Are dogs the forgiving type? They’re social animals, so it stands to reason that they tend to cooperate and to minimize conflict. But what happens when there’s a small dust-up, or a fight? Do dogs forgive or do dogs hold grudges? How do the dogs go from an altercation to getting along again, and why do they bother? While they’ll sometimes just walk away and leave each other alone, they’ll often they go through a process of reconciliation.

Reconciliation is a general term for the “making up” behaviors between an aggressor and a victim after a conflict. It has been studied in a lot of species—mostly primates—but the discussion of the reasons behind the resolution of conflict in dogs involves many different possibilities. To learn more about the “why” behind reconciliation behaviors in dogs, researchers observed dogs interacting with one another at a two-acre dog…

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