Here, we address Hansen Wheat et al.’s commentary in this journal in response to Salomons et al. Current Biology, 31(14), 3137–3144.E11, (2021). We conduct additional analyses in response to Hansen Wheat et al.’s two main questions. First, we examine the claim that it was the move to a human home environment which enabled the dog puppies to outperform the wolf puppies in gesture comprehension tasks. We show that the youngest dog puppies who had not yet been individually placed in raisers’ homes were still highly skilled, and outperformed similar-aged wolf puppies who had higher levels of human interaction. Second, we address the claim that willingness to approach a stranger can explain the difference between dog and wolf pups’ ability to succeed in gesture comprehension tasks. We explain the various controls in the original study that render this explanation insufficient, and demonstrate via model comparison that the covariance of species and temperament also make this parsing impossible. Overall, our additional analyses and considerations support the domestication hypothesis as laid out by Salomons et al. Current Biology, 31(14), 3137–3144.E11, (2021).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience