Chris Davis

Chris Davis

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Wolves Were Man's Best Friend Before Dogs

Wold Hybrid and German Shepherd Dog

Photo: Getty Images

Here's today's feel-good story:

A new study shows that wolves were man's best friend before dogs.

Northern scientists proved that wolves differentiate between strangers and familiar people and show more affection to the latter. The familiar person can also help calm the wolf down in stressful situations.

The scientists tested 10 wolves and 12 dogs to see how they behaved in certain situations.

“It was very clear that the wolves, as the dogs, preferred the familiar person over the stranger,” said the lead author of the study. Dr. Hansen Wheat, behavioral ecologist from Stockholm University, Sweden.

“But what was perhaps even more interesting was that while the dogs were not particularly affected by the test situation, the wolves were. They were pacing the test room.”

“However, the remarkable thing was that when the familiar person, a hand-raiser that had been with the wolves all their lives, re-entered the test room the pacing behavior stopped, indicating that the familiar person acted as a social stress buffer for the wolves.”

Read more here.

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