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RESEARCH SHOWS WOLVES ARE ‘BETTER’ THAN THE DOG: Did you know that your pet is actually selfish?

Scientists believe that this behavior could be the result of training or encouragement, and added that more research needs to be done to explain the differences between dogs and wolves

When searching for words to describe your beloved pet dog, “selfishness” is probably not at the top of the list. But according to a new study published on PLOS ONE, dog care is a misconception – at least when you’re a different dog. A series of experiments at the Wolf Science Center in Vienna has revealed that these animals are more selfless compared to other members of the pack than dogs growing up in dog groups.

Scientists have trained animals, both dogs and wolves, to press the muzzle symbol on a responsive touch screen to release food in a nearby box that was or was not another animal of the same species. The wolves repeatedly pressed the feed button to the members of their pack, though they knew they would get nothing in return, but lost interest in such generous behavior when it came to an unknown wolf in a nearby box.

Dogs, however, showed no preference for feeding other dogs if they did not personally benefit from it, whether they knew other dogs or not. “This research shows that by taming dogs did not necessarily become prosocial,” says study leader Rachel Dale. “Instead, tolerance and generosity towards group members have been shown to help intensify collaboration, as is evident with wolves.”

But don’t write off your pet yet. The authors warn that the results of these studies on a pack of dogs cannot be uncritically mapped to pet dogs in which earlier studies have identified prosocial tendencies. Scientists believe that this behavior could be the result of training or encouragement, and added that more research needs to be done to explain the differences between dogs and wolves.

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