Saturday, April 30, 2022

Dog behavior has nothing to do with their breed, recent test results imply

I thought the above referenced study based upon DNA analysis was interesting.  I am glad scientists round about are interested in learning about our symbiotic companions.  I did think the statistic about pure bred dogs behaving in accordance with the breed tradition, that is, what the breed was intended to do, was rather low, but in thinking it over I have no personal experience that would even enable me to advance an anecdotal argument to its contrary. 

After reading the article I read the comments from the responders to the article.  They were all over the place, but the most valid criticized the anecdotal nature of information provided by those who paid the $175 to have their dogs DNA checked.  Responders to the article thought such people extremely untrustworthy making the study of little value.

In the case of Ridgebacks, my anecdotal response wouldn't have anything to do with what the Ridgeback was originally intended to do, the hunting of lions.  Probably few people living today have any experience with that attribute.  The secondary attribute, probably the reason most Ridgebacks were purchased, and a reason still valid today was farm and home protection against wild animals and human intruders.  I haven't seen the questionnaire, but I wouldn't know how to answer the question, if this is one of their questions for the Ridgeback, "would your Ridgeback protect you and your property?"  That is something that has never been put to the test in my case.   I do believe that Trooper was sort of tested.  We were hiking in the mountains when he was seven months old and some mountain bikers came racing down the trail towards us.  There wasn't room for me to get him off to the side.  There was a drop off to the left and a steep incline to the right.  I braced for impact.  Trooper however knew exactly what to do.  He went into combat mode and gave an enormous bark/growl.  I never knew those bikes had such good brakes.  The two racers got off their bikes, and making sure I had hold of Trooper's collar inched past us with their bikes between them and Trooper.  I didn't like those guys racing down hiking trails endangering whomever,  and so I gave Trooper an appreciative pat on the head and we hiked on.  Trooper did that same sort of thing  two other times that I recall: a jogger on a dark night and someone running through a parking lot toward a store.

Sage did that sort of thing on three occasions that I recall.  Ginger and Ben seemed too friendly to ever do anything like that.  I dog sat a Ridgeback that seemed timid.

I don't know how any of that would bear upon my Ridgebacks willingness to protect me and my property.  When any delivery person or cat comes up on my front porch, my non-Ridgebacks go berserk.  The Ridgebacks would rarely join in.  But any dog who will bark will probably deter the casual intruder where I live.  Would Susan's 12 year old 23-pound Schnoodle or my 6 year old 45-pound Irish Terrier protect me.  I doubt the Schnoodle would.  Maybe Jessica would if I was actually being attacked, on the floor, bleeding out, but I'm not sure. 

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