Justin Bullock, FISM News
It has finally been empirically demonstrated that dogs are indeed man’s best friend. Researchers at Duke have finished a study whereby they objectively showed that dogs have a deeper understanding of human beings than any animals studied for compatibility thus far. In the study the researchers compared dog puppies to wolf puppies and found that in every test the dog puppies consistently had an innate knowledge of human beings far superior to any of the wolf pups.
The researchers attributed much of the results to the fact that dogs have been domesticated for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The implication of this observation is incredibly fascinating for ideas surrounding genetic memory that are regularly referenced in great works of literature like John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. The lead researcher, Dr. Brian Hare, said,
This study really solidifies the evidence that the social genius of dogs is a product of domestication… It is something they are really born prepared to do… We think it indicates a really important element of social cognition, which is that others are trying to help you.
Assistant researcher and doctoral student, Hannah Salomons, added,
We think it indicates a really important element of social cognition, which is that others are trying to help you… Dogs are born with this innate ability to understand that we’re communicating with them and we’re trying to cooperate with them… There’s lots of different ways to be smart. Animals evolve cognition in a way that will help them succeed in whatever environment they’re living in… With the dog puppies we worked with, if you walk into their enclosure they gather around and want to climb on you and lick your face, whereas most of the wolf puppies run to the corner and hide.