|No Fair! Woof, Woof!|
It seems dogs have a sense of fairness, too—at least according to a researcher at the University of Vienna in Austria.
In an experiment dogs sat side-by-side in front of an experimenter. In front of the experimenter was a bowl of treats (sausage and bread). The experimenter extended a hand and asked the dogs to shake. When the first dog put its paw in the researcher’s hand, it received a treat. But when the second dog did the same thing, it did not receive a treat.
What was the result? When the second dog saw it was getting no reward, it stopped playing. Some dogs even turned their heads and refused to look at the researcher.
Said lead researcher Friederike Range, “Animals react to inequity. To avoid stress, we should try to avoid treating them differently.” The results of her study were published in the December 2, 2008, edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Reference: Randolph E. Schmid, “Not just your kids: Dogs can think ‘no fair’ too,” Associated Press, MSNBC.com (12-8-08)