I read an article stating that dogs share with humans an innate sense of justice and react if treated unfairly with comparison to fellow animals.
This reminded me of our dog’s attitude when playing badminton in the garden.
He was very interested in the game and especially in the shuttlecock we were exchanging.
I drew on that interest having him getting the plastic projectile whenever it felt on the ground. In order to motivate him, I was offering him a little piece of bread every time.
Quite astonishingly, he was playing his role very fairly, without any training or insistence, and wasn’t trying to get the shuttlecock a second time after receiving his bread, even if he could have reached it before me.
That is even more surprising because after 10 seconds, when we re-started the game, he was indeed trying to get the thing flying across the net.
So not only sense of justice, but also respect of the rule of law.
Indeed, the first element is shared with humans, as a primordial sense of justice might motivate behaviors and acts hardly understandable otherwise (and a recent example is the gentleman from Tunisia whose sacrifice started the Democracy Spring). However, I am not so sure about the second part.
Children do not naturally consider respect of rules as the convenient approach for survival and most of grown-ups don’t do either. Would a Planet of Dogs be more ethical than our own?