It never ceases to amaze us the capacity with which domestic dogs react to the guidelines or teachings that we give them during the time we live with them. They not only show us their loyalty and affection but also great skills of observation and learning. But what about his relatives the wolves? Is the intelligence of the wolves superior to that of the dogs? Or are dogs smarter than wolves, are they just better observers and imitators? Let’s see the answer to these questions.
Even in the face of this quite generalized reality, at least for all those who share a good part of their lives with the company of one or more dogs at home, scientists from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, discovered that wolves have a greater acuity of observation that dogs already domesticated.
A revealing experiment was carried out with 14 wolves and 15 mongrel dogs, all raised by the hand of man and without being separated from their pack. The proof was that the dogs had to open a wooden box in which there was a reward in the form of food.
What the researchers observed surprised them since all the wolves managed to open the boxes after observing how one or two dogs opened them previously, while only four of the dogs that observed the same scene, achieved their task.
The experts also observed that while the wolves opened the boxes according to the observed method, the dogs chose the way to do it at random, with the mouth or leg, according to the situation.
Despite the results, the scientists preferred to reaffirm these results with subsequent tests. They revealed new curious results. The dogs’ lesser ability to unravel the puzzle had nothing to do with their natural age, and that if the wolves did not have the ability to observe a reference dog, they were rarely successful.
This particularity has led scientists to believe that cooperation among wolves can be the key to a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between man and dogs.
Until now it was known for sure that the extraordinary ability of dogs to relate to people in a learning context, is due to the results of the domestication of wolves about 15,000 years ago.
But scientists note that the interactions between animals due to the effects of domestication have not yet been studied in detail.