A large amount of the social behaviors of the African Wild Dog are innate--especially behaviors
related to food and greeting. Studies have seen pups as young as 6 weeks old regurgitating
food for one another--a behavior typical of older dogs who are bringing food back for the pups
and the adult dogs that were guarding them .
Some amount of the behavior is plastic and can change when learning, however. In a study by
Marienne S. de Villiers , it was observed that as age increased, cortisol levels dropped (a measure
of social stress)[Table 2], indicating that a dog can learn better social skills and become more
adept at functioning within the established social order as time goes on.