New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

July 23, 2011

Dogs' new best friend buries wolf pack theory

He, Bradshaw, is a scientist - founder and director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol - who has devoted the last 25 years to studying the domestic dog and has just written the most fantastic book, In Defence of the Dog, which is already on United States bestseller lists and is about to become required reading for dog lovers everywhere.
Bradshaw is not interested in canine hearsay. He does not peddle opinions. His style is tolerant, clear and benign and he is interested only in what science can support. His book is a revelation - a major rethink about the way we understand our dogs, an overturning of what one might call traditional dogma.
The first idea to bite the dust is so huge and entrenched that some owners will struggle to adjust. We have had it drummed into us by trainers such as Cesar Millan that because dogs are descended from wolves (their DNA is almost identical), they behave like wolves and can be understood as "pack" animals. The received thinking has been that dogs seek to "dominate" and that our task is to assert ourselves as pack leaders - alpha males and females - and not allow dogs to get the upper paw.

Bradshaw has no quarrel about DNA. His argument is that scientists have been studying the wrong wolves and jumping to the wrong conclusions. He says: "People have been studying American timber wolves because the European wolf is virtually extinct. And the American timber wolf is not related at all closely to the ancestry of the domestic dog." Great read... MORE>>


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