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Dogs make humans happy and improve our quality of life but would it have been in their best interest to not have had the hunting instinct bred out of them?

What do people think?
 

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I could construct an argument either way.
In defense of that statement, you could point out the millions of homeless dogs in cities. or the abused and neglected dogs. or the over bred dogs who suffer from all kinds of health issues.

On the other hand, there are also millions of examples of well taken care of, pampered, privileged dogs. Well fed and sleeping on couches. Or the working dogs who seem to enjoy their jobs.

The others side of the coin is are people better off with dogs. and again there is plenty of evidence to say yes.

I think in a more perfect world we could say that our relationship with dogs was a partnership. With both sides getting more benefits than without the partnership. But people being imperfect seem to have abdicated our responsibilities and taken advantage of the dogs.
 

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Dogs make humans happy and improve our quality of life but would it have been in their best interest to not have had the hunting instinct bred out of them?

What do people think?
Will dogs come from wolves, and it took a long time of selective breeding for their existence.
So in way, its either they are wolves or they wouldn't exist, if we didn't domesticated them.

In all honestly if we didn't domesticate dogs, we probably wouldn't be here today with this modern technology we have today.
 

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I'm not trying to excuse humans from responsibility here, but lately, some have wondered if maybe the domestication was started on both sides, with wolves (the ancestors of dogs) and humans gradually learning to get used to each others' company. I know this is about dogs, but many think that cats became domesticated the same way.
 

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I'm not trying to excuse humans from responsibility here, but lately, some have wondered if maybe the domestication was started on both sides, with wolves (the ancestors of dogs) and humans gradually learning to get used to each others' company. I know this is about dogs, but many think that cats became domesticated the same way.
A little bit off topic, but there are several new scientific studies, some based on archeology and some on DNA, that sort of point to modern dogs not all having a common wolf ancestor.

Up until recently, it was thought that wolves were first domesticated with the advent of agriculture and towns, maybe 10 or 20 thousand years ago. But some new DNA and archeological finds may change that to 30 or 40 thousand years ago.

there is that tribe of baboons that kidnap feral puppies and raise the dogs to be their own watch/guard dogs. So who knows how long age dog domestication really occurred. Maybe we Can blame it on some distant ancestor. ;)
 

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The studies about dogs and wolves actually show that wolves (gray wolves, specifically) and dogs have a common ancestor and that dogs didn't evolve from wolves. This is similar to humans and apes having a common ancestor, not humans evolving from apes (as too many people still believe).

It makes more sense that dogs and wolves evolved independently. This more sensible explains how humans were able to domesticate dogs so quickly. ("Quickly" in geologic time.)

Would dogs be better off now without past domestication? It's a moot question for me. We can't know the answer; all we can do is speculate. Maybe they wouldn't even be here. Or maybe they'd still be wild and hunted. Or maybe...or maybe... ::shrug:: I'm not sure the hunting instinct is gone from all dogs. I do tend to agree, though, that it was a mutual thing (the evolution-wolf thing aside), in that it probably benefitted them and us.

This question always makes me think of other species we've domesticated. What about cows (Aurochs, originally)? Horses? Camels? Etc., etc., etc.

I also think this issue leads to questions related to spirituality (not religion) and metaphysics. I make part of my living as an interspecies communicator ("animal communicator"), and I'm aware of what many domesticated nonhuman animals think and feel. (And make no mistake -- they think and feel in astonishingly intellectual and emotional ways that are often beyond the ability of us humans to understand.)
 

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Not exactly, Mr. H. What even the Wikipedia entry states is, "[...] dogs may have descended from a now extinct species of canid whose closest living relative was the wolf." This is different from "an extinct wolf species". Our (humans) closest living relatives are the chimpanzee and bonobo, but we are of different species. But I think we agree on the bottom line...that dogs did not evolve from modern wolves, but from a now-extinct ancestor of both wolves and dogs.
 
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