Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Try to behave like a decent dog

In a post on the Scientific American Web site, a discussion of dog morality:
Every dog owner knows a pooch can learn the house rules—and when she breaks one, her subsequent groveling is usually ingratiating enough to ensure quick forgiveness. But few people have stopped to ask why dogs have such a keen sense of right and wrong. Chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates regularly make the news when researchers, logically looking to our closest relatives for traits similar to our own, uncover evidence of their instinct for fairness. But our work has suggested that wild canine societies may be even better analogues for early hominid groups—and when we study dogs, wolves and coyotes, we discover behaviors that hint at the roots of human morality.

Read the whole thing here.It's an interesting synthesis of things any attentive dog person has observed about the furrier packmates.

1 comment:

Truth Ferret said...

Our "purebred" Yorkie (see previous blog for pic) has a different relationship with each of us. He has enjoys the visits from our daughter and grandson, but when they leave he actually sighs and relaxes. When I am gone for an extended period of time, he gets really mopey and waits for my return. More than a day away and he begins to sulk. If I come home and don't give him enough attention, he finds something "naughty" like tear up a tissue he steals from the trash.

He has to be tickled a certain way from each and my husband cracks up that he hasn't quite master the demands of the dog.

Each dog we have owned has had his/her own personality, but the common factor is that they enjoy being the only four legged animal in the house. They will tolerate others, but tolerate is operative word.