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Dogs-A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution

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Abstract

Biologists, breeders and trainers, and champion sled dog racers, Raymond and Lorna Coppinger have more than four decades of experience with literally thousands of dogs. Offering a scientifically informed perspective on canines and their relations with humans, the Coppingers take a close look at eight different types of dogs—household, village, livestock guarding, herding, sled-pulling, pointing, retrieving, and hound. They argue that dogs did not evolve directly from wolves, nor were they trained by early humans; instead they domesticated themselves to exploit a new ecological niche: Mesolithic village dumps. Tracing the evolution of today's breeds from these village dogs, the Coppingers show how characteristic shapes and behaviors—from pointing and baying to the sleek shapes of running dogs—arise from both genetic heritage and the environments in which pups are raised. For both dogs and humans to get the most out of each other, we need to understand and adapt to the biological needs and dispositions of our canine companions, just as they have to ours.

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... It would seem that no modern scientific experimental program has attempted to replicate this extreme (from a modern western standpoint) form of providing nutrition to hand-reared wild canid pups-or domestic dogs for that matter-and so the possible psychological effects of wet-nursing on the juvenile animal are essentially unknown. At any rate, constant handling by women during nursing and otherwise during this formative period would, under most circumstances, have led to the young dingoes being imprinted upon by humans; imprinting forms the social attachments between individual animals and humans that are essential to domestication and management [114,115]. ...
... As such, the possibility that with rough-handling Aboriginal people established themselves in the role of "superior" dingo can be entertained. However, it should be noted that domesticated dogs are widely recognised as inherently more submissive or deferential to humans than dingoes and other wild canids are-presumably the outcome of a long history of selective breeding for tameness behaviour and sociability [114]. Hence, techniques of this manner may have been more effective for the later domestic dogs of Aboriginal camps than with the dingoes which preceded them. ...
... There are two competing hypotheses that purport to explain the beginnings of wolf domestication [40][41][42][43]. The self-domestication or commensal scavenger model [43] posits that some wild wolves acquired the habit of scavenging carrion and edible waste generated by mobile communities of Late Pleistocene foragers; the wolves that lived commensally with humans then diverged slowly from the wider free-ranging population as they adapted genetically to this novel ecological niche [114]. ...
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Historical sources and Indigenous oral traditions indicate that Australian Aboriginal people commonly reared and kept the wild-caught pups of dingoes (C. dingo) as tamed companion animals. A review of the available evidence suggests Indigenous communities employed an intense socialisation process that forged close personal bonds between humans and their tame dingoes from an early age. This was complemented by oral traditions which passed down awareness of the dangers to children posed by wild or unfamiliar dingoes, and which communicated the importance of treating dingoes with respect. Together, these practices resulted in what can be interpreted as substantially altered behaviours in tamed dingoes, which, despite their naturally high prey drive, were not considered a serious threat to children and were thus able to be maintained as companion animals in the long term. This relationship is of importance for understanding the original domestication of the dog, as it demonstrates a means by which careful and deliberate socialisation by foragers could both manage risks to children’s safety posed by keeping wild canids in the domestic realm and retain them well into reproductive maturity—both issues which have been highlighted as obstacles to the domestication of dogs from wolves.
... Attracted to this easy source of food, wolves began scrounging around the garbage dumps, first as occasional visitors and eventually, over time, as permanent or semi-permanent commensal scavengers. Early humans, in turn, tolerated these incursions and, as a result, over multiple generations, the wolves would have become gradually bolder and less fearful of people (10). Later, as the commensal association became more established, the humans would begin to notice the side-benefits of living in association with these animals, such as their tendency to alert to approaching danger or their superior powers of tracking and pursuing game. ...
... Though rarely cited, Lorenz's account gained early support from several prominent archaeologists and anthropologists, some of whom argued that so-called "pariah" dogs, the ubiquitous canine scavengers of contemporary Asia, represent surviving relics of just such an early association between humans and wild canids (12,13). More recent versions of the theory, usually attributed to (10), are also based on firsthand observations of socalled "village" or "dump" dogs-i.e., contemporary free-roaming dogs in parts of Africa and Latin America that exist primarily by scavenging from large municipal waste dumps in densely populated urban areas. Though less elaborate and fanciful, these recent versions of the scavenging hypothesis are nevertheless essentially no different in substance from Lorenz's original narrative. ...
... As a consequence, modern attempts to produce wolves that are reliably willing to accept humans as social partners have necessitated removing pups from their mothers before 3 weeks of age when they are virtually blind and not yet weaned, and then bottle-feeding them until they are able to properly digest solid food. Even then, these animals often retain temperament traits as adults that make them somewhat difficult and demanding companions, at least in a modern context (10,57). Such facts have led some authorities to conclude that the whole idea of Paleolithic humans capturing and keeping young wolves as pets is a romantic fantasy (10). ...
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The work of archaeozoologists and molecular geneticists suggests that the domestication of the wolf (Canis lupus)-the ancestor of the domestic dog (C. familiaris)-probably occurred somewhere between 40,000 and 15,000 years ago somewhere on the Eurasian continent, perhaps in more than one location. Wolf domestication was therefore underway many millennia before the origins of agriculture and the domestication of food animals, such as sheep and goats. Currently, there are two predominant "origin stories" concerning the domestication of the wolf. The dominant narrative in recent literature is the commensal scavenger hypothesis which posits that wolves essentially domesticated themselves by invading ancient human settlements in search of animal remains and other edible waste discarded by hunter-gatherers. Over time, tolerance by humans gave a selective advantage to the bolder, less fearful wolves, which then diverged from the ancestral population as they adapted to the new scavenging niche. At some point in the process, humans also began to recognize the benefits of living with resident, semi-domestic wolves, either as guards or as hunting partners, thereby cementing the relationship. The alternative account of wolf domestication is very different. Sometimes known as the pet keeping or cross-species adoption hypothesis, this narrative draws heavily on anthropological observations of pet keeping among recent hunter-gatherers, and postulates that Paleolithic peoples were similarly inclined to capture, adopt and rear infant mammals, such as wolf pups, and that this habitual human nurturing behavior ultimately provided the basis for the evolution of a cooperative social system involving both species. This review critically examines and analyzes these two distinct domestication narratives and explores the underlying and sometimes erroneous assumptions they make about wolves, Pleistocene humans, and the original relationships that existed between the two species. The paper concludes that the commensal scavenger hypothesis is untenable based on what is known about recent and ancient hunter-gatherer societies, and that wolf domestication was predicated on the establishment of cooperative social relations between humans and wolves based on the early socialization of wolf pups.
... Counter arguments to the individual choice model suggest that human settlements during the later Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and early Neolithic provided a new niche in the form of abundant human waste that was exploited by populations of wolves (Crockford, 2006). Natural selection in this context led to a variety of physiological, morphological, and behavioral changes in those populations that included a generally smaller stature, shorter cranial length, unconstrained ability to breed, and higher tolerance of people (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001Morey, 2010). However, as noted by Losey (2020;Losey et al., 2018a), domestication is an ongoing process. ...
... Commonalities include sedentary occupations, population packing, intensive food production, storage, open accumulation of village refuse, and social negotiations between household groups. Given the importance of such villages to the evolution of dogs (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001;Morey, 2010), the Mid-Fraser settlements would appear to be an ideal context to examine socio-ecological factors associated with variation in the use of dogs. ...
... Free-roaming village dogs are found throughout much of the globe and attitudes towards them vary widely from outright disdain to willingness to offer care in the form of food, water, and/or shelter. Some human groups recognize them as valuable for removing waste, while others see them as killers of valued wild game and vectors of disease (Boitani et al., 2007;Butler et al., 2004;Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001). With these characteristics in mind, we would expect to see evidence for diverse diets and lack of evidence for muscle development or osteological trauma associated with intense repeated activity (hunting or hauling loads). ...
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Dogs (Canis familiaris) are ubiquitous in human settlements. A range of studies suggests that uses of dogs vary with ecological context. High seasonality and reliance upon large game appears to favor investments in the uses of dogs as aids in hunting and hauling. Regional cultural traditions may also play significant roles in attitudes and behaviors towards dogs. We use ethnographic and archaeological data to assess six hypotheses concerning the roles of dogs in the traditional villages on the Mid-Fraser Canyon in British Columbia. We find that it is likely that village dogs lived in traditional Mid-Fraser villages where they may have consumed human food waste, but were also used for hunting, possibly hauling loads, as a source of products, and as a target of ritual treatments. Given their importance in numerous activities, dogs may have been wealth items for select households.
... For example, over 50% of adult women respondents to a survey in the United States reported that they let their dogs sleep on their beds with them (Hoffman et al., 2018: it should be noted that the participants were self-selected and unlikely to be representative of the broader population; however, no better study is available). Some authors (e.g., Coppinger and Coppinger, 2002) have argued that this level of intimacy is a recent phenomenon, but, although the proportion of people living so intimately with dogs may have increased over the published: 26 July 2021 last two centuries (e.g., Ritvo, 1987), in a discussion of how to keep dogs written by an Ancient Greek nearly two millennia ago, the author advocates, "… it is best for (dogs) to sleep with men:-as they become thereby affectionately attachedpleased with the contact of the human body, and as fond of their bedfellow as of their feeder. " [Arrian, 1831, pp. ...
... Clearly, the remarkable success of dogs is due in some sense to their adaptations to human proximity. Dogs are obligatory human symbionts (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2002). That is to say, dogs are found living close by humans and dependent on food sources they obtain from humans. ...
... That is to say, dogs are found living close by humans and dependent on food sources they obtain from humans. In the first world, this provisioning is mostly intentional: In the developing world, the provisioning is more often unintentional as when dogs scavenge on human refuse (Butler and du Toit, 2002;Coppinger and Coppinger, 2002). Few dogs survive entirely by hunting live prey, and there is no evidence of populations of dogs that are self-sustaining entirely by this method of foraging (Coppinger and Feinstein, 2015; Dingoes would be the one clear exception to this rule, if one considers dingoes to be dogs: Smith et al., 2019, but see also Jackson et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Dogs’ remarkable success in living in a human-dominated world rests on a set of adaptations to cohabitation with humans. In this paper, I review the nature of these adaptations. They include changes in reproductive and foraging behavior from their ancestor species, wolves, which can be understood as adaptations to the change from hunting live prey to feeding on human food residues. Dogs also show several changes in social behavior which are more controversial and even somewhat paradoxical. Contrary to theories of canine domestication which view dogs as less aggressive and more cooperative than wolves, several studies show that dogs’ social interactions with conspecifics are more hierarchical and competitive than are wolves’. As scavengers rather than hunters, dogs do not need to cooperate with conspecifics the way that wolves do. But how then can we understand dogs’ willingness to cooperate with humans? I propose an integrated account of dogs’ social behavior that does not assume that dogs need to recognize the species-identity of the individuals with whom they interact. Because of the overlap in formal signals of dominance and submission between dog and human and people’s complete control over the resources dogs need, I propose that people occupy a status of “super-dominance” over dogs. This conception suggests several new lines of research which could shed light on the human-dog relationship to the benefit of both partners.
... Domestic dog behavior may also benefit from appeals to the founder sociality hypothesis. Recent proposals of dog evolution have emphasized early natural selection rather than artificial selection by humans (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001;Hare & Woods, 2013). ...
... These self-domestication proposals hypothesize that early wolves started to take advantage of the as yet unexploited ecological niche of feeding on prey animals in human settlements as well as human garbage (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001;Hare & Woods, 2013). In such proposals, early wolves experienced selection against aggression and reactivity in order to best exploit the niche without suffering aggression from humans (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001;Hare & Woods, 2013). ...
... These self-domestication proposals hypothesize that early wolves started to take advantage of the as yet unexploited ecological niche of feeding on prey animals in human settlements as well as human garbage (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001;Hare & Woods, 2013). In such proposals, early wolves experienced selection against aggression and reactivity in order to best exploit the niche without suffering aggression from humans (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001;Hare & Woods, 2013). The founder sociality hypothesis additionally adds that self-domestication did not occur purely through selection on groups or individual wolves in human modified environments, but that the social behaviors enabling successful colonization and mating were key drivers of the early stages of dog self-domestication. ...
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In this review, we propose that the social dynamics of founder populations in novel and newly available environments can have critical effects in shaping species' sociality and can produce long-lasting changes in social structure and behavior. For founder populations which expand into an underexploited niche separated from the parent population, the necessity of bond formation with strangers, lack of clear territories, and initial abundance of resources can lead to altered initial social dynamics to which subsequent generations adapt. We call this the founder sociality hypothesis. After specifying the theoretical reasoning and mechanism of effect, we focus on three particular cases where the social dynamics of founder populations may have a central role in explaining their modern behavioral ecology. In particular, we develop and review evidence for three predictions of the founder sociality hypothesis in territorial, mixed-sex group forming species: relatively stronger social bonds in the dispersing sex with relatively weaker bonds in the nondispersing sex, reduced territoriality, and increased social tolerance. We briefly touch on the implications for human evolution given our species' evolutionary history marked by frequent expansion and adaptation to novel environments. We conclude by proposing several experiments and models with testable predictions following from the founder sociality hypothesis.
... Continual adaptation to and reproduction within this niche isolated them from wild conspecifics and resulted in domesticated dogs. No human agency other than tolerating wolves' presence was necessary (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Derr 2012;Driscoll et al. 2009;Lorenz 1954;Pierotti and Fogg 2018). ...
... Dingoes have accordingly featured in discussions of domestication as stand-ins for early dogs, with their appearance, behaviour, and relationship with humans seen as analogous to the processes of their domestication (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Koler-Matznick 2016;Manwell and Baker 1984;Pierotti and Fogg 2018). However, these studies largely focus on dingoes' behaviour as tame camp-dwelling animals, without considering the implications of their interactions with their wild conspecifics. ...
... or altered morphology. Accordingly, many argue the process of domestication must have begun considerably earlier, perhaps between 20-30,000BP in the north (Ameen et al. 2019;Boschin et al. 2020;Boudadi-Maligne et al. 2012;Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Galibert et al. 2011;Napierala and Uerpmann 2012;Perri et al. 2021;Pionnier-Capitan et al. 2011;Pitulko and Kasparov 2017). ...
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LINK TO FULL TEXT: https://rdcu.be/cAvVz I develop an understanding of the dingo’s relationship with Aboriginal people through a synthesis of historical, ethnographic, and archaeological literature and Indigenous perspectives to better conceptualise the interactions between Eurasian Palaeolithic humans and wolves leading to domestication of dogs. Human-wolf interactions leading to domestication were likely initiated by people capturing wolf pups to rear at home; this was likely followed by the adult wolves residing in or around the camp in at least a commensal fashion. The dingo’s case demonstrates that even millennia of commensal association between humans and a wild canid do not necessarily result in phenotypically visible domestication. Hence, it is apparent that careful, ongoing management involving direct selection was required in the development of dogs from wolves.
... These animals serve two distinct roles: 1) as livestock guardians who stay with flocks and deter predators, and 2) as livestock herders who follow human commands to move animals across the landscape. Dogs' success in guarding or herding livestock depends upon their ability to form social bonds with other species and change their behavior accordingly (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Lord et al. 2017;Rigg 2001). Livestock guarding requires simpler changes in dog behavior and likely developed before the more complicated signal and command systems involved in herding livestock that may have developed as late as the Medieval Period (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Lord et al. 2017;de Planhol 1969). ...
... Dogs' success in guarding or herding livestock depends upon their ability to form social bonds with other species and change their behavior accordingly (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Lord et al. 2017;Rigg 2001). Livestock guarding requires simpler changes in dog behavior and likely developed before the more complicated signal and command systems involved in herding livestock that may have developed as late as the Medieval Period (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Lord et al. 2017;de Planhol 1969). Further support for the early origin of guarding dogs is provided by Coppinger and Coppinger (2001) who report that most dogs can serve effectively as livestock guardians provided they are accustomed to sheep during a critical period of social development from two to sixteen weeks after birth. ...
... Livestock guarding requires simpler changes in dog behavior and likely developed before the more complicated signal and command systems involved in herding livestock that may have developed as late as the Medieval Period (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Lord et al. 2017;de Planhol 1969). Further support for the early origin of guarding dogs is provided by Coppinger and Coppinger (2001) who report that most dogs can serve effectively as livestock guardians provided they are accustomed to sheep during a critical period of social development from two to sixteen weeks after birth. Many pastoral communities expose puppies who will become livestock guarding dogs to sheep in the first four weeks of their lives (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001). ...
Article
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Since their domestication, dogs have adapted to a diverse portfolio of roles within human societies, and changes in dog size, shape, and behavior are often key indicators of these changes. Among pastoral and agropastoral societies dogs are almost ubiquitous as livestock guardians and herding aids. Archaeological data demonstrate that incoming Neolithic farmers brought with them their own morphologically distinct dogs when they spread into Europe, and that these dogs became larger in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Using archaeological data from the eastern Adriatic region we suggest that changes in the morphology and treatment of dog remains by these societies reflect, in part, the significance of dogs in livestock management including guarding herds kept at distances from villages. Bronze and Iron Age increases in body size, in particular, may track the increasing importance of seasonal transhumance.
... The latter self-domestication hypothesis claims that wolves that were less anxious and aggressive increasingly frequented human camp disposal areas and obtained food there, but neither harmed humans nor were harassed by them. Hypothetically, these wolves then became domesticated (O'Connor 1997, Coppinger & Coppinger 2001, Larson & Fuller 2014, Pierotti & Fogg 2017. ...
... Although sympatric speciation (Fitzpatrick et al. 2008) can occur, some mechanism of genetic separation such as allochrony or niche separation still is required. Coppinger and Coppinger (2001) did propose niche separation for the self-domestication hypothesis, with dog ancestors being wolves whose niche was to feed regularly at human dumps. However, Lupo (2019) challenged that possibility based primarily on the lack of sufficient food in human camps and dumps of the period to support creatures the size of wolves. ...
... Such motives include 1) to aid in hunting (Driscoll et al. 2009, Derr 2011, Shipman 2015; but see Mech 2019); 2) to help guard human interests (Driscoll et al. 2009, Derr 2011, Horard-Herbin et al. 2014, Shipman 2015; 3) to clean up settlement debris (carrion, leftovers, commensals, human faeces; Derr 2011, Horard-Herbin et al. 2014); and 4) as food (canophagy; Degerbøl 1961). However, we believe the most reasonable motivation is for use as pets and companions (Zeuner 1963, Clutton-Brock 1981, Germonpré et al. 2018, Janssens et al. 2018). Wolves' strong social nature helps them develop a rapport with humans who raise and feed them (Crisler 1958, Zimen 1987, Hall et al. 2015. ...
Article
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The dog was the first domesticated animal. Its derivation from grey wolves Canis lupus is important to the study of mammalian domestication, and wolf domestication is an active area of investigation. Recent popular books have promoted a hypothesis that wolves domesticated themselves as opposed to the earliest hypothesis that featured pup collection, adoption, and artificial selection. Continuing research has produced a greater understanding of wolf ecology and behaviour, including new insights into the wolf’s interaction with humans. Several characteristics make the wolf conducive to domestication: its sociality, catholic diet, excellent individual and cultural memory, inbreeding tolerance, varied personalities, and adaptable lifestyle. The wolf’s fear of humans is the main impediment and that alone is a factor strongly disfavouring the self‐selection hypothesis. However, collecting young pups from dens and raising them would foster their socialising with humans as pack members. Neither hypothesis explains how wolves undergoing domestication were separated reproductively from their wild relatives, an important condition for domestication. We combine information from the literature with information from our own research on wild wolves, archaeology, and canid morphology. We explain how pup collection and deliberate or incidental selection and encouragement to breed with similarly raised wolves could keep incipient dogs separated reproductively from wild relatives. The key is humans regularly feeding the wolves and keeping only those able to live harmoniously with humans. Well‐fed, human‐dependent wolves would remain near their food supply and in the company of humans, thus increasing their bonds to humans and vice versa. Outbreeding with wild wolves would thus be avoided. Generation after generation of these human‐fed, raised, and selected wolves would become increasingly dependent on humans and shaped by them. The pup‐adoption hypothesis presented here is more in keeping with basic wolf ecology and behaviour than the self‐domestication hypothesis. Dogs were domesticated from wolves 15000–25000 years ago, and two theories prevail about how the domestication process originated: 1) wolves domesticated themselves by frequenting human camps and feeding on discarded food, and 2) wolf pups were collected from dens and raised by humans selecting those most tractable and suitable for living with humans. This review is the first to assess these theories in relation to the characteristics of wolf ecology and behaviour that make the wolf suitable for domestication. The second hypothesis of pup adoption followed by selection seems better supported.
... Purebred dogs are rare in many human communities, including the Mayangna communities in Nicaragua. As in other rural societies, the Mayangna make little effort to manage the breeding of their dogs (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Koster 2009). As a result, the dogs in this population vary relatively little on phenotypic traits such as stature, hair length, and the morphology of tails and ears (cf. ...
... It is possible that other distinctive breeds proliferated in past societies but did not survive to present times. However, given the lack of managed breeding that characterizes dogs in many modern human populations, it seems likely that throughout the evolutionary history of the species, most dogs have been mutts (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001). ...
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Studies of dogs have proliferated among canine scientists, aided in part by the logistical convenience of working with owned animals whose care is handled by others. These pet dogs are unlike most dogs that have lived in contemporary or prehistoric settings. In particular, many of the dogs studied by canine scientists are NATIVE dogs: (1) Neutered, (2) Alimented, (3) Trained, (4) Isolated, (5) Vaccinated, and (6) Engineered. The distinct genotypes and unusual environments of NATIVE dogs stand in contrast to the characteristics of dogs who have adapted to lives in other human communities and settings. For a holistic perspective on the evolution of dogs, it is helpful to study dogs in environments that share features of the settings in which dogs evolved.
... For example, Alex Stolba, David Wood-Gush, Per Jensen, and others conducted pioneering work on the welfare of intensively farmed pigs by comparing them with free-ranging pigs in pig parks (Broom, 2011). We adopt a similar structure here, comparing the life and welfare of companion dogs with an opposite extreme, modern village dogs, since dogs have lived in ways that resemble modern village dog life for most of their history (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2001). In light of this comparison, we will outline ways to improve the welfare of companion dogs. ...
... Village dogs likewise live close to humans, typically associating with one or more human families (Boitani et al., 2007). They are medium-sized and phenotypically very similar worldwide, although there are some variations according to climate; e.g., village dogs in northern regions tend to be larger and have longer hair (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2001). Globally, village dog populations share similar characteristics: 1) a high population turnover, 2) a sex ratio skewed towards males, and 3) high pup mortality of about 40-70% (Pal, 2010;Pal et al., 1998b). ...
Article
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Over the past two centuries, the typical life of dogs has changed dramatically, especially in the Global North. Dogs have moved into human homes, becoming human companions. In many respects, this change seems to have led to improvements in dog welfare. However, the shift into family homes from the free-roaming lifestyle characteristic of dogs as they lived and co-evolved with humans in the past, has created a typically more confined and isolated lifestyle for dogs. In addition, over the same period, selective breeding of dogs, largely driven by human aesthetic ideals and concepts of breed purity, has transformed dog populations. In this discussion paper, based on a narrative literature review, we compare the welfare of companion dogs with that of modern village dogs. We adopt this comparison because dogs have lived in ways resembling village dog life for most of their history. As such, the comparison may serve as a good basis for assessing the effects of the ‘petification’ of dogs. We argue that compared to the typical village dog, the typical modern suburban or urban companion dog experiences good welfare in a number of respects. This is especially the case when it comes to security, satisfaction of nutritional needs (though companion dogs have problems with a high prevalence of obesity), and proper veterinary care. However, in other ways the modern companion dog often suffers from a range of human-created challenges leading to poor welfare. We examine two key challenges for companion dogs: 1) unrealistic social demands that can lead to anxiety, depression, and aggression, and 2) ill devised breeding schemes that result in breeding-related diseases for many companion dogs.
... Borchelt et Voith (1982) distinguent également l'agression et les comportements de prédation. D'après Coppinger et Coppinger (2002), Chu et al. (2006), Hsu et Serpell (2003), certains individus, ou races, présentent une prédisposition à poursuivre un objet en mouvement. Ces auteurs interprètent ces comportements comme issus du comportement de prédation se référant au comportement de poursuivre, d'attraper et in fine de tuer la proie. ...
... Définition de la race L'apparition de l'espèce canine, Canis familiaris, s'est faite par un processus de domestication de canidés sauvages il y a environ 15 000 à 30 000 ans (Leonard et al. 2002, Ostrander et Wayne 2005, Ovodov et al. 2011, Savolainen et al. 2002, Vila, Seddon, et Ellegren 2005 et pour revue par exemple (Deputte 2007, Giffroy 2007). Les mécanismes de ce processus de spéciation font sans doute appel à la fois à une sélection artificielle menée par l'être humain (Clutton-Brock 1999) et à une sélection naturelle pendant laquelle les canidés sauvages ont colonisé et se sont adaptés à une nouvelle niche écologique, en lien avec la sédentarisation humaine (Coppinger et Coppinger 2002, Miklósi 2014. Toutefois, cette tendance ne sousentend pas une homogénéité de l'espèce canine. ...
Technical Report
Advice of the French Food Safety Agency on the risk of dog bites and the relevance of breed specific laws made by a subgroup of the Animal Health and Welfare Committee. An evaluation of risk process : identification of the hazard, evaluation of risk i.e emission X expostion and consequences. Advice given on demand of Department of Agriculture related to Laws of 1999, 2007 and 2008 concerning dangerous dogs. Relevance of categorization of dog breeds is discussed as well as the methods of behavioural evaluation.
... The training methods that have been developed from this perspective are based in obedience, submission, and pack hierarchy. These methods were very popular at the turn of the century, but nowadays there are other perspectives on the evolutionary process of the dog such as the self-domestication hypothesis [22] and its ulterior developments [23][24][25]. The self-domestication hypothesis has important consequences in the understanding of canine behavior, so the model of the wolf pack, with its hierarchy based on domination-submission, has to coexist with the model of a heterogeneous group of dogs that share a feeding place, for example, a dump. ...
... The hypothesis of self-domestication of the dog not only has important consequences for the ethological model of reference for the understanding of the behavior of the dog as above-mentioned, but also to the relevance of behavior in evolution. Thus, from this account, wolves that began to live close to humans imposed new conditions of selection that favored smaller size, more rounded features, smaller canines, tolerance to other scavenger wolves, or the ability to interpret human behavior [22]. This behavioral change that drives evolution could be an example of organic selection [62][63][64]. ...
Article
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Dog-assisted interventions (DAI) are those that include specially trained dogs in human health services. Often, the training methods employed to train animals for DAI are transmitted between trainers, so the latest scientific research on dog learning and cognition is not always taken into account. The present work aims to evaluate the impact that the main theories on the evolution of the dog have had both in promoting different training methods and in the relevance of behavior in the evolution of the skills of actual dogs. Then, an integrative method for the training of dogs is presented. This method takes into account the research on dog learning mechanisms and cognition processes, and effectively promotes the development of desirable behaviors for DAI during the dog’s ontogeny.
... The first stage of dog domestication likely involved the opening of an anthropogenic niche that facilitated novel and sustained associations between some wolf and human populations. Some theories suggest that wolf populations were first attracted to refuse generated by humans, providing a novel feeding ecology that was most profitably exploited by wolves (Canis lupus) with the least fear of humans [11]. In contrast, other theories propose that human-wolf interactions began by humans capturing and rearing infant wolves [12,16] or via mutualism stemming from the complementary hunting strategies of Paleolithic humans and wolves [13]. ...
... During this period it is likely that social bonds between individual dogs and people became increasingly important, possibly favoring dogs who were most biologically prepared to develop such interspecific relationships. Although wolves can develop attachment relationships with humans when hand-fed from a young age [15,16], domestication appears to have relaxed the conditions required for such relationships in dogs [11,17,18]. Thus, whereas the initial stages of dog domestication likely targeted reductions in fear and anxiety that were required for life in anthropogenetic environments, selection in later stages of domestication may have acted more specifically on socioemotional processes related to interspecific social bonding and cooperation. ...
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The process of dog domestication likely involved at least two functional stages. The initial stage occurred when subpopulations of wolves became synanthropes, benefiting from life nearby or in human environments. The second phase was characterized by the evolution of novel forms of interspecific cooperation and social relationships between humans and dogs. Here, we discuss possible roles of the oxytocin system across these functional stages of domestication. We hypothesize that in early domestication, oxytocin played important roles in attenuating fear and stress associated with human contact. In later domestication, we hypothesize that oxytocin's most critical functions were those associated with affiliative social behavior, social engagement, and cooperation with humans. We outline possible neurobiological changes associated with these processes and present a Siberian fox model of canid domestication in which these predictions can be tested. Lastly, we identify limitations of current studies on the neuroendocrinology of domestication and discuss challenges and opportunities for future research.
... However, there are many different strains of laboratory rats that are used in experimental research and these have been shown to differ in many features of their behavior (e.g., Pisula, Gonzalez Szwacka, & Rojek, 2003;Pisula, Turlejski, Stryjek, Nalecz-Tolak, Grabiec, & Djavadian, 2012;Prusky, Harker, Douglas, & Whishaw, 2002), including aspects of their play behavior (e.g., Reinhart, Pellis, & McIntyre, 2004;Siviy, Baliko, & Bowers, 1997;Siviy, Love, DeCicco, Giordano, & Seifert, 2003;Siviy, Crawford, Akopian, & Walsh, 2011). Moreover, laboratory strains of rats are domesticated versions of wild rats and domestication is known to change many aspects of physiology and behavior (e.g., Castle, 1947;Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001;Lockard, 1968;Pisula et al., 2012;Takahashi & Blanchard, 1982). ...
Article
During play fighting, rats attack and defend the nape, which if contacted is nuzzled with the snout. While all strains of rats can use all defensive tactics to protect the nape, there are strain-typical preferences for using particular tactics This study tests two hypotheses for this strain difference: (1) that each strain has strain-specific thresholds for each tactic, or (2) that each strain attacks differently which leads to strain differences in which defense tactics are used. Juvenile Long-Evans and Sprague-Dawley males were tested with both unfamiliar (experiment 1) and familiar (experiment 2) same-strain and different-strain partners. Experiment two was conducted to determine if familiarity with a different strain might allow rats to modify their strain-typical pattern of play. If hypothesis (1) were true, they would maintain strain-typical defense patterns irrespective of partner strain, whereas for (2) it would vary with partner strain. Hypothesis (1) was supported in the first experiment; all the rats maintained their strain-typical patterns regardless of the partner’s strain. However, the second experiment supported neither hypothesis, as each animal displayed strain-divergent behavior when playing with partners of a different strain as well as with partners of the same strain. Given that in the second experiment subjects were reared in mixed-strain groups, it is possible that, during the early juvenile period, animals are susceptible to discordant social experiences
... If durophagy was the result of an anthropogenic bone-rich diet in protodogs, Prassack et al. (2020) follow the self-domestication scavenging hypothesis (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2001) with contact seeking wolves being attracted to waste dumps (including bones) present at human camps, and on humans offering bones; in both cases the remains of the human diet. Wild wolves in the same area would not show such behavior, and thus consume less bones. ...
Article
Prassack et al. (2020) analyzed dental microwear in a sample of canids from the Gravettian site of Předmostí that had been identified as either Paleolithic dogs or Pleistocene wolves (n = 10 in each group), accepting that the morphological differences between the groups validly distinguished the (self-domesticating) protodogs from wolves. The authors then concluded that differences in one m2 microwear pattern separated those groups and indicated enhanced anthropogenic based durophagy in the putative protodogs. The study also inferred protodog diets from another isotope study. We disagree with this report for several reasons. First morphological criteria (skull and mandible) accepted here to distinguish the groups have been challenged based on robust research and can be explained by variability within wolves. Thus, we reject that one of the groups represents protodogs. We also question why only ten specimens were examined in each group, while about 130 were available in the original study, and why no specimen-selection criteria were reported. The study accepts the self-domestication hypothesis, which we reject based on solid knowledge of wolf behavior and inferences about what prey remains would be available, and where, in a hunter-gatherer setting. In summary, we can neither accept the existence of protodogs, nor the proposed difference in m2 microwear as being related to anthropogenic durophagy.
... This newly created resource, the garbage dump, opened up a niche appealing especially to scavenger-prone carnivore species, with one caveat: tolerance to human proximity would have been the price to pay for admission. As Coppinger and Coppinger (2001) have suggested, dog domestication might indeed have taken this route: individuals who displayed lower flight distances towards humans around garbage dumps would have been selected to exploit this resource, and dogs' long-lasting co-existence with people would have thus begun (see also Chapters 2 and 3 in this volume for a further, in depth, discussion of the timing and process of dog domestication). There is plenty of evidence today that village dogs gain food benefits by associating with humans (Beck, 1973;Daniels, 1983a;Boitani and Racana, 1984;Pal et al., 1998a, b;Brooks, 1990;Macdonald and Carr, 1995;Butler and Bingham, 2000). ...
Chapter
This book provides an up-to-date description of the behavioural biology of dogs. It is written for students of animal behaviour or veterinary medicine at advanced levels and dog owners. This book is divided into 4 parts and 14 chapters. The first part (chapters 1-3) focuses on the evolution and development of the dog. The second part (chapters 4-8) deals with the basic aspects of animal behaviour with particular emphasis on dogs. The third part (chapters 9-12) places the modern dog in its present ecological framework in the niche of human coexistence. A broad overview of the behavioural aspects of living close to humans is given. The fourth part (chapters 13 and 14) focuses on behavioural problems, their prevention and cure.
... Several traits have evolved in dogs throughout the course of their domestication from gray wolves. Likely the most important evolutionary change is that dogs show an increased tolerance and interest toward humans relative to wolves [12]. Recent efforts discovered a few key genetic mutations that have contributed toward the hypersocial behavioral shift in canids [8]. ...
Article
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There is arguably no other North American species that better illustrates the complexities of the human-wildlife interface than the coyote. In this study, a melanistic coyote in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia was exhibiting unusually bold behaviors that included encounters with humans, domestic dogs, and attempts to enter homes. After tracking this coyote (nicknamed Carmine) across a highly urbanized landscape with participatory science, including at least 80 publicly reported sightings, he was captured and relocated to a wildlife sanctuary. Genome-wide analyses revealed 92.8% coyote ancestry, 1.7% gray wolf ancestry, and 5.5% domestic dog ancestry. The dog alleles in Carmine’s genome were estimated to have been acquired by his ancestors 14–29 years ago. Despite his bold behavior, Carmine did not carry any mutations known to shape hypersociability in canines. He did, however, carry a single copy of the dominant mutation responsible for his melanistic coat color. This detailed study of Carmine dispels common assumptions about the reticent coyote personality and the origins of behavior. His unusual bold behavior created a higher level of human-coyote interaction. He now serves as a public ambassador for human-wildlife coexistence, urging the global community to reconsider mythologies about wildlife and promote coexistence with them in landscapes significantly altered by human activity in our rapidly changing world.
... With an estimated population of over 400 million worldwide, dogs have been described as one of the most popular pets on earth (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001). As companion animals, they have extensive contact with humans, sharing their spaces, playing with children, producing faecal waste, and occasionally biting and scratching. ...
Article
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Evidence of influenza A virus (IAV) infection in dogs, a major companion animal of humans, suggests the possibility that they may constitute a new source for transmission of novel influenza viruses to humans. The potential public health risk posed by this possibility of interspecies spread of IAV between dogs and humans necessitated surveillance for the virus in dogs and their human contacts. Sera from 239 asymptomatic pet and hunting dogs in Oyo state, Nigeria were screened for anti-IAV nucleoprotein antibodies using competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) while haemagglutination inhibiting (HI) antibodies in the positive sera were detected using influenza virus H3 and H5 subtypespecific antigens. Suspensions prepared from 239 and 39 nasal swabs from dogs and human contacts, respectively were tested for presence of the highly conserved IAV matrix gene by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Only 4 (1.7%) of the 239 sera tested were positive by the ELISA. The HI test confirmed the presence of H3 influenza virus subtype-specific antibodies in one (25.0%) of the 4 ELISA-positive sera with a titre of 1:128 while none was positive for H5 subtype-specific antibodies. All the nasal swabs assayed by RT-PCR were negative for IAV nucleic acid. The detection of IAV antibodies in pet and hunting dogs in this study, although at a low rate, suggests that these dogs could play a crucial role in the zoonotic transmission of influenza viruses especially considering the close interaction between them and their human contacts. Continuous surveillance for IAV among dog populations in Oyo State (and Nigeria) is therefore advocated to facilitate early detection of infection or emergence of novel influenza virus strains that could be potentially harmful to humans and or animals.
... Dogs must be properly socialized, ideally kept in the home, spend time outside in a safe yard, and walked by the owners on a leash [49,69]. The dog, as a social animal, requires socialization, the ownerʹs company, and enough movement to be able to perform natural behavior [70]. Therefore, future research should focus on the impact of the long-term tethering of dogs on the possibility to manifest a natural behavior. ...
Article
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Long-term tethering of dogs, or their keeping under unsuitable conditions can result in issues related to changes in their behavior as they may not satisfy their basic needs of life. These needs are discussed in this paper, along with cases when dogs unnecessarily have to endure cruelty and pain. The unavoidable tethering of a dog must not cause trauma and must be arranged in a way that it guarantees physical comfort. Failure to meet the basic needs of an animal may result in manifestation of fear and subsequent aggressiveness. Owners of animals are responsible for their life and health, and their obligations include eliminating the possibility of them hurting themselves or other beings. The relevant adopted legislative provisions should provide protection to animals and be enforceable, which currently appears rather difficult. Controlling and observation of the legislative provisions related to the tethering of dogs raises some difficulties for animal protection inspectors. It is necessary to focus on the specificities of keeping conditions of various dog breeds and on their individual features. Based on research and the relevant Slovak legislative provisions, this paper discusses various views on the practice of tethering dogs from the point of view of public safety and the ethical consequences of permanent dog tethering. Data on dog tethering in Slovakia were evaluated based on a survey and Slovak legal rules governing this issue were analyzed along with various views of public safety and the ethical consequences of permanent dog tethering.
... These results are traces of actual use, independent of any proposed or disputed interpretations of craniodental functional morphology. Janssens et al. (2021) claim that we are presenting a "theory that self-domesticating, durophagic wolves existed" … and … "follow the self-domestication scavenging hypothesis (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2001) with contact seeking wolves being attracted to waste dumps (including bones) present at human camps, and on humans offering bones". Of the authors in Prassack et al. (2020), ML-G and MG are proponents of a human-initiated model of the wolf domestication process in which wolf pups were adopted by Upper Paleolithic foragers. ...
Article
Canids from the Upper Paleolithic site of Pˇredmostí are central to debates concerning the domestication of dogs as two morphotypes were identified: Pleistocene wolf and Paleolithic dog (Germonpré et al., 2015a). In Prassack et al. (2020), we set out to determine whether specimens previously parsed into these two groups differed significantly in dental microwear textures, a proxy for diet. We did not assume that one group was comprised of dogs, but hypothesized that if they were, they would likely have consumed more bone, leading to microwear surface textures dominated by pitting. We indeed found significantly higher scales of maximum complexity on second lower molar crushing surfaces of the sample identified as Paleolithic dogs by Germonpré et al. (2015a), consistent with larger pits on average and more bone consumption. These results suggest that the two morphotypes identified by Germonpré et al. (2015a) represent ecologically distinct populations. This is in accord with the interpretation of domestication, but, as we noted, the groups could also represent two distinct wild canid populations with differing diets. Janssens et al. (2021) recently criticized our study, questioning our methods of analysis and claiming bias in our interpretation of results. We reply to their issues here, focusing only on those relevant to Prassack et al. (2020).
... It is argued that some wolves habitually scavenged from the kills and campsites of mobile hunting and gathering communities and in so doing became increasingly dependent upon anthropogenic niches. These scavengers formed a subpopulation of human-associated canids (commensals) from which foragers selected pups to rear in camp as companions, a process that eventually gave rise to domestic dogs (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001). The Eurasian wild boar is believed to have followed a similar "commensal" pathway to domestication, with the key exception being that the domestication of pigs ∼10 ka post-dated the advent of plant agriculture (Price & Hongo, 2019). ...
Article
en The Indonesian island of Sulawesi harbours numerous early rock paintings of the endemic Sulawesi warty pig (Sus celebensis). Several S. celebensis images, including one dated to at least 45,500 years ago (ka), portray these suids with an anatomical character not observed in the living species: a pair of teat-like protuberances in the neck area. This feature seems to be most consistent morphologically with neck “wattles”, cutaneous appendages only manifested in modern domestic swine (Sus scrofa) and some other domesticated ungulates (e.g. goats). The notion that the trait portrayed by the Late Pleistocene artists is a domestication character is clearly contentious. We therefore consider: (1) whether we have misidentified the trait – a common problem in rock art analysis; (2) whether wattles are a genuine domestication trait; and (3) if so, whether the notion that Pleistocene people domesticated S. celebensis is plausible. A clear resolution to all of these problems evades us; however, our investigation of this anomaly in the ancient rock art poses important questions about the nature and complexity of early human–pig relations in this island. Résumé es L'ile Indonésienne de Sulawesi abrite de nombreuses anciennes peintures rupestres de son endémique cochon verruqueux (Sus celebensis). De nombreuses images de S. celebensis, y compris une datant d'au moins 45500 ans, décrivent ces suidés avec un caractère anatomique non observé chez les espèces contemporaines: une paire de protubérance mamellaire dans la zone du cou. Ce trait semble le plus proche morphologiquement des caroncules, appendices cutanés qui se manifestent seulement chez les porcs domestiques modernes (Sus scrofa) ainsi que chez d'autres ongulés domestiques (e.g. chèvres). Toutefois, la notion déclarant le trait décrit par les artistes du Pléistocène supérieur comme étant un caractère de domestication est clairement litigieuse. Nous considérons donc: (1) si nous avons identifiés à tort le trait – un problème commun dans l'analyse d'art rupestre; (2) si les caroncules peuvent être considérés comme de véritables traits de domestication; et (3) si tel est le cas, si la notion des peuples du Pléistocène domestiquant S. celebensis est plausible. Bien qu'une solution claire à tous ces problèmes nous échappe, notre investigation de cette anomalie dans l'art rupestre ancien posent d'importantes questions sur la nature et la complexité des premières relations homme-cochon sur cette ile.
... Suggestive evidence has been found in urban vs. rural populations of red foxes, Vulpes vulpes (Parsons et al., 2020), and in wild marmosets, Callithrix jacchus (Ghazanfar et al., 2020). The evolution of dogs from wolves, Canis lupus, is widely assumed to have begun with self-domestication (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2000). Other possible taxa that have been speculated to be self-domesticated based on low levels of within-species aggression include some island forms compared with continental ancestors (Hare et al., 2012;Hare, 2017;Wrangham, 2019b). ...
... It has been reported that the hypothetical canine ancestral diet consisted of fresh or recently killed animal carcasses or pieces of carcasses, carrion, meat scraps, bones, animal gut and others. [95][96][97] An ancestral, species-appropriate diet has been found to have a positive impact on chronic skin diseases. 24 In addition, eating carcasses outside allows the puppies to swallow a dose of the soil microbiome adhered to the carcass, which could be viewed as a naturally occurring soil-based probiotic. ...
Article
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Background The increased prevalence of atopic dermatitis (AD) in dogs necessitates research in its disease etiology. Objectives To explore the association between puppyhood dietary exposures and prevalence of owner-reported allergy/atopy skin signs (AASS) after the age of 1 year. Animals Four thousand and twenty-two dogs were eligible, 1158 cases, and 2864 controls. Methods This cross-sectional hypothesis-driven observational study was extracted from the DogRisk food frequency questionnaire. Forty-six food items and the ratio of 4 major diet types were tested for their association with AASS incidence later in life. Potential puppyhood dietary risk factors for AASS incidence were specified using binary multivariable logistic regression. The model was adjusted for age and sex. Results Eating raw tripe (odds ratio, 95% confidence intervals OR, 95% CI = 0.36, 0.16-0.79; P = .01), raw organ meats (OR, 95% CI = 0.23, 0.08-0.67; P = .007), human meal leftovers, and fish oil supplements as well as eating more that 20% of the diet as raw and/or <80% of the diet as dry, in general, were associated with significantly lower AASS incidence in adulthood. In contrast, dogs fed fruits (OR, 95% CI = 2.01, 1.31-3.07; P = .001), mixed-oil supplements, dried animal parts, and dogs that drank from puddles showed significantly higher AASS incidence in adulthood. Conclusions and Clinical Importance Puppyhood exposure to raw animal-based foods might have a protective influence on AASS incidence in adulthood, while puppyhood exposure to mixed oils, heat processed foods and sugary fruits might be a potential risk factor of AASS incidence later. The study suggests a causal relationship but does not prove it.
... The domestication of Canis lupus familiaris (referenced herein as domesticated dog, or dog) has been organized into two schools of thought, the Coppinger's model and Crockford's model. Coppinger's is a series of hypothetical events and processes leading to domestication (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001) while Crockford's model explores domestication as a colonization of a portion of the source population suggesting the animals more stress-tolerant and thus more likely to be domesticated (Crockford 2006). The gradual process of human's actively selecting characteristics, morphologically or behaviorally, resulted in modification of any captive or commensal animal population (Morey 2010:73-75). ...
Thesis
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This research explores the complexity of our relationship with dogs in an intermediate space between ritually significant and working animals, with specific focus to the impact humans may have had on dog health. Using faunal collections from the Museum of Northern Arizona, I evaluate healed cranial fractures and worn dentition from domesticated dogs. Not only does this research provides a new perspective on archaeological investigations of human-dog relationships, but it also explores an applied perspective concerning the dynamics between dogs and their owners today. Equally, the research herein challenges narratives of animal abuse from archaeologists and the public alike when considering Native American communities. Given the application of a decolonized interpretation in zooarchaeological research is rare, this research encourages the field to question assumptions about past interactions with animals based upon colonial and prejudiced ideologies. Furthermore, I argue for a strengthened understanding of the human-animal relationship, challenging the suggestion only Westernized cultures are capable of keeping pets.
... Hence, remains of early dogs or protodogs, some of them as older as 30 kya, have been excavated in Europe (Germonpré et al., 2009(Germonpré et al., , 2012(Germonpré et al., , 2015Ovodov et al., 2011;Prassack et al., 2020). Some authors have argued that the first dogs provided no services at all, but were simply scavengers around human camps (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2001). But there is a lack of evidence for dog domestication on the waste dump (Jung and Pörtl, 2018). ...
Article
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Different factors seemingly account for the emergence of present-day languages in our species. Human self-domestication has been recently invoked as one important force favoring language complexity mostly via a cultural mechanism. Because our self-domestication ultimately resulted from selection for less aggressive behavior and increased prosocial behavior, any evolutionary or cultural change impacting on aggression levels is expected to have fostered this process. Here, we hypothesize about a parallel domestication of humans and dogs, and more specifically, about a positive effect of our interaction with dogs on human self-domestication, and ultimately, on aspects of language evolution, through the mechanisms involved in the control of aggression. We review evidence of diverse sort (ethological mostly, but also archeological, genetic, and physiological) supporting such an effect and propose some ways of testing our hypothesis.
... Could this intersection be considered the "prototypical weight" of the original, domesticated dog? Examination of stray dogs in areas where little or no breed selection pressure exists, suggests that this might indeed be a reasonable estimate for prototypical dogs, which some have estimated to weigh between 9 and 15 kg (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2001). These dogs are generally reasonably small and thin (importantly, they are not overweight or obese). ...
Article
Background: Brain size has been associated with intelligence of various orders and families of animals, leading to the concept of encephalization. Brain size scales with body weight between species within mammals to approximately the 0.67 power. However, within species, this scaling exponent appears to be much smaller (approximately 0.27 power). Aim: We examined whether this relationship has persisted in dogs over the 120 years since this was originally observed. Methods: Comparative cross-sectional study of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data obtained from 127 dogs, compared to historical data from 157 dogs and 24 non-dog canid species. Results: Brain size in dogs measured by MRI had a scaling exponent virtually identical to that observed previously (0.24 vs. 0.26). However, the proportionality constant was smaller, suggesting that dogs in the study cohort had relatively smaller brains than the historical cohort. Absolute brain size appeared to have both a lower and upper limit in dogs. When compared to non-dogs canids, the most appropriate "representative" size for a "typical dog" when examining allometric scaling across Canidae appeared to be approximately 10-15 kg. Conclusions: We interpreted the slight reduction in relative brain size to be a function of increased obesity in the study cohort compared to dogs examined 120 years ago. Further, we suggest that dog brains have a finite lower size limit. Finally, concepts of encephalization should not be applied to dogs.
... Recently however, the assumption of a self-domestication model of the wolf that proposes less wary wolves were attracted to prehistoric human camp sites to scavenge stored food or refuse dumps, eventually becoming habituated to humans and colonizing the human dominated environment, is gaining favour. According to this premise, the descendants of the habituated wolves would become domesticated through more intensive human selection (e.g., Coppinger and Coppinger 2001;Hare 2017;Larson and Fuller 2014;Stahl 2016;Zeder 2012). Some critiques of this model concerning the accessibility of stored food and garbage and the behaviour of habituated wolves are formulated by Koler-Matznick (2002), Germonpré et al. (2018), and Lupo (2019). ...
Article
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Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the initial steps in the domestication process of the wolf. We discuss the human-initiated model in which wolf pups were brought to camp sites by male hunters and cared for by nursing women. A good relation between the more sociable and playful pups and the women and their children likely formed affiliative bonds and led to the survival of such pups into maturity. Some of these animals could have reproduced and delivered at least one litter. A selection on the behaviour of subsequent generations could ultimately have led to Palaeolithic dogs.
... The behavior of stalking and chasing was hypertrophied while the bite (both grab and kill bite) was diminished. Similarly, livestock guardian dogs (such as the Maremma sheepdogs) were selected for the absence of any predatory behavior directed toward the sheep; therefore, the entire predatory sequence was "quieted" [20,40,41]. Different breeds were also selected for dog fighting, which was highly popular in the 1800s [42]. ...
Article
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Dog biting events pose severe public health and animal welfare concerns. They result in several consequences for both humans (including physical and psychological trauma) and the dog involved in the biting episode (abandonment, relocation to shelter and euthanasia). Although numerous epidemiological studies have analyzed the different factors influencing the occurrence of such events, to date the role of emotions in the expression of predatory attacks toward humans has been scarcely investigated. This paper focuses on the influence of emotional states on triggering predatory attacks in dogs, particularly in some breeds whose aggression causes severe consequences to human victims. We suggest that a comprehensive analysis of the dog bite phenomenon should consider the emotional state of biting dogs in order to collect reliable and realistic data about bite episodes.
... However, one recent meta-analysis found that their effectiveness may be weak relative to other non-lethal methods, at least when protecting lambs from coyotes, cougars, and black bears (Eklund et al., 2017). Only recently domesticated from wolves (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2002;Gehring et al., 2021), people have selectively bred LGDs to defend livestock from predators. ...
Article
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Domestic sheep (Ovis aries) are an attractant to carnivores; however, sheep are often accompanied by humans and livestock guardian dogs (LGDs; Canis familiaris), which defend sheep from depredation. Sheep also compete directly with wildlife for grazing resources. Although practiced for millennia in much of the world outside North America, the effect that transhumance has on wildlife is poorly understood. To test the effect of sheep bands (sheep, humans, and LGDs) on wildlife, we modeled the detection probability of wild mammals relative to the presence of sheep bands in the Northwestern United States. Sheep band presence was associated with a reduction of about half in the likelihood of detecting large carnivores (Ursus americanus, Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, and Puma concolor, p < 0.05) and deer (Odocoileus spp., p < 0.01), both while the band was present and after it left the area. Contrastingly, coyotes (Canis latrans) were more than three times as likely to be detected when sheep bands were present (p < 0.001), and twice as likely after sheep bands left (p < 0.01). Coyotes were the only species we modeled that was more likely to be detected when a sheep band was present. It is unclear how long these effects persist after a sheep band has moved through an area, but our results suggest that transhumance temporarily displaces many large mammals, which results in mesopredator release of coyotes. This study suggests there is a tradeoff between the conservation benefits provided by LGDs and humans protecting sheep and the costs of displacement to some wild mammals.
... However, a terrier, deliberately bred to tenaciously kill vermin is predisposed to disappearing into burrows and to fight. Unlike research that has discussed predispositions to reactive behaviors that need modifying for more appropriate behaviors (Handegard et al., 2021;Sulkama et al., 2021;Overall et al., 2016), the above specifically links such behaviors to the natural predatory motor patterns genetically determined for dogs (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001). Resultantly, whilst this theme encapsulates that these reactive behaviors are considered normal responses for a dog based on genetic, hormonal and/or neurochemical responses, it is human constructs of 'appropriate behavior' that problematizes such reactions. ...
Preprint
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Dogs are often referred to as ‘human’s best friend’, and many households in the United Kingdom and worldwide include a dog. Research highlights the strength of the bond between human and dog, including the myriad of physical and mental health benefits. However, less research has explored this bond (and the subsequent effect on health) when dogs exhibit behaviours that their human companion finds inappropriate. Yet many dogs each year are relinquished, or even euthanised, for exhibiting such behaviours. A key behaviour often cited in these situations is ‘reactivity’. Importantly, however, there is no consensus in the literature (or the lay population) as to exactly which behaviours constitute problematic ‘reactivity’. This research, therefore, sought to investigate how dog ‘reactivity’ is understood by dog guardians, through an online survey. Six themes emerged from a thematic analysis of the data, which were generally clustered in two ways; dog-centric and human-centric, with a final theme drawing together the complexity of the term for both dog behaviour and human perceptions and applications. This research highlighted the complex, nuanced and, sometimes, contradictory nature of understanding around the label of ‘reactivity’, and the need for further research to consolidate knowledge in this area to provide a single definition of ‘reactivity’ and to understand how this label is used in dog training. A key recommendation from this research is the need for an objective measure of dog behaviour to help with the human-dog matching process at rehoming centres and to track changes in dog behaviour during training programmes.
... What initially drew wolves closer to humans? Whilst there have been general assumptions that domestication began when more tolerant wolves learnt to scavenge from human settlements (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001), the observation that highly mobile foragers rarely produce anything like a waste dump calls this into question (Jung and Pörtl 2018). Instead, it seems most likely that the tamest of the wolves may have begged or scrounged for food, or lived independently, interacting with humans out of curiosity and companionship. ...
Book
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In Hidden Depths, Professor Penny Spikins explores how our emotional connections have shaped human ancestry. Focusing on three key transitions in human origins, Professor Spikins explains how the emotional capacities of our early ancestors evolved in response to ecological changes, much like similar changes in other social mammals. For each transition, dedicated chapters examine evolutionary pressures, responses in changes in human emotional capacities and the archaeological evidence for human social behaviours. Starting from our earliest origins, in Part One, Professor Spikins explores how after two million years ago, movement of human ancestors into a new ecological niche drove new types of collaboration, including care for vulnerable members of the group. Emotional adaptations lead to cognitive changes, as new connections based on compassion, generosity, trust and inclusion also changed our relationship to material things. Part Two explores a later key transition in human emotional capacities occurring after 300,000 years ago. At this time changes in social tolerance allowed ancestors of our own species to further reach out beyond their local group and care about distant allies, making human communities resilient to environmental changes. An increasingly close relationship to animals, and even to cherished possessions, appeared at this time, and can be explained through new human vulnerabilities and ways of seeking comfort and belonging. Lastly, Part Three focuses on the contrasts in emotional dispositions arising between ourselves and our close cousins, the Neanderthals. Neanderthals are revealed as equally caring yet emotionally different humans, who might, if things had been different, have been in our place today. This new narrative breaks away from traditional views of human evolution as exceptional or as a linear progression towards a more perfect form. Instead, our evolutionary history is situated within similar processes occurring in other mammals, and explained as one in which emotions, rather than ‘intellect’, were key to our evolutionary journey. Moreover, changes in emotional capacities and dispositions are seen as part of differing pathways each bringing strengths, weaknesses and compromises. These hidden depths provide an explanation for many of the emotional sensitivities and vulnerabilities which continue to influence our world today.
... What initially drew wolves closer to humans? Whilst there have been general assumptions that domestication began when more tolerant wolves learnt to scavenge from human settlements (Coppinger and Coppinger 2001), the observation that highly mobile foragers rarely produce anything like a waste dump calls this into question (Jung and Pörtl 2018). Instead, it seems most likely that the tamest of the wolves may have begged or scrounged for food, or lived independently, interacting with humans out of curiosity and companionship. ...
Chapter
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In Hidden Depths, Professor Penny Spikins explores how our emotional connections have shaped human ancestry. Focusing on three key transitions in human origins, Professor Spikins explains how the emotional capacities of our early ancestors evolved in response to ecological changes, much like similar changes in other social mammals. For each transition, dedicated chapters examine evolutionary pressures, responses in changes in human emotional capacities and the archaeological evidence for human social behaviours. Starting from our earliest origins, in Part One, Professor Spikins explores how after two million years ago, movement of human ancestors into a new ecological niche drove new types of collaboration, including care for vulnerable members of the group. Emotional adaptations lead to cognitive changes, as new connections based on compassion, generosity, trust and inclusion also changed our relationship to material things. Part Two explores a later key transition in human emotional capacities occurring after 300,000 years ago. At this time changes in social tolerance allowed ancestors of our own species to further reach out beyond their local group and care about distant allies, making human communities resilient to environmental changes. An increasingly close relationship to animals, and even to cherished possessions, appeared at this time, and can be explained through new human vulnerabilities and ways of seeking comfort and belonging. Lastly, Part Three focuses on the contrasts in emotional dispositions arising between ourselves and our close cousins, the Neanderthals. Neanderthals are revealed as equally caring yet emotionally different humans, who might, if things had been different, have been in our place today. This new narrative breaks away from traditional views of human evolution as exceptional or as a linear progression towards a more perfect form. Instead, our evolutionary history is situated within similar processes occurring in other mammals, and explained as one in which emotions, rather than ‘intellect’, were key to our evolutionary journey. Moreover, changes in emotional capacities and dispositions are seen as part of differing pathways each bringing strengths, weaknesses and compromises. These hidden depths provide an explanation for many of the emotional sensitivities and vulnerabilities which continue to influence our world today.
... Research on the history of dog diets and foraging has focused on two main issues. First, the most widely cited model of initial dog domestication proposes that stress tolerant or friendly wolves began feeding on human foragers' meaty leftovers (8)(9)(10). That is, dogs' early domestication history was characterized by a shift to scavenging in human-dominated places. ...
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Research on the evolution of dog foraging and diet has largely focused on scavenging during their initial domestication and genetic adaptations to starch-rich food environments following the advent of agriculture. The Siberian archaeological record evidences other critical shifts in dog foraging and diet that likely characterize Holocene dogs globally. By the Middle Holocene, body size reconstruction for Siberia dogs indicates that most were far smaller than Pleistocene wolves. This contributed to dogs’ tendencies to scavenge, feed on small prey, and reduce social foraging. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of Siberian dogs reveals that their diets were more diverse than those of Pleistocene wolves. This included habitual consumption of marine and freshwater foods by the Middle Holocene and reliance on C 4 foods by the Late Holocene. Feeding on such foods and anthropogenic waste increased dogs’ exposure to microbes, affected their gut microbiomes, and shaped long-term dog population history.
... Honeyguides of many species know the location of bees' nests, and greater honeyguides may, over time, have learnt and/or been selected to call to humans, establishing the coordinated cooperation and reciprocal signalling present today. Second, wolves are proposed to have scavenged for waste scraps around human encampments approximately 12,000 years ago, and this began the 'commensal pathway' to the domestication of wolves (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001). On this pathway, humanwolf cooperation is proposed to have started once humans learnt to cooperatively hunt with the wolves attracted by scavenging opportunities, and ultimately humans maximised the benefits they received from cooperating with wolves by controlling the wolves' lives and breeding, resulting in domestic dogs. ...
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1. Human-wildlife cooperation is a type of mutualism in which a human and a wild, free-living animal actively coordinate their behaviour to achieve a common beneficial outcome. 2. While other cooperative human-animal interactions involving captive coer-cion or artificial selection (including domestication) have received extensive
... Honeyguides of many species know the location of bees' nests, and greater honeyguides may, over time, have learnt and/or been selected to call to humans, establishing the coordinated cooperation and reciprocal signalling present today. Second, wolves are proposed to have scavenged for waste scraps around human encampments approximately 12,000 years ago, and this began the 'commensal pathway' to the domestication of wolves (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001). On this pathway, humanwolf cooperation is proposed to have started once humans learnt to cooperatively hunt with the wolves attracted by scavenging opportunities, and ultimately humans maximised the benefits they received from cooperating with wolves by controlling the wolves' lives and breeding, resulting in domestic dogs. ...
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Abstract Human‐wildlife cooperation is a type of mutualism in which a human and a wild, free‐living animal actively coordinate their behaviour to achieve a common beneficial outcome. While other cooperative human‐animal interactions involving captive coercion or artificial selection (including domestication) have received extensive attention, we lack integrated insights into the ecology and evolution of human‐wildlife cooperative interactions. Here, we review and synthesise the function, mechanism, development, and evolution of human‐wildlife cooperation. Active cases involve people cooperating with greater honeyguide birds and with two dolphin species, while historical cases involve wolves and orcas. In all cases, a food source located by the animal is made available to both species by a tool‐using human, coordinated with cues or signals. The mechanisms mediating the animal behaviours involved are unclear, but they may resemble those underlying intraspecific cooperation and reduced neophobia. The skills required appear to develop at least partially by social learning in both humans and the animal partners. As a result, distinct behavioural variants have emerged in each type of human‐wildlife cooperative interaction in both species, and human‐wildlife cooperation is embedded within local human cultures. We propose multiple potential origins for these unique cooperative interactions, and highlight how shifts to other interaction types threaten their persistence. Finally, we identify key questions for future research. We advocate an approach that integrates ecological, evolutionary and anthropological perspectives to advance our understanding of human‐wildlife cooperation. In doing so, we will gain new insights into the diversity of our ancestral, current and future interactions with the natural world. Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.
... Dogs are important household pets kept for security, hunting, and leading of the blind and as a source of meat; therefore there is increased interest in keeping dogs [18,19]. The population of dogs in Nigeria has been variously estimated to be between three and five million [20]. ...
... Human-socialized adult wolves maintain social bonds with their early caretakers and other familiar people (preprint; Wheat et al., 2020) and, hence, may benefit from their presence in stressful situations via emotional social support. Still, wolves may not depend on humans as much as dogs that are raised and kept in a similar way because dogs usually live in human environments (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2001) and may be selected for attaching easily and strongly to their human caretakers (Palmer and Custance, 2008;Gácsi et al., 2013;Solomon et al., 2019). ...
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Whilst humans undisputedly shape and transform most of earth's habitats, the number of animals (domestic and wild) living on this planet far outnumbers that of humans. Inevitably, humans have to interact with animals under a variety of circumstances, such as during conservation efforts, wildlife and zoo management, livestock husbandry, and pet keeping. Next to the question of how humans deal with these interactions and conflicts, it is crucial to understand the animal's point of view: How do animals perceive and differentiate between humans? How do they generalize their behavior towards humans? And how does knowledge about humans spread socially? In this Research Topic, we aim to collect original empirical work and review articles to get a more comprehensive and diverse picture on how humans are part of the sensory and cognitive world of non-human animals. We strongly invite contributions that pinpoint shortcomings and limitations in interpreting the available research findings, that provide new cross-disciplinary frameworks (e.g. links between conservation biology and comparative psychology, or human-animal interactions at zoos and animal welfare) and that discuss the applied implementation of these findings (e.g. for conservation attempts or livestock husbandry management).
... Os animais necessitam aprender a responder ao estado emocional do outro, para o sucesso da interação social. As principais características comportamentais selecionadas relatadas em trabalhos incluem comportamentos de solicitação de cuidados, solicitação submissa de alimentos (lambedura facial), falta de medo, curiosidade, brincadeira, redução do territorialismo, aumento de procura de contatos sociais e comportamento menos agressivo (KUCZAJ, 2013, BEAVER, 2001, COPPINGER & COPPINGER, 2001. ...
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RESUMO Estudos das emoções associadas ao bem-estar animal estão em ascensão e tem sido objeto de interesse em particular de estudiosos da etologia. A revisão aqui apresentada tem objetivou selecionar os principais estudos que focam nas motivações internas dos animais e que determinam suas escolhas realizadas. Altruísmo e cooperação entre animais, são questões fundamentais sobre as origens evolutivas, e relações sociais. Agressividade, dentre os comportamentos aversivos, é regulada por interações sociais negativas, e positivas. Os animais apresentam esses citados comportamentos e são motivados por fatores externos e internos e, por fim, a empatia não é uma exclusividade dos humanos.
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Research on working dogs is growing rapidly due to increasing global demand. Here we report genome scanning of the risk of puppies being eliminated for behavioral reasons prior to entering the training phase of the US Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) canine olfactory detection breeding and training program through 2013. Elimination of dogs for behavioral rather than medical reasons was based on evaluations at three, six, nine and twelve months after birth. Throughout that period, the fostered dogs underwent standardized behavioral tests at TSA facilities, and, for a subset of tests, dogs were tested in four different environments. Using methods developed for family studies, we performed a case-control genome wide association study (GWAS) of elimination due to behavioral observation and testing results in a cohort of 528 Labrador Retrievers (2002–2013). We accounted for relatedness by including the pedigree as a covariate and maximized power by including individuals with phenotype, but not genotype, data (approximately half of this cohort). We determined genome wide significance based on Bonferroni adjustment of two quasi-likelihood score tests optimized for either small or nearly-fully penetrant effect sizes. Six loci were significant and five suggestive, with approximately equal numbers of loci for the two tests and frequencies of loci with single versus multiple mapped markers. Several loci implicate a single gene, including CHD2 , NRG3 and PDE1A which have strong relevance to behavior in humans and other species. We briefly discuss how expanded studies of canine breeding programs could advance understanding of learning and performance in the mammalian life course. Although human interactions and other environmental conditions will remain critical, our findings suggest genomic breeding selection could help improve working dog populations.
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This article offers a canine history of the “critical period” concept, situating its emergence within a growing, interdisciplinary network of canine behavior studies that connected eugenically minded American veterinarians, behavioral geneticists, and dog lovers with large institutional benefactors. These studies established both logistical and conceptual foundations for large‐scale science with dogs while establishing a lingering interdependence between American dog science and eugenics. The article emphasizes the importance of dogs as subjects of ethological study, particularly in the United States, where some of the earliest organized efforts to analyze canine behavior began. Further, the article argues that the “critical period” is important not only for its lasting prominence in multiple fields of scientific inquiry, but also as a historiographical tool, one that invites reflection on the tendency of historians to emphasize a particular narrative structure of scientific advancement.
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During two retreats in 2017 and 2020, a group of international scientists convened to explore the Human-Animal Bond. The meetings, hosted by the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute, took a broad view of the human-dog relationship and how interactions between the two may benefit us medically, psychologically or through their service as working dogs (e.g. guide dogs, explosive detection, search and rescue, cancer detection). This Frontiers’ Special Topic has collated the presentations into a broad collection of 14 theoretical and review papers summarizing the latest research and practice in the historical development of our deepening bond with dogs, the physiological and psychological changes that occur during human-dog interactions (to both humans and dogs) as well as the selection, training and welfare of companion animals and working dogs. The overarching goals of this collection are to contribute to the current standard of understanding of human-animal interaction, suggest future directions in applied research, and to consider the interdisciplinary societal implications of the findings.
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Behavioral traits like aggression, anxiety, and trainability differ significantly across dog breeds and are highly heritable. However, the neural bases of these differences are unknown. Here we analyzed structural MRI scans of 62 dogs in relation to breed-average scores for the 14 major dimensions in the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire, a well-validated measure of canine temperament. Several behavior categories showed significant relationships with morphologically covarying gray matter networks and regional volume changes. Networks involved in social processing and the flight-or-fight response were associated with stranger-directed fear and aggression, putatively the main behaviors under selection pressure during wolf-to-dog domestication. Trainability was significantly associated with expansion in broad regions of cortex, while fear, aggression, and other “problem” behaviors were associated with expansion in distributed subcortical regions. These results closely overlapped with regional volume changes with total brain size, in striking correspondence with models of developmental constraint on brain evolution. This suggests that the established link between dog body size and behavior is due at least in part to disproportionate enlargement of later-developing regions in larger brained dogs. We discuss how this may explain the known correlation of increasing reactivity with decreasing body size in dogs.
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Rescue behavior is a kind of prosocial response that involves the provision of help to a stressed individual. This behavior has been observed in domestic dogs assisting their owners when they pretended to be trapped. Given the role of the hormone oxytocin as a facilitator for prosocial behavior, we aimed to evaluate the effects of its intranasal administration on the rescue behavior of dogs directed to their owners. In addition, we used the Monash Dog Owner Relationship Scale (MDORS) to assess whether the dog-owner bond was associated with this behavior. After receiving either oxytocin or saline, dogs participated in a stressed condition in which their owner pretended to be stressed inside of a box, or a control one, in which the owner was in a calm state. Dogs released their owners more frequently in the stressed condition. Contrary to our expectations , dogs who received oxytocin were less likely to open the box and took longer to do so than those that received saline. Regarding the dog-owner bond, dogs in the stressed condition who received oxytocin exhibited a lower rate and a higher latency of openings the more intense the bond was, while the opposite pattern was observed in dogs in the control condition who received saline. In conclusion, dogs would rescue their owners when they pretended to be trapped and stressed. Both oxytocin administration and the bond with the owner appear to modulate this behavior, but further studies are needed to inquire into the involved mechanisms.
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Chapter
Dog‐dog playgroups have become increasingly popular interventions in shelter settings as a means of providing enrichment and enhancing well‐being for dogs in shelters, especially for those experiencing long‐term stays. This is occurring across the United States despite debate—and limited empirical evaluation—on playgroup effectiveness. However, playgroups vary greatly in their form and function—that is, how shelters implement them and their intended purpose. This chapter reviews common programs for conducting playgroups in shelters and explores methods for selecting appropriate candidates, monitoring interactions, and balancing both physical and behavioral health. The scientific literature on the benefits of play for dogs’ well‐being and considerations for evaluating playgroups as an enrichment strategy are discussed.
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In this final chapter we review the hypotheses that have been put forward in relation to ‘what changed’ from wolves to dogs in relation to behaviour and cognition. Based on the studies summarized in the different chapters we assess the support for each and outline where more effort is needed to fill the gaps in our knowledge. Finally, we give our own interpretation of the current data. We conclude that domestication has had complex effects on dogs’ behavior and cognition that are likely the result of multiple selective pressures. Dogs definitely emerge as less fearful of humans and potentially also less aggressive towards conspecific out-group members (although on this latter point, there is still much to do) compared to wolves. Dogs ingroup social dynamics, particularly around food resources, have also changed compared to those of wolves, but the changes are more intricate. Dominant dogs are less tolerant than dominant wolves in the feeding context and subordinate dogs (but not subordinate wolves) avoid potential conflicts where possible. To some extent a similar pattern emerges with humans, where dogs appear to be more easily inhibited and more likely to comply with the demands we make on them, whereas wolves tend to be more independent and more selective in their choice of when to comply with our demands and when not to. Dogs are also more likely to engage in positive social contact with less familiar people than wolves, potentially mirroring the changes to their more fluid conspecific out-group dynamics. Currently, there is no evidence for dogs’ superior communicative or cooperative abilities when compared to wolves. Indeed, if anything the opposite is the case, with wolves being more cooperative and prosocial towards their pack members than dogs. Together these results, we think, reflect changes to the socio-ecology of the two species that go hand in hand with the likely human-enacted selective pressures favoring animals that can be easily inhibited and controlled, allowing humans to exploit dogs’ skills for their own use.
Chapter
When comparing the behavior and cognition of different species, several caveats need to be kept in mind such as the population the animals originated from as well as the kind of experiences they have acquired. In regard to wolves and dogs, several research groups have reared the animals in similar ways to allow for valid comparisons. Here we provide a summary of the various research groups, the animals they raised and the kind of questions they tried to answer.
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Dogs and humans have cohabited between 15,000 and 100,000 years. Given even the lower estimate, the time our two species have intertwined is noteworthy. Here, the focus is on the scientific impact of canines on their companion humans’ research. While any admixture of subject and object in science, in this instance human and dog, is conventionally dismissed, indeed censured, testimonies from both past and contemporary scientists acknowledge the revelatory insights that relationships with their companion dogs have had on their work. Such vital trans-species attachments not only exist, but they also cannot be excised from science; accuracy and understanding epistemic genealogy require their consideration. Viewing phenomena from a trans-species lens, scientists can access profound sources of non-anthropocentric information and inspiration. Beyond the scientific understanding that nonhuman animals possess brains, minds, and emotions comparable to those of our species, dogs have earned acknowledgement for their contributions to scholarly work.
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In this paper I outline the drawbacks with the two main behavioural approaches to animal behaviour problems and argue that each alone is insufficient to underpin a field of clinical animal behaviour. Applied ethology offers an interest in an animal’s spontaneous behaviour in natural contexts, understood within an ecological and evolutionary framework but lacks an awareness of mechanisms that can be manipulated to modify the behaviour of individual animals. Behaviourism in the form of Applied Behavior Analysis offers a toolkit of techniques for modifying the behaviour of individual animals, but has seldom been applied to non-human species, and often overlooks phylogenetic aspects of behaviour. Notwithstanding the historical animosities between the two fields of animal behaviour they are philosophically highly compatible — both being empiricist schools stemming ultimately from Darwin’s insights. Though each individually is incomplete, I argue that an integrated approach that synthesizes the strengths of each holds great promise in helping the many animals who need our assistance to survive and thrive in human-dominated environments.
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