Dr. Wayne Davis: The domestication of dogs | CraigDailyPress.com

Dr. Wayne Davis: The domestication of dogs

Dr. Wayne Davis/For the Craig Daily Press

Somehow, in the domestication of dogs, a very large percentage of them have lost the ability to fend for themselves. Some of this is genetic. For example, when you breed away from athletic ability by giving them crooked and short legs and make them very small with short muzzles — even if they do have the inclination to hunt — they probably wouldn’t be efficient enough to “make a living” in the wild. Too many, if they even could survive, would be reduced to roaming up and down the barrow pits searching for road kill (a vehicle makes the kill) or stealing the neighbor’s chickens (easy prey).

Adding to the size and shape of many of these breeds, many don’t have the inclination to hunt or the training or example of how to do it. Their hunger is appeased by having it handed to them, for free, so to speak. They never have to learn how to “rustle up some grub” or “bring home the bacon” or “make a living.”

They are dependent and we like them that way. We love our dogs in our way and they love us in their own way. They have learned to take us for granted and we even love them for that. We think they’re cute and funny when they stand at the empty food bowl barking at us.

They are children in so many ways. Some much more than others, and we have the responsibility of caring for them and this is appropriate and right. Interesting to note: People who abuse or neglect their pets are more likely to abuse or neglect their children.

One nice thing about this dependence mindset is that we don’t have to worry so much about what kind of people we are. If you are a drug dealer, murderer, liar or cheat, when you come home your dog will still wag his tail and be happy to see you. He may even protect you if the need arises. In other words he still has your vote.

Dr. Wayne Davis is the veterinarian and owner of Craig Veterinarian Hospital.Dr. Wayne Davis is the veterinarian and owner of Craig Veterinarian Hospital.Dr. Wayne Davis is the veterinarian and owner of Craig Veterinarian Hospital.

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