Domestication of Dogs Could be Working Against Them

Domestication of Dogs Could be Working Against Them

Have you heard of the dog that can skateboard? And what about the one that can play pool billiards? We are quickly running out of amazing things that dogs can do. But, here is the question. Are these amazing abilities a representation of how the ideal dog should behave?

During the weekend when the dogs are catching up in the park. Do you think your dog would stand and proudly proclaim how he barked the whole alphabet on Wednesday? Especially after Louis the Pitbull just concluded telling a riveting tale of how he helped his parents rescue a drowning kid!

The domestication of dogs has been found to interfere with their instincts and it’s worrying. Take this study for instance. Dr. Monique Udell took 10 home dogs, 10 sheltered dogs, and 10 wolves. She then made them smell a sausage before it was put in a transparent plastic container that can only be opened by pulling a string on the top.

In the first test, each animal was left with the container for two minutes. No home dog was successful in opening the container. In contrast, eight wolves and one shelter dog opened it. In the second test, a human was present but did not interfere. Eight wolves and one home dog opened the container. No shelter dog was successful.

And then in the final test, the nine home dogs and nine sheltered dogs that couldn’t open the container before were given another go but now with the human cheering them on. Four shelter dogs and one home dogs completed the task successfully. Notice how the dogs’ success rate improved when a human factor was introduced?

It was also observed that dogs spent more time looking at the human than wolves. This is because the dogs have been trained to follow instructions from their parent. It could also be that their acquired over-reliance on humans made them believe that the container would be opened for them.

Worrying, right? Don’t be discouraged though. Your dog may not be able to disarm a robber but at least she can tell when you are sad and knows exactly what to do to make you feel better.

Feature Image Source: Pixabay

Back to blog