Dogs are the most affectionate and loyal animals. The same human-to- animal attachment can be found in wolves as well.

There isn't a lot of research on the attachment between wolves and humans and the results have varied. The team wanted to take a standardized approach in which a group of dogs and wolves were raised in the same way.

Between 40,000 and 15,000 years ago, dogs were domesticated from wolves that are now extinct, and the researchers think that their findings could shed new light on which traits have evolved through domestication.

According to the study's lead author, wolves showing human-directed attachment could have had a slight advantage in the early stages of dog domestication.

The study looked at the responses and behaviors of 12 Alaskan husky dogs and 10 European gray wolves in what is known as the Strange Situation Test, a standard scientific test originally used with children to judge attachment towards their caregivers.

After being raised from the age of 10 days up to 23 weeks, the dogs and wolves were put through a 15-minute experiment.

The primary female caregivers to the wolves and dogs would take turns with a female stranger going in and out of a room and engaging with the animals.

The wolves showed more affection and engaged in more physical contact than the dogs. As they left, the familiar person was more likely to be followed by someone.

The wolves preferred the familiar person over the stranger.

The wolves were more affected by the test situation than the dogs were.

wolves showed more stress and fear related behaviors when dealing with strangers than the dogs.

The stranger entering the room and the wolf in the room with no one familiar with them.

The behaviors became less pronounced when the human returned to the room. The familiar person seemed to act as a kind of social buffer for the wolf.

In an effort to understand their evolutionary history, scientists continue to examine the ways in which dogs and wolves are and aren't alike, but it appears that there are some key similarities. Areas that should be further explored are suggested by the differences.

It is appropriate to entertain the idea that if variation in human-directed attachment behavior exists in wolves, this behavior could have been a potential target for earlyselective pressures exerted during dog domestication.

The research has appeared in a journal.