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There’s a Glimmer of the Wolf in Every Dog

March 12, 2012

service dog pulling open a door

service dog pulling open a door

Dogs can do things for humans that no other animal species can. A dog alerts his soldier partner to a sniper or a land mine. Another crawls through collapsed buildings searching for survivors. A pet wakes up his family at night to a fire in the house. A therapy dog calms an accident victim while she endures a physical therapy treatment, and alerts epileptics that a seizure is coming.  How is it that most dogs have the ability to learn to perform almost any job that is neded?

The wolf, the dog’s ancestor, has instincts and their five senses, which differ from humans, that give them the variety of skills they need to survive in the wilderness. During domestication the dog inherited this range of skills and adapted them to learn how to survive in the world of humans. Changes in the dog’s brain occurred during this time and enabled them to modify the instincts and skill they inherited.
Dogs and people are both social animals that have teamed up to become the effective and supportive partners. That partnership thrives when humans learn how to see glimmers of the wolf in every dog and act accordingly. Learn more about the wolf influence in dogs in our new children’s book A Dog is a Dog and that’s why he’s so special written by best selling co-author of How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With, Clarice Rutherford.
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