A Sense of Fair Play in Dogs and Wolves

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A wolf.
Your dog has a sense of fair play, and so do wolves (image credit: Unsplash/Josh Felise).

Have you ever been in a situation where you and a friend/colleague both performed the same task but only the colleague got praise for it? It's frustrating isn't it? And if it happens over and over you might even stop working with them. Turns out, dogs do this too, and so do wolves. A new study in the journal Current Biology has found that dogs and wolves both have a strong "sensitivity to inequity." Funny enough, dogs actually are less sensitive to it, likely because, from a dog's point of view, they are always treated unfairly (i.e., not allowed on the couch, don't get to eat what you're eating, etc.). Humans are conditioning the sensitivity to inequity out of dogs.

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A Sense of Fair Play in Dogs and Wolves
Matt McGrath
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Jesse Rogerson, PhD

As a passionate science communicator, Jesse Rogerson loves promoting science literacy to the public. He frequently represents the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on television and radio, social media, and at conferences. He co-developed a science communication workshop for Canadian science professionals, to instruct them in more effective methods of communicating their science. A trained and practicing astrophysicist, Jesse holds a PhD in observational astrophysics from York University, and recently published a peer-reviewed paper in The Astrophysical Journal. Jesse enjoys riding his motorcycle, board games, and ultimate frisbee.