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科学美国人60秒:和狗狗玩耍 就是最好的陪伴

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Play Helped Dogs Be Our Best Friends

和狗狗玩耍就是最好的陪伴

All domestic dogs belong to a single species that descended from wolves—despite vast differences in size, appearance, behavior and temperament among breeds. While dogs first became domesticated tens of thousands of years ago, the breeds we know today are largely the result of selection for certain traits by humans over the past several hundred years.

所有的家犬都是由狼进化而来的单一物种——尽管不同品种的狗在体型、外表、行为和性情上存在巨大差异。虽然狗最早是在数万年前被驯化的,但我们今天所知道的品种,很大程度上,是过去几百年来人类对狗狗特征进行选择的结果。

“We have an enormous amount of diversity within the same species, and we can rarely observe such diversity in nature. So, it's a wonderful system to understand how evolution works within a short period of time.”

“同一个物种中多样性程度很大,我们很少能在自然界中观察到这样的多样性。所以,这是一个很好的系统来理解进化是如何在短时间内运作的。”

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Evolutionary biologist László Garamszegi of the Institute of Ecology and Botany in Hungary. He says that our playing with dogs is a key component of the human-canine bond. But breeds vary in their degree of playfulness. For example, a breed called the Vizsla is very playful.

匈牙利生态与植物研究所的进化生物学家Laszlo Garamszegi说道。他说,和狗狗一起玩耍是人类与狗狗关系的重要部分。但狗狗爱玩的程度各不相同。例如,一种叫做Vizsla的品种非常顽皮。

“On the other hand, the Chihuahua doesn’t like to play at all. Of course, you can train a little bit, but the average level of playfulness will be always lower than in the Hungarian Vizsla.”

Garamszegi和他的同事们分析了132个品种的89.000多只纯种狗,从博美拉尼亚犬到大丹犬。所有的狗都接受了一项测试,测量它们对与人进行拔河游戏的热情程度。

Garamszegi and his colleagues analyzed the playfulness of more than 89.000 purebred dogs across 132 breeds, from Pomeranians to Great Danes. The dogs were all given a test measuring their degree of enthusiasm for a game of tug-of-war with people.

“We were interested in whether breeds could be distinguished by their average level of playfulness, and what are the evolutionary forces that makes different breeds behave differently.”

“我们感兴趣的是犬类是否可以通过它们的平均顽皮程度来区分,以及是什么进化力量使得不同的犬种有不同的行为。”

The researchers found that after controlling for the degree of genetic relatedness between breeds, dogs bred for herding and sporting were more playful on average than dogs that had been selected for other purposes, like the non-sporting and toy breeds.

研究人员发现,在控制了不同品种之间的基因亲缘程度后,一般来说,用于放牧和运动的狗狗比用于其他目的的狗狗(如非运动犬和玩具犬)更爱玩。

“For some functions, like hunting or herding, you need trainable dogs and the very strong owner-dog relationship. So, if you have a playful dog, it's easy to train. One way to train a dog is to play with the dog.”

“对于某些功能,比如打猎或放牧,你需要可训练的狗,以及狗狗和主人之间牢固的关系。所以,如果你有一只顽皮的狗,那么很容易训练。其中一种方法就是和狗一起玩。”

By tracing playfulness back genetically through canine evolution, the researchers showed that the ancestors of today’s dogs already possessed an intermediate level of playfulness.

通过从犬类进化的基因上追溯爱玩性,研究人员发现,如今狗的祖先已经具备了中等程度的爱玩性。

“So, this was one of the traits that was also important during the process of domestication.”

“所以,这也是在驯化过程中非常重要的特征之一。”

Selective breeding often amplified the trait.

选择性育种往往放大了这种特性。

“But some breeds, like the toy dogs, they actually lost some of this playfulness.”

“但有些品种,比如玩具狗,它们实际上失去了一些乐趣。”

Toy breeds were originally meant to be fashion accessories for the aristocracy, so playfulness could be a liability.

玩具狗最初是为了给贵族们做时尚配饰,所以爱玩可能是一种负担。

“They need to match with your clothes, they need to match with your traveling habits. But they do not need too much attention. And in this particular situation, if you have a playful dog, it just creates a problem for you.”

“它们需要与你的衣服相配,需要与你的旅行习惯相配。但是它们不需要太多的关注。在这种特殊情况下,如果你有一只顽皮的狗,它就会给你带来麻烦。”

The study is in the journal Biology Letters.

这项研究发表在《生物学快报》杂志上。

The research could help people choose the optimal pet for their family. But, ultimately:

这项研究可以帮助人们为他们的家庭选择最佳的宠物。但最终:

“If you want to train your dog, you have to play a lot with your dog.”

“如果你想训练自己的狗狗,那么必须经常和你的狗玩。”

Play Helped Dogs Be Our Best Friends

All domestic dogs belong to a single species that descended from wolves—despite vast differences in size, appearance, behavior and temperament among breeds. While dogs first became domesticated tens of thousands of years ago, the breeds we know today are largely the result of selection for certain traits by humans over the past several hundred years.

“We have an enormous amount of diversity within the same species, and we can rarely observe such diversity in nature. So, it's a wonderful system to understand how evolution works within a short period of time.”

Evolutionary biologist László Garamszegi of the Institute of Ecology and Botany in Hungary. He says that our playing with dogs is a key component of the human-canine bond. But breeds vary in their degree of playfulness. For example, a breed called the Vizsla is very playful.

“On the other hand, the Chihuahua doesn’t like to play at all. Of course, you can train a little bit, but the average level of playfulness will be always lower than in the Hungarian Vizsla.”

Garamszegi and his colleagues analyzed the playfulness of more than 89.000 purebred dogs across 132 breeds, from Pomeranians to Great Danes. The dogs were all given a test measuring their degree of enthusiasm for a game of tug-of-war with people.

“We were interested in whether breeds could be distinguished by their average level of playfulness, and what are the evolutionary forces that makes different breeds behave differently.”

The researchers found that after controlling for the degree of genetic relatedness between breeds, dogs bred for herding and sporting were more playful on average than dogs that had been selected for other purposes, like the non-sporting and toy breeds.

“For some functions, like hunting or herding, you need trainable dogs and the very strong owner-dog relationship. So, if you have a playful dog, it's easy to train. One way to train a dog is to play with the dog.”

By tracing playfulness back genetically through canine evolution, the researchers showed that the ancestors of today’s dogs already possessed an intermediate level of playfulness.

“So, this was one of the traits that was also important during the process of domestication.”

Selective breeding often amplified the trait.

“But some breeds, like the toy dogs, they actually lost some of this playfulness.”

Toy breeds were originally meant to be fashion accessories for the aristocracy, so playfulness could be a liability.

“They need to match with your clothes, they need to match with your traveling habits. But

they do not need too much attention. And in this particular situation, if you have a playful dog, it just creates a problem for you.”

The study is in the journal Biology Letters. [Niclas Kolm, et al., The link between selection for function and human-directed play behaviour in dogs]

The research could help people choose the optimal pet for their family. But, ultimately:

“If you want to train your dog, you have to play a lot with your dog.”


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