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Pancho here. Well, here’s some fun news you can file under Dogs Are Better Than Cats: science has shown that dogs are not only man’s (and woman’s) best friend, but also dog’s best friend, too. Researchers call it “prosociality” but I call it, “duh,” because I always look out for my own. I’m a dog, not an animal.
Basically it comes down to this–scientists already knew that we dogs were a social species. After all, look how many times we will bring sticks and balls back to you whenever you randomly launch them away. (Seriously, you humans are so weird. Adorable, but weird.) But for the first time, they measured how dogs of 16 different breeds treated their fellow canines using a bar-pulling task that worked like this:
“the dogs had to pull trays and decide whether a second dog would receive a treat or not. In the test, the donor dogs used their mouths to pull a string to bring a tray toward a second dog. They could choose either an empty tray or a tray containing a treat on the partner’s side.”
So, not only did my fellow dawgs generally treat a fellow dog to a snack, they did it even more frequently for a familiar friend. Hashtag squad goals. And don’t go listening to your Cat Lady aunt who dismisses this important study claiming that the dogs were probably oblivious and/or fearful of the second dog because the smartypants scientists already measured for that.
“At the end of each test run, the researchers conducted another test to show that the donor dogs knew what pulling the tray meant. They allowed the donor dogs to pull on a tray to give themselves a treat, and all dogs did just that.”
And just to prove the point further, instead of snubbing Aunt Clara with this resounding data, I would like to demonstrate my personal prosociality and offer her a treat: this half-eaten rawhide snack I’ve been hiding in the couch cushions since March. It’s one of my favorites. You’re welcome, Aunt Clara.
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