ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE PACK
Dogs are social animals that enjoy relationships. Their ancestors, wolves, are animals that hunt large prey in group, and that generally live in groups more or less stable. Therefore, they are animals that can cooperate, and that’s why they observe and synchronise their actions.
With this origin, and with a history of living more or less alongside humans, both beings adapted to cooperate, understand each other, an enjoy their relationships. Without this instinct, cohabitation would have been dramatically different.
In order to demonstrate the importance of the natural relationships within social animals we can refer to a study carried out in the 50s, by Russian geneticist Dimitry Belyaey. The study revealed that wolves were not manipulated by men during the domestication process, but it was instead a self selecting process, where the more docile and curious animals approached, out of their own volition, another species, in this case, humans, using the same method that humans probably used when breeding those animals who were more docile, ensuring the perpetuation of that attribute.
Belayev carried his research on silver foxes, selecting the more sociable and docile within each litter. That way, each subsequent litter produced more sociable foxes and, surprisingly, with more feminine and juvenile traits, the same way that happened between wolves and dogs.
Enjoying the company.
Currently dogs, with such a social evolution, need company, and mostly, after their domestication process, dogs prefer human company. Some dogs are more sociable with other dogs but “that dissipates with age”, notes Victoria Coll, who is certified in ethology by “les Ecoles Veterinaires Françaises”. She confirms that it is not the same process when a young dog tries to play with other dogs than when an adult “who has no imperative need to create new links with them” does. In fact, she adds: “one of the biggest problems within ethology is bad socialisation (or lack thereof) between same-species individuals.” That’s why, nowadays, when we talk about dog’s gregarious instinct, it relates more to socialisation with humans than it does to socialisation within its own species.
It is very simple. Your dog wants to be with you. Live with you and do things together. That way they’re happy. You and your family are their pack.