Fair is Fair
Everyone has had the experience of being in the middle of a snack and then noticing that your dog is watching you take each bite very carefully. Usually most of us, will either share or (if not medically indicated otherwise) go get a doggie treat and share the snack moment.
Or maybe you’re a person who shares their life and home with multiple dogs and you often get the impression at feeding time that your being very carefully studied and they each pay close attention to what gets in each bowl, and in what order.
You are not imagining anything. The latest research from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna has proven that dogs and their ancient cousins the wolves, share this amazing trait of a sense of fairness or what is scientifically referred to as a sense of equity.
While some scientists had initially posited that this trait came from domestication, recent studies of their undomesticated cousins, (the wolves) have shown that this trait shines even in their wilder cousins, the undomesticated wolf.
During a range of tests wolves and dogs alike refused to participate in exercises (tests) in which one of a pair of test animals was rewarded differently than the other. Investigations recently at the Messerli Research Institute and the Wolf Science Center of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna confirmed for example, if two dogs were given the same task (for example) a trainer asked two dogs to press a buzzer, if one received a reward and the other didn’t or even simply received a lesser reward the dogs or wolves would refuse to participate in further tests.
One might speculate that in a hunting-pack setting, where a packs’ trophy feast would need to be shared by the entire pack, a sense of sharing and equity of distribution would be evolutionarily valuable.
Here at Inn of the Dog we make sure that every guest is pampered equally; the tall and the small are given their own delectable treats always equitably. And don’t forget, next time you feed “Rover” or “Spot” just make sure, that the can of new food, be shared fairly. (They will know)
And when you get out a snack for you… you know what to do! You don’t want that look!