Dog Heredity And Behavior

Dog Heredity And Behavior
Dog Heredity And Behavior

Video: Dog Heredity And Behavior

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Video: Behavior Modification for Reactive Dogs - Michael Ellis 2023, January

Even the most superficial observation of the behavior of dogs of various breeds makes us seriously think about its innateness, the genetic inheritance of certain traits, which are in no way connected with the conditions of keeping, or with the peculiarities of raising and raising this or that animal.

Moreover, the latest research by leading specialists in the field of genetics and molecular analysis irrefutably prove direct inheritance as the most important components of the type of higher nervous activity in a dog and its natural behavioral responses.

Thus, with the emergence and development of sociobiology, it became possible not only to determine the innate predisposition, the genetic program of any animal, but also to scientifically explain some previously incomprehensible and seemingly inadequate behavioral reactions of the dog: mental instability, uncontrollable excitability and nervousness, unjustified expression of aggression.

Today it seems quite probable that it is the repetition and frequency of repetition in any population of individual genes that ultimately determine the stable consolidation of individual traits characteristic of a particular breed.

Doberman Pinscher carries a frisbee flying saucer in his teeth, photo photo of a dog
Doberman Pinscher carries a frisbee flying saucer in his teeth, photo photo of a dog

Today, no one is trying to refute the assertion that any behavioral response is biologically and hereditarily programmed and justified.

And yet there is a number of specific behavioral reactions that arose and were fixed under the influence of the specific conditions of the animal's keeping, the manner of handling it and the methods of its training.

Of course, the behavioral reactions of any individual dog, like any other representative of the animal world, are multifaceted and unpredictable. That is why, initially and especially carefully, one should understand the nature of their occurrence and be able to distinguish between hereditary and acquired, remembering their orthodox non-identity.

Many famous geneticists of the past did not consider it necessary in their research to rely on already proven scientific postulates in animal psychology. Such attempts led only to hasty conclusions based on the results of a pseudoscientific intelligence test. Others, remaining in the position of pure "Mendelism," actively denied the principle of quantitative analysis in genetics.

Fortunately, despite all the doubters, hesitant and deniers, genetics, as a science, continued to develop and evolve. That is why today no one will recklessly believe in the reality of the existence of "pure" polygenism and non-allelicity of genes.

Until now, the continuing disagreement on this issue is explained by the difficulties in the mechanisms of regulation at the gene level, which provide the most accurate and extensive information. Thus, dogs with increased aggressiveness inevitably have a hereditarily defined set of genes.

Instincts are considered to be the main components of any behavior of any individual: primordial, innate, inherited and acquired. Based on Krasse's statements, one can add that "instinct is the innate ability of an individual in relatively favorable conditions and without prior training to flawlessly perform certain specific actions, regardless of external stimuli constantly acting on him."

Features of the behavior of dogs of various breeds. In the behavioral reactions of dogs belonging to different breed groups, persistent and striking differences are observed. This is especially noticeable in Italian greyhounds (with their mood changes), in hunting dogs (with their specific focus on a specific type of game), individuals of the Basenji and Azawakh breeds (with their unconventionally aggressive behavior in extreme situations), huskies and dachshunds (with their non-standard voice communication).

And this is easily explained, because each specific breed of dog was bred and used for a specific purpose.

At the same time, individuals with the most persistent desirable reflexes were preferred to others, even if they were superior in terms of their exterior data. Such a utilitarian attitude to dog breeds fully explains the current classification: shepherd dogs, terriers, Italian greyhounds, hunting, etc.

In the past, when resolving numerous scientific disputes about the belonging of the wolf and the dog to the same biological species, the basic criterion was chosen the reaction of animals to fire. With a fairly low level of development of genetics, this method was considered the only correct one. However, today we can confidently assert that dogs react differently to fire. He attracts some like a magnet, and they are ready to watch the flames for a long time, while remaining absolutely indifferent to special heating devices: radiators, heaters, etc. Others are scared away by fire. A similar reaction occurs in wolves. Most likely, the fear of fire or indifference to it in individuals should be considered from the standpoint of sociobiology, trying with its help to explain the process of selectivity and progressiveness in the domestication of certain animal species,and first of all - dogs.

Doberman Pinscher holds apport in his teeth, photo photo of a dog
Doberman Pinscher holds apport in his teeth, photo photo of a dog

It is no secret that many hereditary traits are indirectly related to such historical areas of human activity as cattle breeding, hunting, agriculture.

And today it is known that with special training, some hereditary traits can be strengthened, while others can be muted.

Genetic foundations of behavioral responses. For a clear delineation of innate from acquired, unmistakable determination of truly hereditary and repetitive typical behavioral reactions in dogs, the correct choice of research methods is necessary.

This question is very acute because modern ethologists studying the psychology of animals are very far from genetics and the accompanying problems of heredity. On the other hand, geneticists do not always have a clear idea of ​​the whole variety of behavioral reactions.

Since the 1990s, a whole galaxy of American geneticists from Berkeley has been engaged in very important research on the dependence of certain behavioral responses on the sequence of genes in the DNA chain. For this, dogs of different breeds with unequal behavioral reactions were crossed.

And it is not at all excluded that genetics stands at the turn of the greatest discovery. In the very near future, thanks to the research work of Professor Pattier, one of the most important and "painful" of her questions, the diagnosis of congenital mental and behavioral defects, can be resolved.

Methodology of genetics. The main condition for the success of genetic research is the error-free selection of the studied individuals, constant control and monitoring of them. For example, identical and fraternal twins are good research material. The upbringing of identical twins in different conditions makes it possible to determine with a high degree of certainty the hereditary nature or acquisition of various character traits, and comparing pairs of identical and fraternal twins placed in the same conditions makes it possible to trace patterns in the similarity of their behavioral reactions.

Another, no less popular, method of modern genetics is the study of the inheritance of congenital anomalies in animal behavior.

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