Assessment of attachment behaviour to human caregivers in wolf pups (Canis lupus lupus)

  title={Assessment of attachment behaviour to human caregivers in wolf pups (Canis lupus lupus)},
  author={Nathaniel J. Hall and Kathryn A. Lord and Anne-Marie K. Arnold and Clive D.L. Wynne and Monique A R Udell},
  journal={Behavioural Processes},
Previous research suggested that 16-week old dog pups, but not wolf pups, show attachment behaviour to a human caregiver. Attachment to a caregiver in dog pups has been demonstrated by differential responding to a caregiver compared to a stranger in the Ainsworth Strange Situation Test. We show here that 3-7 week old wolf pups also show attachment-like behaviour to a human caregiver as measured by preferential proximity seeking, preferential contact, and preferential greeting to a human… 

Figures, Tables, and Topics from this paper

Hand-reared wolves show similar, or stronger, attachment toward human caregivers compared to hand-reared dogs
It is suggested that wolves can show attachment toward humans comparable to that of dogs at later developmental stages, and indicates that the ability to form attachment with humans did not occur post-domestication of dogs.
Attachment security in companion dogs: adaptation of Ainsworth’s strange situation and classification procedures to dogs and their human caregivers
A classification system for dogs’ attachment security to caregivers that adheres closely to Ainsworth’s seminal methodology makes it possible to compare directly the effects of human and dog attachment patterns on the health and emotional well-being of humans and dogs.
Differences in greeting behaviour towards humans with varying levels of familiarity in hand-reared wolves (Canis lupus)
It was shown that, in case of extensively socialized wolves, distinctive affiliation and affinity towards the foster parent prevails into adulthood, suggesting that unique status of foster parents may become less distinct as wolves get older, while exploration of novel social agents is expressed more with older age.
Adult, intensively socialized wolves show features of attachment behaviour to their handler
It is shown that adult, hand-reared wolves, similarly to dogs, form individualized relationship with their handler, suggesting that the ability to form interspecific social bonds could have been present already in the common ancestor of dogs and wolves.
A comparison between wolves, Canis lupus, and dogs, Canis familiaris, in showing behaviour towards humans
It is concluded that wolves and dogs, both kept in packs under the same conditions, can use humans as cooperative partners, and point imperatively in order to receive a desired out-of-reach object.
The Effect of Domestication and Experience on the Social Interaction of Dogs and Wolves With a Human Companion
The findings support the idea that domestication has affected dogs’ behavior in terms of their overall interest in being in proximity with a human partner also in case of dogs with a relatively sparse socialization experience (free-ranging dogs), but it remains unclear what the driving motivation to interact with the human may be.
Life experience rather than domestication accounts for dogs’ increased oxytocin release during social contact with humans
Pet dogs were tested and it was found that oxytocin concentrations correlated positively with physical contact with their owners, while glucocorticoids remained unaffected, indicating that factors related to life as a pet dog rather than domestication account for Oxytocin release during human–dog interactions.
Sociability and gazing toward humans in dogs and wolves: Simple behaviors with broad implications.
Dogs showed higher levels of interspecific sociability than wolves in all conditions, including those where attention was unavailable, and dogs gazed longer at the person's face than Wolves in the presence of out-of-reach food.
Carrots versus sticks: The relationship between training methods and dog-owner attachment
Abstract The use of aversive-based training methods has been suggested to negatively affect dog-human attachment. However, the scientific evidence for this claim is relatively limited. Previous


Attachment to humans: a comparative study on hand-reared wolves and differently socialized dog puppies
Using the Strange Situation Test originally developed for testing the mother-infant relationship in humans, we compared the attachment behaviour of extensively socialized (hand-reared) dog, Canis
Attachment behavior in dogs (Canis familiaris): a new application of Ainsworth's (1969) Strange Situation Test.
Although there was considerable variability in dogs' attachment behavior to humans, the authors did not find any effect of gender, age, living conditions, or breed on most of the behavioral variables.
Evaluating the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP) to Assess the Bond between Dogs and Humans
The results indicate that the effect of a familiar person on dogs' exploratory behaviour, a key feature when assessing secure attachment styles, could not be tested reliably due to the order in which the familiar person and the stranger appear.
Attachment, exploration, and separation: illustrated by the behavior of one-year-olds in a strange situation.
It is urged that the concepts of attachment and attachment behavior be kept broad enough to comprehend the spectrum of the findings of this range of studies.
Psychobiology of Early Social Attachment in Rhesus Monkeys Clinical Implications
  • G. Kraemer
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 1997
The long-standing effects of caregiver privation on behavior and emotionality are probably attributable to changes in multiple regulatory systems and cognitive-emotional integration rather than restricted effects on the activity of any specific set of neurochemical systems.
Comprehension of human pointing gestures in young human-reared wolves (Canis lupus) and dogs (Canis familiaris)
Wolves can reach the level of dogs in their success of following momentary distal pointing in parallel with improving their readiness to form eye-contact with a human experimenter during several months of formal training.
A counterbalanced version of Ainsworth's Strange Situation Procedure reveals secure-base effects in dog–human relationships
It has been proposed that the dog–human relationship constitutes an infantile-like attachment. However, previous empirical support based on Ainsworth's Strange Situation test has proved inconclusive
Wolves outperform dogs in following human social cues
Domestic dogs, Canis familiaris, have been shown capable of finding hidden food by following pointing gestures made with different parts of the human body. However, previous studies have reported
What did domestication do to dogs? A new account of dogs' sensitivity to human actions
The Two Stage Hypothesis is proposed, according to which the sensitivity of an individual animal to human actions depends on acceptance of humans as social companions, and conditioning to follow human limbs, without requiring the use of additional mechanisms.
Ethiopian village dogs: Behavioural responses to a stranger's approach
We studied the behavioural ecological characteristics of free-roaming dogs (Canis familiaris) in four Ethiopian villages via observational surveys. The Ethiopian village dogs surveyed in this study