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

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/zp38wf326

This is an author's peer-reviewed final manuscript, as accepted by the publisher. The published article is copyrighted by Elsevier and can be found at:  http://www.journals.elsevier.com/behavioural-processes/

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  • 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 caregiver over a human stranger in a modified and counterbalanced version of the Ainsworth Strange Situation Test. In addition, our results show that preferential responding to a caregiver over a stranger is only apparent following brief isolation. In initial episodes, wolf pups show no differentiation between the caregiver and the stranger; however, following a 2-min separation, the pups show proximity seeking, more contact, and more greeting to the caregiver than the stranger. These results suggest intensive human socialization of a wolf can lead to attachment-like responding to a human caregiver during the first two months of a wolf pup's life.
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  • Hall, N. J., Lord, K., Arnold, A. M. K., Wynne, C. D. L., & Udell, M. A. R. (2015). Assessment of attachment behaviour to human caregivers in wolf pups (Canis lupus lupus). Behavioural Processes, 110, 15-21. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2014.11.005
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