In case you missed it, there was a really interesting programme on the Beeb on Thursday. It examined the relationship between humans and dogs and highlighted some interesting discoveries made recently:
- The hormone involved in the bonding process between humans and babies may also play a part in the bond between humans and dogs
- All dogs have their roots in the wolf, but there are genuine behavioral differences that have been brought about by selective breeding rather than through nurture
- Dogs have mastered some pretty amazing human interaction skills – they readily understand the action of pointing and appear to study our facial expressions
I think one part of the program will bring a smile to Beagle owners in particular. It covers an experiment where wolf cubs were raised in the house just like regular pups to see if they’d grow up to behave like domestic dogs. They didn’t, and the person raising them commented on the behavioral differences she observed. For example, whenever she opened a cupboard the cubs would magically appear between her and the cupboard contents; they would jump onto tables, steal things and run off, and act very possessively over certain items. “Dogs don’t do this” she said. Apparently she’s never encountered a Beaglet.
Anyway, you can still catch the programme online via the Beeb’s “iPlayer”: http://bbc.co.uk/i/pssgh/