Learn from Man’s Best Friend

canine fair play

Canids compensate for size and status, to play fair

Scientific American brings us The Ethical Dog, an interesting and thought-provoking article about the social behaviors and ordered customs of canids. We’ve admired and lived side-by-side with these remarkable animals for thousands of years.

These behaviors, including altruism, tolerance, forgiveness, reciprocity and fairness, are readily evident in the egalitarian way wolves and coyotes play with one another. Canids (animals in the dog family) follow a strict code of conduct when they play, which teaches pups the rules of social engagement that allow their societies to succeed.

The authors of the article point out that human beings could learn a thing or two about playing fair from our four-legged companions.

MacAllister Stone is Editor in Chief of AbsoluteWrite.com and CoyoteWildMag.com. She attended the Viable Paradise specfic writing workshop in October of 2006 and has been a member of the VP staff, since. She can often be found on the Absolute Write forums.

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