Many humans consider dogs to be our best friends. But have you ever wondered what would happen to your dog if we suddenly disappeared? Can domestic dogs do without humans?
at least 80% A billion dogs That the planet lives an independent and free life, which gives us some possible answers.
What would our dogs be like if we weren't there to influence and care for them?
What is a dog?
Dogs hold the title of the most successful domesticated species on Earth. For thousands of years they have It has evolved under our watchful eyes. More recently, selective breeding has led to man-made diversification, giving rise to unique breeds ranging from the Great Dane to the small Chihuahua.
Humans' quest to find the perfect canine companion has given rise to more than 400 breeds, each with a unique combination of physical and behavioral characteristics. Originally, dogs were bred primarily for loyalty Jobs that were useful to usSuch as herding, hunting and protection. This practice has only become established within the past 200 years.
According to some experts, being a pet is just another kind of job to do Humans chose dogs, focusing more on appearance. Breeders play a vital role in this, as they deliberately select desirable traits and thus influence the future direction of breeds.
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Are we good for dogs?
We know that some of the features we love have serious repercussions Health and wellness From animal. And so on, Dogs with a flat face have difficulty breathing Due to narrow nasal passages and short airways. this Lack of air It can cause asthma attacks. These dogs are also prone to skin, eye, and dental problems more frequently than long-nosed animals.
Many modern dogs require medical intervention to reproduce. Therefore, French bulldogs and Chihuahuas often need a caesarean section for birth, because the puppies' heads are Very large compared to To the width of the mother's pelvis. This reliance on surgery for reproduction highlights the profound impact of intensive selective breeding on dogs.
While domestic dogs have everything to gain from being part of a human family, some live very isolated and controlled lives where they have less opportunity to… To make choices – An important element for their happiness.
Dogs without humans
Now imagine a world where dogs are no longer subject to human selection and care. The immediate consequences will be staggering. Species whose basic needs, such as food, shelter, and health care, depend largely on us, will struggle to adapt, and many will succumb to the harsh reality of life without human support.
However, this likely only affects less than 20% of dogs (which is roughly the same number of dogs living in our homes). Most dogs in the world roam freely. This phenomenon is very common in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Although these dogs are not domesticated in the traditional sense, they coexist with humans. As a result, their survival depends almost exclusively on human-produced resources, such as landfills and donated food. In the absence of humans. Natural selection Their turn will come quickly, as dogs that lack traits essential for their survival, such as adaptability, hunting ability, disease resistance, parental instinct and sociability, will gradually decline.
Very large or small dogs may be at a disadvantage, as size affects caloric needs, environmental regulation of body temperature, and exposure to predators.
Limited behavioral strategies, such as an intense fear of exploring new places, may also be harmful. Although sterilized dogs may possess traits that are useful for survival, they will not be able to pass their genes on to future generations.
No more hybrid breeds
Eventually, a new type of dog will emerge, determined by health and behavioral success rather than human tastes.
Not only do dogs mate with individuals of their own breed, but they can choose individuals completely different from themselves when the opportunity arises. Over time, distinct breeds fade away, and spontaneous mating results in an appearance closer to the “village dog”, similar to the “camp dogs” of the people. Isolated Aboriginal communities in Australia And the dogs we see in Southeast Asia.
These dogs are generally medium sized, with a balanced build, short, multi-colored fur, and straight ears and tail. However, regional differences such as a dense coat may occur due to factors such as climate.
Over time, the dogs will return to the wild dog lifestyle. These animals likely adopted social and feeding behaviors similar to those of their current wild relatives, e.g Australian dingo. They can live in it Small family groups in specific areasThey return to the annual breeding season, engage in social hunting, and receive attentive parental care (especially from fathers).
The transition will be easier for some breeds, especially herding dogs and those already living independently in villages or in the wild.
What a good dog life
In their book Jungle reminder, Jessica Pearce and Mark Bekoff explore the idea of preparing our dogs for a human-free future. They encourage us to give them more independence, and therefore happiness. This may simply mean letting them choose the direction of their walk or taking their time when sniffing a tree.
When considering a possible future without humans, a question arises: Are our actions towards dogs sustainable, in their best interests, and in keeping with their nature? Or is it consistent with our desires?
By thinking about how dogs live without us, we may be able to find ways to improve their lives with us.
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