Dogs know what’s fair

AP Science Writer Randolph E. Schmid wired this report showing that dogs have sense of fairness.

Dogs sense what's fair“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.”

“The photo from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows the subject has not received food for giving the paw in the last trials and observing that the partner did receive food, the subject is refusing to give the paw and avoids looking at the experimenter.

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.”