tame a dog...”
Must be all smart people with the unruly dogs.
I’d say that 15,000 years of domestication has just dumbed down dogs. But I’ll be needing a tenured university position and a large grant to be able to prove this, ya’ know.
I saw a program a while back where these scientists proved that dogs pay attention to human eyes for clues. When they couldn’t see the humans eyes they was more clueless. Wolves and Monkeys didn’t pay attention to our eyes.
Another major thing I noticed in the program was that they tested both dogs and wolves raised around humans since birth at a task of getting food from a box. The wolves would never stop trying, the dogs would try for awhile then go and look at the human to help them.
Since I just moved an heavy bookshelf for a persistent Yorkie who thinks there is a mouse behind it and annoys me if I don’t help him look for it then I can say Dogs know more about humans than Wolves.
I have a basenji, an ancient breed that has been around for thousands of years. And yet, a recent survey voted them the 2nd most stupid dog breed. Go figure! Maybe they equate “obedient” with “smart”. Basenjis certainly didn’t manage to survive all these years being stupid!
The question is, what is the relationship between dogs and wolves. There is a great deal of evidence that dogs are more closely related to the fox than to wolves. If you breed foxes in captivity they become more like dogs over time than wolves bred in captivity. Wolves don’t seem to lose their wilder instincts.
It’s not exactly about human eyes, but sheep herding dogs sure have got something that the average dog doesn’t have. I even worked with a half-breed who didn’t get the directional instructions, but he would “down” in a heart beat and he sure wanted to move sheep.
When they say ‘stupid’, they mean ‘less malleable’...It just depends on what kind of companion you want. Not everyone likes a border collie.