Why study wolves and dogs?

You may have noticed that we keep our wolves and dogs in big enclosures. Maybe you were also able to observe us working with our animals in our testhouse in the centre of the Wildpark?

At the WSC, we aim at experimentally investigating wolves’ and dogs’ cognitive and social abilities and how they organize their cooperation among their kind or with humans. In our work, wolves and dogs are model organisms to better understand the evolutionary base of cooperation, also in humans. But above all, we are interested how domestication made dogs different, compared to their wolf ancestors. Towards a fair comparison, we are raising and keeping our animals the same way - which makes us unique worldwide. 

At the Wolf Science Center, we have three major goals: 1. Top science, 2. Informing the public about wolves and dogs and their relationships with people as objectively as possible, and 3. Optimal animal keeping. Our wolves and dogs live in large enclosures in good relationships with their group members and with their human partners, with whom they happily work nearly every day. In fact, the wellbeing of our animal partners is among our top priorities.

But what do we actually mean with "science"? Which goals do we want to reach? And how do we collaborate with our canine friends to reach these goals?

In the following boxes you can learn more about our research goals, projects and research results.