The Origin of Dog Behavior

Origin Of Dog Behavior

The dog is a domesticated wolf. Even though the modern dog may vary from a 2 pound Chihuahua to a 220-pound Mastiff, their behaviors are all the results of their wolf ancestry. Remember that dogs are not a natural product of evolution. Nature never produced a dog. Dogs are the results of tens of thousands of years of selective breeding. It is interesting to note that of the four or five thousand species of mammals, man used the wolf to produce his best friend.

It is the very nature of the wolf pack, which is a highly socialized, organized society, that enables our dogs to fit in so well with our human families. The wolf pack consists of a pair of dominant animals that can be viewed as the reproductive nucleus of the pack. They are responsible for the major decisions that govern the group. The appropriate dog – owner relationship (especially with large potentially aggressive breeds) is one where the owner is clearly dominant over his dog. It is important that you are the boss over your dog. This means you should always be able to take food away from your dog, put him in a down position, and handle every part of his body without his objection. Failure to enforce this may result in very unstable dog behavior.

Many dog behaviors such as male dogs lifting legs to urinate (marking), piloerection (hair on back standing up), chasing small animals and licking faces all directly evolved from wolf behavior. To truly understand dogs, one must be knowledgeable about wolves.

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