Volume 2: pp. 26-46

Comparative Social Cognition: From wolf and dog to humans

by Enik Kubinyi,
Eötvös University

Zsófia Virányi,
Eötvös University

Ádám Miklósi
Eötvös University

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Dogs’ special domestication processes, their natural socialization to humans, and the possibility of tracing evolutionary changes by comparing dogs’ behavior to that of wolves, make dogs altogether unique for studying the evolution of complex social behavior. Here the authors report some much needed comparisons between the behavior of dogs and wolves. The authors reveal some dog-specific behaviors, especially with regard to their interactions with humans, by comparing dogs and wolves hand-reared identically. This approach ensures that behavioral differences between dogs and wolves will be due to species-specific (genetic) differences, and not to differences in experience. The results indicate that social attraction, presumably synchronizing behavior, and communicative abilities of dogs changed markedly during the process of domestication. The authors suggest that this model of dog behavior has the potential to provide new insights into the evolution of human socio-cognitive behavior.

Kubinyi, E., Virányi, Z., & Miklósi, Á. (2007). Comparative Social Cognition: From wolf and dog to humans. Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 2, 26-46. Retrieved from https://comparative-cognition-and-behavior-reviews.org/ doi:10.3819/ccbr.2008.20002