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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:36 PM
Original message
Studies Show Dogs Have Sense of 'Fairness'
Source: Associated Press

Studies show dogs have sense of fairness

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer Mon Dec 8, 11:17 am ET

WASHINGTON No fair! What parent hasn't heard that from a child who thinks another youngster got more of something. Well, it turns out dogs can react the same way.
Ask them to do a trick and they'll give it a try. For a reward, sausage say, they'll happily keep at it.

But if one dog gets no reward, and then sees another get sausage for doing the same trick, just try to get the first one to do it again.
Indeed, he may even turn away and refuse to look at you.

Dogs, like people and monkeys, seem to have a sense of fairness.

"Animals react to inequity," said Friederike Range of the University of Vienna, Austria, who lead a team of researchers testing animals at the school's Clever Dog Lab. "To avoid stress, we should try to avoid treating them differently." Similar responses have been seen in monkeys.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081208/ap_on_sc/sci_no_fai...



I can assure you: so do cats.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yes, my cats don't like it if I show favoritism to one.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. Ours either. Treats should be even and simultaneous or there's trouble in River City. nt
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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. We bought one of those kitty sills for our bedroom window...
...The one cat, Virgil, jumped up and made himself at home. The other cat, Roswell, looked up at us and immediately started crying, both insistently and mournfully. I'd never seen anything like it -- he was clearly envious and wanted his own kitty sill. Now.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Yeah. Never buy just one of anything. That goes for children and cats.
I pushed a bureau up against the bedroom window and placed two cat beds on it. That way, both cats can be there at the same time, or singly, whichever they each prefer. Interestingly, they divided up the beds and always sleep in the same one.

Same on the bed. Each cat has their own place on the bed. The subordinate one periodically tries to sneak over into the dominant cat's place. Whapping commences.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
27. Ah......Roswell's friend, Cuddles, wants to have a word with you about the other Sill.
:rofl: :)
.
.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. That looks like my cat when he's really mad.
I have no doubt that if my cats were the size of lions I would no longer be living. We all get along 99% of the time but every now and then...
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Patiod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #30
37. I've always said that
In fact, there's a picture of our cat on "mycathatesyou.com" saying "If I weighed 50 pounds more, you'd be lunch"
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. Next up: getting a dog to come up with a good Prisoner's Dilemma strategy.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The cops always use the "good dog/bad dog" act on them.
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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. my dog finch is the sherrif
when he finds anyone of us doing something he doesnt think is right he has something to say. If the other big dog tries to beat on the little dog finch is on it like a flash. So i think some dogs have a sense of fairness and some are sleazy just like humans
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. yes but they are very bad at simple arithmetic
My dogs are constantly committing simple math errors with respect to treat counts. They each come back inside and, being 'good dogs' get a reward. However, invariably dog1 (the first to get a treat) loses count of how many treats she had (one) by the time I get to dog2's treat. Dog1 looks at me with that 'wtf' look, so I give her another treat, at which point, and quite rightly, dog2 has what amounts to a severe case of doggy depression, as clearly she has been treat-shorted (correctly as the count is 2-1.) I rectify the situation by upping the treat count to dog2, at which point dog1, formerly satisfied with the fairness when the count was 2-1 in her favor, is promptly in 'wtf' mode now that the count is, in her view, 0-1 against her. Repeat for a while until the human gets bored.

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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. LOL! Your dogs must be related to mine.
And Dog 1 is really good at "forgetting" she got a treat from my b/f who just got home 5 minutes before and gave her one. I get the "wtf" treatment from her if I don't pony up as well. :)
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. My dog cheated the Kobayashi Maru before Kirk did. n/t
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Your dogs can count just fine. They're working you for treats!
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. Oh say it ain't so!
They wouldn't do that!
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Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. Unlike Republicans
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Phredicles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. That was my thought, too: Dogs are more highly evolved than Rethugs.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. I already knew that. Republicans are a very low form of life.
Rethugs are down around sea slugs, except that even the slugs don't cause any harm. Come to think of it, I can't think of any life form lower than Rethugs.
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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. They're aware of the size of the treat, also
I was sitting with my daughter's dogs. Instructions were to give them a large biscuit after coming in from doing their business just before bedtime. I forgot and gave them a normal sized biscuit. I got into bed and Bailey, the Walker hound (pictured) wouldn't settle down and paced around like she was stewing about something. I got up and took her downstairs, thinking she had to go back out, but she led me into the kitchen where I remembered the big biscuit. She was ready for bed after that.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. I've seen this with my own dog.
Hubby & I had adopted another Boston Terrier from the pound during the week our own BT was lost (long story, but keeping it short here), & the new BT didn't have the finesse that our other BT had. I gave them both a big dog biscuit as a treat, & later, when the adopted BT took our other BT's biscuit, our BT looked at me like, "Aren't you going to do something about this?"

Another example: He gets petulant & will play hard to get if he's refused a petting session with my hubby (he does it best :rofl: ). He'll stare a hole through hubby when our dog wants attention while hubby is preoccupied with newspaper or something else. Later, when hubby is willing, he'll call our dog, getting a snub instead -- dog pretends he can't hear hubby.

Thanks for the article!

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JimboBillyBubbaBob Donating Member (225 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
13. I'd agree!
I have two cats and a dog who get along famously. It one gets a treat, they all get a treat. The result is that they are very sociable together and wait their turns. The turn taking even extends to areas without the treat reinforcement. Cool stuff.
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Submariner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
17. Of course, it's only Fair that the kitty gets the comfy bed while Rover gets the cold tile
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. The two "little girls" share the bed while Moby makes sure no one fights


Chiquita (facing camera) will share her bed with Biscuit (sprawled in back) but Moby (Aussie on the left) is not allowed because he's too big. Biscuit has been known to bark and play-growl and generally antagonize Chiquita until she gives up the bed.

They have their pecking order, but they also know when things go too far and become unfair.
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #17
38. That is so precious!
:hi: Here's a pic of my beloved pups.


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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
19. my dog does, but it's skewed
She doesn't seem to mind if she's the only one getting rewarded, but if the cats get something - even though she gets more every day - then she goes nuts with jealousy!

Hmm. Sounds familiar.

I wonder if Republicans have the same sense of fairness?
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
20. Tell that to my 85 lbs alpha dog who always pushes the 55 lbs dog out of the way
to clean plates. I have 2 dominant dogs, that when the younger of the 2 turned 1 year had a major dog fight over a stew bone (they both had one but the 85 lbs-er buried hers, then proceeded to take the younger dogs. Last stew bone ever). When you have dominant dogs you must let them sort out the hierarchy and then respect the decision. I spent 2 years working with a previous dominant dog and an university based behaviorist. I learned in order to keep the canine peace, I must respect the alpha pecking order despite it not always being fair to the lower ranking.

BTW-we've had canine good relationships in our household for 6 years now.
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judasdisney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #20
31. What would happen to the social order if you showed
some "redress" to the lower ranking?

In other words, can you show any "favortism" to the "underdog" out of sympathy, or will this only ostracize the underdog further, or make the alphas more aggressive?

Would showing any type of special favors to a downtrodden underdog be viewed as "unequal" and therefore "unfair" treatment by the other "superior" dogs?

Fascinating post.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. The second dog is certainly not downtrodden, she is also dominant in nature
and looks for any opportunity (Aja-the alpha goes on seasonal allergy meds which makes her lethargic, at which point whisper, #2, attempts to mount her (both girls and mounting is used as a dominance factor) to seize control. Whiser, the smaller less dominant is always looking for weakness. Food is put down for the the Alpha then secondly for Whisper. Top dog is let out first, has a longer leash so she can walk ahead and is the first petted. Neither is allowed on furniture, which is especially important when children are in the mix. Dominant dogs must known their place within the entire pack (including humans).

I spent 2 years, many hours working with a dog that we adopted at 1 year old. She is no longer with us but after working with her (she had multiple issues besides dominant aggression) she became a loving trust worthy canine companion. I did this before kids. She was around when my kids were born and she could totally be trusted not to harm them. When going for a walk with a baby in the stroller, if someone would come up, bend over to greet the baby she would place her head on the baby's lap and look up at the greeter as if to say, so try anything. Note: I went back to the behaviorist prior to giving birth and consulted to make sure I was not placing my children in harms way. It had been several years since being successful with Hadrian but I still wanted to make sure.

Anyway, in short, a very dominant dog can be successfully trained to be a loving family dog-however I would never have kept a dog like Hadrian to train with children in already the household. Now I always get puppies. :hi:
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judasdisney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #33
45. Fascinating, thanks.
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MsRedacted Donating Member (263 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
21. um . . . DUH!
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
23. jesus h christ..dogs are more evolved than the president
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Oh come on, a marble countertop is more evolved than the president
and considerably more useful.
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woodsprite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
25. Maybe I should post this article on our office bulletin board. n/t
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CubicleGuy Donating Member (271 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
28. One of our dogs used to go nuts...
... if it became obvious that the other dog was going to be taken out for a walk without him. The whining and crying that ensued was unbelievable.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
29. Pack animals. Evolution is pretty cool.
Just as evolution helped select humans for altruism. (Social groups that didn't look out for each other didn't tend to survive.)
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Pharlo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 03:52 AM
Response to Original message
32. I just can't believe they needed a study to conclude this.
Anyone who works with dogs - or cats, or horses - would know this.

Ask me, they limited their parameters to this study as well. They forgot to take a dog and try and sneak them a treat. It can't be done. If for no other reason than because the dog that gets the treat - and could very easily consume it with no other canine the wiser - must take that treat and very loudly and obnoxiously parade it in front of any other dog who did NOT receive the treat. Creating an all out rush by all canines for 'theirs'.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. It's like the study that showed cows and deer

face North-South when grazing, not East-West. Anybody who's observed cows and deer knows that but a study proves what "everyone knows" is true -- or false, as the case may be. My hypothesis, based on years of commuting to a job East of my home, is that cows and deer don't like getting bright sun straight on in their eyes.

The monkey study, BTW, showed that monkeys given a piece of cucumber resented monkeys given grapes and would stop working but dogs were satisfied whether they got bread or sausage, just so they got something.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #34
40. I love that monkey study.
It cracked my kids up.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. They should have given them cucumber sandwiches

to make it a better reward. Plain cukes are pretty plain, don't stand a chance against fruit.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
35. I saw evidence of this last night.
One of my dogs has a very short coat. The other has a very thick, shaggy coat. It's starting to get a little chilly down in the garage where they sleep, so I created a dog sweater out of an old fleece and put it on the short haired dog. The other dog was so jealous! She kept whining and groaning in that way she does when she's trying to tell me she wants something. I tried to tell her she didn't need a sweater but I don't know if she understands. :shrug: The short haired dog is very smug and content with her new sweater. I think she was sort of bragging. :)
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AlphaCentauri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
36. Fairness or Envy?
it all depends of how you see it
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
39. That's true, but some dogs also understand sharing.
Some certainly don't, at all, but my current dog is so kind it's almost comical. She always lets the cat finish drinking before she gets a drink. She'll just stand there patiently until the cat is done.

Of course later in the day she'll tackle the cat for no reason. :)
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
41. I don't think canine "fairness" is precisely the same as ours.
They're more hierarchical pack animals than we are.

That said, they are social pack animals and need some form of society.
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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
42. I am not sure this is entirely true
I put treats down for my dog and two cats and the dog will always try and steal the cat's treats. Dogs are good at hoarding food as well. Mine will take the cat's treats and his own and then hoard them and guard them.. Spoiled little monster...
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
43. This is how it is in my household.
My crazy roommate won't let me feed her dog when I feed mine. My dog gets fed every night at 5, but she makes her dog wait until she gets home at midnight or later. :eyes: Her dog is the kind of dog that cruises the house sucking up anything that even once touched food (candy wrappers, empty cereal boxes roommate leaves on the counter, etc.), but he's so good while I'm prepping my dog's dinner. Both dogs stay perfectly in place until I give them the go-ahead. My dog gets to eat at 5, but my roommate's dog has learned that he gets a seriously good belly rub and over-all pet-down as his reward--is already rolledover on his back by the time I walk from my dog's food dish to where the dogs wait. :rofl: I'm sure he likes that as a reward becasue otherwise I don't think he'd sit still.
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