Amazing new studies about wolves social behavior

October 17, 2017
Peter Peterson Senior

Over the centuries people knew about wolves cooperation while hunting in packs. One of the best reflections of this knowledge is Rudyard Kipling's The Law of the Jungle (read the whole poem here):

"For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack."

While Kipling's poem shows his deep intuitive understanding of wolf behavior, many people and many zoo logists considered wolves not much more than vicious killing automatons running in packs. Recently there was a string of studies exploring and learning much more about cognitive and social abilities of wolves. And in the process, challenging some of our judgements, assumptions and prejudices. I list links to 4 representative studies accompanied by short quotations, and leave it to the reader to enjoy exploring the study reviews. Go to the links below:

Dog-human cooperation is based on social skills of wolves, January 2015
The author's "hypothesis states that since wolves already are tolerant, attentive and cooperative, the relationship of wolves to their pack mates could have provided the basis for today's human-dog relationship."

Sensitivity to inequity is in wolves' and dogs' blood, June 2017
"Not only dogs but also wolves react to inequity - similar to humans or primates. This has been confirmed in a new study by comparative psychologists of the Messerli Research Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. Wolves and dogs refused to cooperate in an experiment when only the partner got a treat or they themselves received a lower quality reward."

Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs, September 2017
"Domestic dogs may have lost some of their innate animal skill when they came in from the wild, according to new research conducted at the Wolf Science Center in Austria."

Wolves found to be more cooperative with their own kind than dogs with theirs, October 2017
"Wolves outperformed dogs, despite comparable levels of interest in the task."