How do Dogs form friendships?
Recently, we’ve heard of and seen videos of dogs displaying what appear to be extremely heartfelt displays of friendship and loyalty to one another. For instance, a video of a spaniel-type dog protecting another dog from harm emerged from Japan after the country’s devastating earthquake. Videos of dogs blocking traffic to help another dog who had been hit by a car while crossing the street made their way online from both China and New York.
These behaviors may look to the untrained eye like the kind of loyalty and commitment a friend would have for another, but some scientists are skeptical that true friendship can exist between canines. Wolf social structure studies by scientists like Washington State University’s Traci Cipponeri and Paul Verrell inform their findings.
Other than between members of the same family, they found that wolves’ social interactions best resembled uneasy alliances between people with competing goals. It’s more akin to a team at a large corporation where everyone shares the same mission but also strives for personal success. While wolves do interact with one another, true friendships do not exist outside of the bonds of blood. The good news is that canines are not canids.
Over the millennia since dogs were first domesticated, humans have tinkered with their DNA to make them sociable and friendly around virtually anyone. In the absence of any hostile cues, a well-socialized dog will approach any other living thing, regardless of its species, in an attempt to form a friendly rapport.
Ability to form Emotional Bond
Dogs’ ability to form emotional bonds with members of other species is frequently touching and even dramatic. Consider the case of Puma, a Labrador Retriever. A group of boys in Bristol, England, decided to kill a kitten for fun one chilly day by throwing it into a pond. Puma jumped in the water and grabbed the kitten out of nowhere. Check with Brain Training for Dogs Review to understand your pet’s behavior.
Apparently attributing this to chance, he fished the kitten out of the pool and set it down at the boys’ feet. They laughed at it and tossed it back into the ocean. Puma jumped in the water once more, this time bringing the kitten with him as he swam across the pond to safety. His parents came home and he hurried past them to set the kitten down next to the radiator.
He insisted on keeping the kitten with him at all times, so his family had no choice but to keep it. Because the kitten was so fortunate to have Puma as a friend, they gave him the name Lucky. The dog and cat formed a lifelong friendship through shared play, sleeping, and, presumably, comfort. This is in line with the theory that dogs thrive best in social settings, but that the quality of their interactions with their companions is more important than the species they belong to.