Did You ‌Know‌ ‌Wolf‌ ‌Cubs‌ ‌Also‌ ‌Play Fetch‌‌?

Fetching was thought to belong to dogs alone as they have learnt it due to 15,000 years of their domestication. However, the scientists have now discovered that wolf cubs also play fetch. The findings of the research suggest this game might be innate to all canine species.

In a behavioural test, the results of which were published in iScience magazine, 13 wolf puppies from three different litters were tested. The subject of the research was to compare their behaviour to dog puppies. In one test, eight-week-old wolf puppies spontaneously showed interest in a tennis ball and returned it to an unfamiliar person they had never seen before upon encouragement.

Animal experts were shocked by this finding. Behavioural ecologist Christina Hansen Wheat, of Stockholm University, even noticed that when observing the first wolf puppy retrieving the ball, she got goosebumps.

Only some of the studied puppies were interested in this kind of interaction with a person. However, the researchers knew immediately that if some variation of the game directed by a human is innate to wolfs, it might have had a crucial role in dog domestication. Wolf puppies showing human-directed behaviour could have had a selective advantage in the early stages
of dog domestication.

Moreover, the details between these two canine species might help us explain where the behaviour typical for dogs comes from. The research results also showed that our ancestors probably tried to domesticate wolves as well as dogs.

To learn more about the behavioural similarities and differences of wolves and dogs, the team of researchers will continue to work with the data collected over the course of three years of hand-raising wolves and dogs under identical conditions.

Related articles

What to Do When a Viper Bites a Dog

Snakes and scorpions are said to get out on Saint George’s Day. It has been a while since then, so it’s no surprise that we can see a lizard or a snake when on a walk somewhere or in our gardens. They already left their underground shelters designed...

Bikejöring – A Different Dog Sledding

Bikejöring doesn’t mean that a dog simply runs next to a bike. The dog pulls the bike when doing this sport, it is similar to dog sledding. A famous Slovak musher, Marcel Dučák, will tell us what equipment you need for it, what dogs it is good for,...

5 Ways to Make a Cat Exercise

Cat obesity is a serious health problem. Besides a well-balanced diet, exercise is a great way to fight it. However, making a cat do that might not be as easy as it is with a dog.

Options for Protecting Your Pets from Ticks

The tick season is here and if you haven’t done so far, it’s about the time to start protecting your pet. What options do we have, what are the differences between the individual possibilities and what do I see as their advantages and disadvantages?

Mondioring or Dog Circuit Training

Mondioring, even though it can seem easy for those who don’t know it, is undoubtedly one of the most difficult cynological sports. A dog has to be able to work focused for up to 45 minutes, be perfectly controllable and and handle everything in an...

Even Dogs Can Be Allergic to Pollen

This time of the year is connected, besides enjoying sun and awakening nature, with annoying allergic reactions for many. However, has it ever occurred to you that your dog companion could be allergic to pollen as well? How can you recognize it and...