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Old 11-13-2012, 05:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default pack theory versus timid scavengers

did not want to derail another thread but have always had trouble with pack theory as i don't belive my "pack" see me as a two-legged upright dog.

sounds nice to say that our dogs are 99% wolf genetics and we have supreme command over fifi the poodle who is after all 99% pure wolf laying next to us on the sofa watching the box. everytime i look at fifi it validates my feelings of supreme being at the top of the food chain.


have read a theory on our domestic dogs coming from some canine that was not a wolf but followed humans and ate our scraps because it was safer than risking injury from hunting themselves etc.

when people became less nomadic hunetr gatherers and accumulated in villages these dogs lived on rubbish piles. any that showed human aggression were hunted and killed, the others were tolerated.


makes more sense to think of a dog as an intelligent opportunist with natural/genetic submission/fear of human than tame wolves.

summarised a huge theory here of course but i think you get the drift.

wolf pack theory V opportunistic scavenger from the rubbish pile?

thoughts?

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting theory, but it's the humans that are opportunistic. No doubt we saw the dogs hanging around and thought, "Hmmm...what can they do for me?"
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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oh and forgot to mention solitary animals not pack animals that just came together to mate and then disperse.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think that you can tame a lion or a tiger if you get it as a cub. But it is still a lion or a tiger and it will most likely act like one at some point. If you breed it with another of its kind and raise them away from its dam, they will still be lions or tigers, though they may not have the same fear-respect of humans.

Some critters take to domestication easier than others. In the cat family, there are domestic cats, and there are wild cats. In the dog-family there are wild dogs and there are domestic dogs.

I think that cats and dogs are fundamentally different in some ways though, or at least some cats and some dogs. Many wild cats are more singular. Only domestic cats and lions seem to pack up. I think for this reason, cats in general rely more on instinct than on training within a pack environment. Though the dam does train her cubs, so I am not sure how that fits. But if you welp some wild cats, and keep them for six or eight months and then release them into the wild, the chances are, they will probably revert to the wild easier than, wild dog or wolf pups whelped and raised by people.

I guess my opinion (which if added to a dollar will probably buy you a cup of coffee), is that it is some of both. I think there are wolf/canine breeds that lend themselves more to domestication than other breeds, and these breeds did hang around the garbage dumps, much like bears will, gathering off of human's leavings. As we do when we come across a wild raccoon cub or other baby animal, humans probably raised them when they would find them helpless. Dogs being very dependent on the pack quickly packed with humans, and when these semi-domesticated wild dogs bred with others, the pups were raised, and they quickly learned a new type of life.

Other wild dog and wolf breeds were not as likely to be close enough to the humans to give themselves over to domestication, or they were not wired for it.

I do not believe these animals were immediately given member-of-the-family-status. I think that they attached themselves to a human and hung around their dwelling, following them on the hunt, roaming with them, and living mainly on whatever was thrown away. Through the ages, people started to find those things that dogs were good at and started selectively breeding for those traits.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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gotcha - makes one wonder why the pack theory has become the official theory of the masses when its basic propositions are just plain wack.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm having problems following this thread right now, but I'll try again later. However, I wanted to say that dogs are not genetically submissive or fearful of humans. That's a blanket statement that is just incorrect.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dogs will become a pack. They do all the time.
I don't believe we are another dog to them, and I do believe they see us as their leader since we feed them and make their lives possible, and comfortable for them.

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag View Post
I'm having problems following this thread right now, but I'll try again later. However, I wanted to say that dogs are not genetically submissive or fearful of humans. That's a blanket statement that is just incorrect.
no blanket statements are correct in biology when looking at individuals of the species. its a statistical science.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know as "genetically" they are fearful but just about every animal out there is not prone to bond to people unless people make the effort to handle/tame them.
That includes dogs and cats, look at feral dogs/cats, as a good example of that.

I guess if by genetically you mean "hard wired" then I'd say it's genetic (as I believe it's hard wired).
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'd think it's because both wolves/dogs and humans are highly social and family structured creatures (easier to understand and have compassion for each other...maybe?), and can do beneficial things for each other. (hunting together, keeping guard for intruders, etc.)
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