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  #21  
Old 06-25-2011, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Lizmo View Post
By saying they aren't pack animals, do you mean they can survive outside of a pack of dogs?
I mean they don't live in a pack structure if you leave them to their own devices. In fact they socialize pretty much just like domestic cats. They don't form stable groups (like a pack) they mate with who ever they like (not like a pack) Studies have shown that while the dogs are often seen in the company of others, that the individuals in a group change on a regular bases. This is VERY unpack like. They don't co operate to hunt, share raising young duties.

They just hang out with buds. There is little in the way of strict hierarchies (though even wolves don't have strict ones like dominance aficionados would have you believe)

Dogs are opportunistic scavengers. That doesn't mean they can't hunt, just that is not their strong point, nor their first choice (as a species)

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Could you explain this more?
People when in a group of strangers will do strange things during a mob. When people talk about dogs 'packing up' its more akin to mob mentatity than a pack. These dogs when they are done attacking what ever it is they attacked often go on their seperate ways. Just like people who over turn cars, smash windows etc. That doesn't mean the other people in the mob are you 'family' or even associates. Claiming that people in a mob are the true and "REAL" way that people live is silly.

The whole dominace/pack/alpha dog thing interests me alot. I'm not sure I understand much of it (which is why I would like to learn more), but it does interest me since I do have a female who is 'alpha dog' in our group of dogs.

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Is it not correct to use terms like 'alpha' or 'dominate' when describing a dog who is clearly in control of the other dogs?
Not really. Even a lot of scientists have stopped using it as its not useful and often misunderstood. Also dogs that are often called alpha are often just bullies, the play police, or socially inappropriate. An 'alpha' dog would be calm, relaxed and not likely to try to control other dogs. They would be confident if something came along that they wanted it, it would be theirs. Even in wolves they don't tend to call one 'alpha' and no dominate isn't really correct either. I have yet to see any dog dominate another one. I have seen humans dominate dogs though.

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Also, when speaking about 'pack animals', are people referring to a literal pack of dogs or are they referring to animals and humans?
They are referring to the animal's natural state. Ie horses are herd animals, wolves are pack animals, tigers are solitary, geese pair bond.
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  #22  
Old 06-28-2011, 01:21 PM
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Hmm, I dunno... From where I'm standing dogs look pretty smart. I mean right now they're sleeping comfortably on the leather sofa we bought for them, digesting their afternoon snack of cheese and mango pieces they managed to pawn off the kids by just being cute, and later they'll come with us to play in the stream.

They have us trained to answer to their beck and call.
Need out? Look longingly out the window. Need in? Bark Bark. They go with us everywhere, we arrange our lives around them, they eat better than I do, get daily massages (ahem, tick checks), pedicures, ear cleanings... get their butts wiped if they get the runs... Yeah, those wolves digging themselves a hole to sleep in aren't looking like the smart ones right about now...
Dogs are very intelligent, yes, but in comparison to wolves, not so. When dogs were domesticated, the intelligence to survive was taken out of them because they relied on humans to care for them. Wolves NEED to be intelligent in order to survive on their own in the harsh, brutal wild. Stick your domesticated pet dogs out in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, by themselves in the middle of winter, and see how long they live. Somehow I don't think their knowledge of the word "sit" and "rollover" are going to feed them or keep them warm.
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  #23  
Old 06-28-2011, 01:30 PM
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Hi, meet Lunar (dog in foreground), ex feral dog. He survived two gun shot wounds and ended up in bad shape not because of lack of survival skills, but because of heartworm. Tell him he's not as smart as a wolf.



Oh, he doesn't know roll over
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
Dogs are very intelligent, yes, but in comparison to wolves, not so. When dogs were domesticated, the intelligence to survive was taken out of them because they relied on humans to care for them. Wolves NEED to be intelligent in order to survive on their own in the harsh, brutal wild. Stick your domesticated pet dogs out in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, by themselves in the middle of winter, and see how long they live. Somehow I don't think their knowledge of the word "sit" and "rollover" are going to feed them or keep them warm.
I don't know. Who's smarter? The animal who fights daily to scrape together enough food and is lucky to have one offspring out of a litter survive to adulthood and reproduce? Or the animal who teamed up with these silly bipedal apes who are willing to raise their offspring for them and often have 100% survival rates for their litters? As a species, dogs have a much more secure future in terms of survival than wolves do.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:45 PM
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I don't know. Who's smarter? The animal who fights daily to scrape together enough food and is lucky to have one offspring out of a litter survive to adulthood and reproduce? Or the animal who teamed up with these silly bipedal apes who are willing to raise their offspring for them and often have 100% survival rates for their litters? As a species, dogs have a much more secure future in terms of survival than wolves do.
Wolves Beat Dogs on Logic Test | LiveScience

The Doglando Blog : Orlando Dog Grooming | Orlando Dog Training | Dog Day Care Orlando: Dingos Like Wolves Are Smarter Than Dogs

A species intelligence is based on how well it's able to survive. Wolves have survived for thousands of years and have been here much longer then the dog has. Dogs are technically a freak of nature created by humans, and if it weren't for humans, probably wouldn't be here. Dogs rely soooo much on humans for their survival. Even strays/feral dogs. If humans were wiped out, the domestic dog population would to, where as wolves would still live on.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:19 PM
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A species intelligence is based on how well it's able to survive.
According to who?
Following this theory, cockroaches are geniuses. Hmmm... wonder if anyone has tried to clicker train a cockroach?
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Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
Dogs are technically a freak of nature created by humans, and if it weren't for humans, probably wouldn't be here.
Yeah, kind of the whole premise of the "domestic" or "familiaris" part... Not getting the point.
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Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
Dogs rely soooo much on humans for their survival. Even strays/feral dogs. If humans were wiped out, the domestic dog population would to, where as wolves would still live on.
If you put a domestic dog puppy in a pack of wolves, and let the wolves raise him, he would survive just fine.
Survival instinct does not equate with intelligence. Survival instinct is just that - instinct.
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  #27  
Old 06-28-2011, 08:47 PM
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A species intelligence is based on how well it's able to survive.
I don't think you can say that at all. For the most part the scientific community can't agree how to measure HUMAN intelligence, let alone the intelligence of an entirely different species. You've seen Stanley Coren's list of the most/least intelligent dog breeds, right? It's bogus, because it defines intelligence in a very misleading way: following commands.

I don't think you can say that wolves are smarter than dogs, or that any species is smarter than another. Dogs can be taught to match to sample, parrots can be taught to count, and I can't find a video right now but dogs can be taught to string words together to form meanings: fetch the red bone vs. the blue bone. Scientists are constantly finding new things that animals can understand that are marks of intelligence and previously thought to be the sole domain of humans. There's too much that isn't known about what intelligence is or how to measure it.

And even if intelligence was ability to survive, wouldn't dogs win that one? There's what, 70 million dogs in the United States alone? A number for wolves was harder to find, but the largest I found was 200,000 for the present day and 2 million at their peak. I'd say dogs are kind of kicking wolf butt at surviving.
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  #28  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:39 PM
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Wolves Beat Dogs on Logic Test | LiveScience

The Doglando Blog : Orlando Dog Grooming | Orlando Dog Training | Dog Day Care Orlando: Dingos Like Wolves Are Smarter Than Dogs

A species intelligence is based on how well it's able to survive. Wolves have survived for thousands of years and have been here much longer then the dog has. Dogs are technically a freak of nature created by humans, and if it weren't for humans, probably wouldn't be here. Dogs rely soooo much on humans for their survival. Even strays/feral dogs. If humans were wiped out, the domestic dog population would to, where as wolves would still live on.
Umm. Dingos ARE feral dogs. They were domesticated, hauled to Australia by humans from Asia, and went feral. You can catch a dingo puppy and raise it to be much more companionable than a wolf. It's still a primitive dog for sure, and not like having a golden retriever. But it's a dog.

In the first study, I'm really interested in what breeds of dogs they tested and whether the test subjects had any previous obedience training. There was another study I read about independence and problem solving in dogs. Basically it said that dogs trained to a high level of obedience would look to a human handler for cues rather than go for the obvious solution. Vs. non trained dogs who would happily leap over obstacles to get straight at a food reward. I'll hunt around for that one, it was really fascinating.

And while I agree, if you dumped a load of domestic dogs out in the wilderness in winter they'd probably die. You could say the same of wolves raised in a zoo. Or even wild wolves dumped into unfamiliar territory in the middle of winter. None of them are going to be familiar with local food sources and they are going to have to compete with resident predators for survival. Honestly I have a lot of faith in my borzois' survival skills. They've already proved not only can they "harvest" game reliably, they can handle groups of coyotes and come out unscathed. Whereas the coyotes come out dead.
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  #29  
Old 06-29-2011, 12:04 AM
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There are many different kinds of intelligence. Wolves are better than dogs at say...figuring out how to unlatch a gate or open a clasp on a box. They'll try and try and try until they figure it out, which they often do. Dogs will try once or twice, then look at the human standing by and look back at the puzzle, back at the human again. Dogs are better at reading human social signals than wolves, even puppies raised with little human contact. It's inherent in domestic dogs. They understand things like what humans are pointing to, nodding toward, or even marking an object with something and removing it, dogs get it what the target object was. Wolves don't get that at all, even wolves raised from a very young age by humans. There are all kinds of examples.

Wolves and chimps have better means to an end cognition, such as pulling through cage bars, a string with a piece of food at the other end. Dogs aren't so good at that. We can train dogs to do some asounding things. No so with wolves.

Intelligence or instinct...learned or inherent? Dogs are one of the most successful animals in evolutionary terms. Just because they haven't been around as long, doesn't mean they're less intelligent. I bet they'll be around a very long time. Look what we do for dogs. If you knew how much resources go to sustaining dogs, it would astonish you. They could actually cause us to go extinct, they draw so much from our bank accounts. LOL. There are so many ins and outs that I think it's pretty hard to say which is "more intelligent." One is better at some things, the other better at other things.
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  #30  
Old 06-29-2011, 03:02 PM
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My husband said it best:

Dogs are nothing more then wolves who learned to adapt to living around humans. They learned to survive in their enviroment around people and other wolves that lived farther away learned to survive on their own in the wild. They are simply one species that went two seperate ways and learned to master their enviroment. What dogs have is social intelligence towards humans, because humans are the key to their survival (despite the fact that humans are often the cause of their death), where as wolves have problem solving and survival skills. There for wolves have larger brains then dogs do. They NEED more brain power because it's themselves they depend on.

It's 50/50. Dogs are smarter in regards to knowing humans better because humans are thye key to their survival, but wolves are smarter at taking care of themselves because that's the key to their survival.
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