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DazhanaBauerJackson
Dr.LyndaHass
Writing39C
August7th,2016

HIstoricalConversationsProject:Wolves,Dogs,Humans
Overtimeresearchershavecometotheconclusionthatalldogsweredomesticatedfrom
freelivinggraywolves.(Safina222)ThroughoutthisessayIwillbereviewingjusthowwolves
reallyactintheirnaturalhabitat,butmorespecificallytheircognitiveability,aswellashowthey
sharecertaininteractionswithdogsandhumans.Humansaremuchsimilartothewolvesthan
theywouldeverknowbecauseofthefactthatresearchersbelievedogsevolvedfromwolves,
andadogisamansbestfriend.AccordingtoCarlSafinahumansaresoclosetotheirdogshe
believesthathumanscoevolvedbecauseatthispointweashumanscouldnotsurvivewithout
dogs.Hereisjustalittlebackgroundoftheevolutionofwolves,dogsandhumans,but
throughoutthispaperIwillbereviewingthewaywolvesreactwhenfacedwithconflictanddo
theyfeeljustashumansdoAlsohowtheyaresimilartodogsandhowhumanscoevolvedfrom
dogs.
Animalsoverallareverysimilartohumanswhenitcomestoparenting,growingand
learning.Manyhumanshavefeltsuperiortowolvesandthusfarhavealmostcausedamass
extinctionwhenrealisticallytheyarenotmuchdifferentthanhumansandtheirdogs.Theyhave
amanwhotakescareofeverythingandafamilyjustliketheaveragehumanfamily.Overtime
therewererumorsthatcertainwolvesevolvedtobedogsbecausetheyweretakenoutofthewild

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whiletheywereyoungandwereraisedjustasachildwouldbebyhumansbutthatisnotthe
casebecausemanystudieshavebeendonewheretwodifferentanimalsareraisedinidentical
environmentsandturnoutcompletelydifferent.TheFamilyDogProjectofthedepartmentof
EthologyledbyAdamMikloskistudied12wolvesand11dogswhowereraisedindividually
whilelivinginafamilyenvironment.Miklosistudiedtheircommunication,interactions,and
relationshipwithhumans,theanimalswentthroughveryintensivesocialisationinanurban
environment,livedinfamilyhomes,accompaniedtheirraiserstotheuniversity,travelledon
publictransportation,andthusmetunfamiliarpeopleanddogsonadailybasis.(OntheWayto
aBetterUnderstandingofaDogPg36)Atacertainagethewolvesweresentbackintothewild
duetosafetyissuesandtheresearcherslearnedthateveniftheywereraisedthesame,wolves
anddogsdonothavethesameexperiencesorgothroughthesamelearningprocessbecausetheir
preferencesareinstalledatbirth.Wolvessimplyholdacertaindominancetosurvive,and
generallyitisthealphamalewhodoesso,butotherthanthatwolvesarenomoreagressivethan
adogistohumansspecifically.Thisexamplegoestoshowthattheevolutiondidnothappen
becauseawolfwastakenoutofhabitatatbirthbecausenomatterwhattheanimalsstillturned
outthesame.Wolvesdobecomedominantwithagewhiledogswillcontinuetobesubmissiveto
theirownerandforthisreasonsiswhyhumansbelieveitisokaytohuntthewolvesbecausethey
arevicious,butinrealityhavejustcoevolved.

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Figure1:Thefigureillustratesthehierarchyillusionthatmanyresearchersbelieveexist
inthewolfhabitat.Iamreferencingitbecauseitlooksverysimilartohowahumanhousehold
wouldworkinatypicalfamily.
Bringingustoournextpointofhowdowolvesreacttoconflictandaretheynaturally
dominant?CandiceBannandahandfulofotherresearchersaffiliatedwiththeUniversityof
Neuchatel,SwitzerlanddidanexperimentinvolvingthewolveslivinginYellowstoneNational
Park.Theyobservedthewolves100%intheirnaturalhabitattoseehowtheysocializedand
dealtwithconflict.WhattheyfoundwasthatafterconflictOurresultsshowthatpostconflict
friendlybehavioursweremainlyinitiatedbyvictims(subordinates)andpreferentiallydirected
towardstheformeraggressors(dominants).(Baan331)Wolveshavetobeciviltooneanother
evenafteraconfrontationbecausetheydependoneachother.Everyoneinthepackdependson
theAlphamaletosurvivesothereactionsofpostconflictareduetothebenefitstheyreceive
fromdoingso.Hence,eventhoughparticularvaluablerelationships(whichwecouldnot
investigateinthisstudy)mayalsobeimportanttoexplainreconciliationinwolves,ourresults
suggestthatconflictresolutioninthisspeciescanbeexplainedbyinterdependenceamongpack

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membersasaresultofthebenefitstheyderivefromcooperativehunting,cooperativebreeding
andcooperationindefenceoftheterritory.(Baan332)

Figure2:Thisisaphysicalrepresentationofwolvesandwhytheyseekpeaceful
resolution.Awolfcontinuingtobeviolentafterconflictwouldgetthemnowhere.
RickMcintyre,AbiologicaltechfortheYellowstoneWolfProjecthasnotmissedaday
ofobservationin81/2years.Continuingfromthelaststudygoestotellmoreaboutwhywolves
engageinpeacefulresolutionspostconflict.AccordingtoMcintyre'sobservationsthegroupof
wolvesthatwillbethemostsuccessfularetheoneswhoremainlevelheadedbecausethe
aggressivepackwillcontinuetoloselosesupportandwolvesneedeachothertosurviveoutin
thewild.HegoesontodiscusstheHierarchythatwolveslivebythroughoutandhowtheonly
waytosurviveistostickwithoneanother.
Ashumanswenaturallyshowempathybyunderstandingsituationsandengaginginthem
byshowingfeelingandemotion,justaswellasourdogsreacttotheirhumansfeelingsandare
empatheticwithjustabouteverymovetheirhumanmakes.Itisrarebuthasbeenstudiedthat

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throughyawningwolvescanfeelempathytowardthoseintheirpack.TeresaRomeroaProfessor
atUniversityofTokyo,JapanandaffiliateofCognitiveandbehavioralsciencesandherteam
observedifwolvesweresimplymimickingorfeelingempathetic.Beforegettingintothisstudy
let'sthinkaboutthisfromahumanstandpoint.Ifthereisaroomfullofhumansandoneperson
yawns,itwillgenerallystartachainreactionwhichisveryrelevanttothestudythatisgoingto
beexplained.AzooinJapanrecorded12wolvesfortheirresearchwhiletakingintoaccount
time,identityofinitialyawnandpositionofnearbyanimals.Thefirstyawnerwouldmakedead
eyecontactwiththeotherwhomwouldusuallybeaclosesocialpartnerandtheresearchers
foundthatthefrequencyandsocialbondplayedahugepartinweatheritwasempathyor
mimicking.Findingsrevealedthatthestrengthofthepackmember'ssocialbondwithyawning
wolvesinfluencedhowoftentheyactuallyyawned.Thestudyalsoshowedthatfemalewolves
werequickerthanmalecounterpartstoyawnwhileobservingotherswithsimilarbehavior.(
RomeroAug272014).Wolvesoverallarealotsmarter,andfeelalotmorethantheaverage
humanbeingmaythinkg

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Figure3:Anotherlatencygraphthatshowstheweakandstrongconnectionsofyawning
aswellasmaleandfemale.Itshowshowempathyisshownfromwolftowolfopposedto
mimickingoneanother.

Asawholethecognitivebehaviorofwolvesfromfeelingempathytoshowing
dominanceandmakingpeaceallinsomewayoranothercanrelatetohumansaccordingto
research.Humansandcaninesaresuchsimilarcreaturesyethumansdefinitelydonottreatthem
liketheyshould.WolvesthinkandfeeljustashumansdoandCarlSafinagoesintodetailabout
justhowmuchtheydo.ForexampleinhisbookBeyondWords,hediscusseshowwolvesneed
theiralphamaleandwithoutthealphamaletheentiregroupsplitsandtheyoungoneshave
absolutelynoguidance.Humanshavealsoviewedwolvesasdangerousandcontroversialyet
theydonotevenseehumansasprey.Thefactthatwolveshaveaspecificdominancetothem
manyfeelthreatenedandovertimehavecompletelyendangeredasspeciesthatisjustlikeus.
Wolvesandanimalsingeneralfeelthesamewayaseveryoneelsedoesnomatterhow
dangerouspeoplemayviewthem,SafinastatesthatWolfpacksarenuclearfamilies,muchlike
ours,withtwobreedingadultsandtheiroffspringofseveralyears.Astheoffspringmature,they
leavetoseektheirownlivesandtaketheirownchances,asdoourkids.(Safina2012)Wolves
arenotthatmuchdifferentthanhumansbutbecausemanypeoplefearthemasathreatand
refusetoseewhytheyarenottheyjustcontinuetobekilled.Researchersarestartingtolearn
moreandmoreaboutwolvesandwhyadvocatingthemisextremelynecessarybecausetherewill
notbeanymorewolvesifsomethingdoesnotchange.

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Workscited
Baan,Candice,Bergmller,Ralph,Smith,DouglasW.,andBarbaraMolnar."ConflictManagementin
FreerangingWolves,CanisLupus."AnimalBehaviour90(2014):32734.Sciencedirect.Web.6August2016.

"ConflictManagementinFreerangingWolves,CanisLupus."ConflictManagementinFreeranging
Wolves,CanisLupus.N.p.,n.d.Web.07Aug.2016.

Cowles,Gregory."Review:CarlSafinasBeyondWordsDoesntMinceAnyonAnimalAbilities."The
NewYorkTimes.TheNewYorkTimes,2015.Web.07Aug.2016.

Safina,Carl.BeyondWords:WhatAnimalsThinkandFeel.N.p.:n.p.,n.d.Print.

"SocialModulationofContagiousYawninginWolves."PLOSONE:.N.p.,n.d.Web.07Aug.2016.

Virnyi,Zsfia,andFriederikeRange."OntheWaytoaBetterUnderstandingofDogDomestication."
TheSocialDog(2014):3562.Web.

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