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As we share more DNA with chimps, why are dogs better companions? © iStock

As we share more DNA with chimps, why are dogs better companions?

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You'd be a chump to get chummy with a chimp over man's best friend.

Asked by: JS Douglat, Hong Kong

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Companionship has little to do with shared DNA; otherwise there would be no wars between humans. Dogs make good companions because of several thousand years of selective breeding for the traits that appeal to us. Wolves and African hunting dogs make very poor companions. Pets also seem to appeal to our desire to nurture and this may require a species to which we feel clearly superior. Perhaps chimps are just too similar to us, for us to be comfortable with a master-servant relationship.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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