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No other animal species has got as close to human families as the domestic dog. Dogs inherited highly cooperative social skills from their wolf ancestors, and a long domestication process has selected them to apply these skills for interactions with humans. Thanks to this evolutionary history, dogs, alongside humans, have spread all over the world and adapted to different niches, from roaming free and unnoticed around villages to sharing a bed with their human caretakers and taking responsible roles in the human society as working dogs.

At the CDL we focus on dogs living in human families in or around Vienna. Being an emotionally valued companion, these dogs have plenty of opportunities to learn to communicate and cooperate with humans and the possibility to develop a trustful relationship with their caretakers. They live and grow old in the same social and physical environment, as we do. Studying how dogs understand their human environment is a fascinating inquiry that can teach us a lot about both dogs and humans.