What is the purpose of dogs in nature?

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  1. arksys profile image83
    arksysposted 11 years ago

    What is the purpose of dogs in nature?

    in the west I see them as pets and really loved and looked after well... in the east there are many stray dogs seen on the roads ... they just sit in the shade and scrounge for food here and there ... I was wondering how they would survive if man did not take them in as pets... I know cats would survive easily ... but i'm not sure if dogs would make it far. what do you think? if they were not "domesticated" then do you think they'd be more like wolves?

  2. Dragonrain profile image79
    Dragonrainposted 11 years ago

    If they where never domesticated than there would be no dogs as we know them today.  Dogs started off as wolves, and over thousands of years living with humans they evolved into what they are today. 

    The purpose of dogs today is mostly to be our companions.  There are some still who have working dogs as well.  When dogs where first domesticated it was most likely as working dogs.  They preformed tasks such as being guard dogs and helping humans hunt, etc.

    They don't have a purpose in nature.  They are not a "natural" species and would never have evolved if not for human intervention.  If all humans disappeared, or suddenly stopped owning dogs as pets, my guess would be that most of them would die.  Only the strongest would survive and breed so dogs as a species would probably begin to revert back to being more like their wild ancestors.  They would all start to look the same over many generations, we'd loose all the different breeds that we have today.

    1. arksys profile image83
      arksysposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      thanks for your input. good answer.

  3. tillsontitan profile image84
    tillsontitanposted 11 years ago

    I think they would be more like wolves as it is in "their nature".  They travel in packs and look to one leader (referred to as the alpha dog).  They look to their pack leader to find food and create stability in the  pack - much like wolves. 
    Dogs act and live by their instincts, behaviors that are in their DNA, the most basic of those instincts is survival. 
    They are never violent with each other but do play after they have fed. 
    Dogs in nature resemble the dogs we own but are self sufficient and stay true to their packs.  This is the way dogs started out, not as pets, and should they end up that way they would survive very well.

    1. arksys profile image83
      arksysposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      after dubuquedogtrainers answer it seems like dogs are not "pack animals" ... but i thought they would be pack animals too coz the stray dogs i've seen always seem to be moving in packs on the streets.
      thanks for your input... wink

  4. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image59
    Dubuquedogtrainerposted 11 years ago

    Many people are still under the misguided notion, largely thanks to television, that dogs are "pack animals." This is probably not true. Although dogs are closely related to wolves genetically (and I say this as someone who has worked with and studied wolves at the graduate level and attended seminars by noted wolf and dog biologists) they do not have the same social structure.

    Dogs form loose associations of convenience and opportunity. Read the work of Ray Coppinger,  "Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution" who has studied dogs in Mexican villages.

    All creatures have a purpose. Nothing has been created without a purpose. We humans domesticated dogs and have a symbiotic relationship with them. Dogs can survive without humans. They are opportunistic scavengers. In developing countries dogs scavenge for food at garbage dumps and those with a lower flight instinct follow humans home. Dogs that are not taken in and taken care of by humans can survive but they are susceptible to disease, just like any other animal.

    Feral dogs are capable of hunting and survival, so it is reasonable to assume that other domesticated dogs could survive if need be in the wild, given time to adjust - and survival of the fittest.

    It is difficult to imagine a world where some dogs did not become pets since they are ideally suited to live with us as companions. We use dogs for so many purposes - service dog work, search and rescue, police work, military work, etc. I think the Creator designed dogs (and He did originally design them) to be our companions. True, we domesticated dogs and selectively bred them to get the variety of breeds we have today to suit our every whim and need, but dogs I believe, whatever shape or size are meant to be human companions.

    1. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image59
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Now really folks, why is this voted down? The rule states that voting down should be reserved for answers that do not contribute to the discussion. How does what I wrote not add to the discussion? Who is so trigger happy?

    2. arksys profile image83
      arksysposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      i don't think any of the answers should have been voted down. everyone contributed according to their knowledge which is what it's all about ... you learn as you go along.
      Your answer was very interesting and informative. thanks for that. smile

    3. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image59
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, Arksys - I think anyone who contributes a response in "good faith" should either be voted up or ignored - but then, I am a positive reinforcement dog trainer.

    4. profile image0
      Ari Lamsteinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Welcome to the HP community Bubuquedogtrainer, and congrats on getting the HoTD Award!  While it can be hard, I recommend ignoring down votes on a positive, well-thought out answer.  Just try to continue contributing positively to the community!

    5. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image59
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Ari!

    6. cat on a soapbox profile image95
      cat on a soapboxposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with the thoughts posted here about the voting arrow. If an answer is well thought out and accurate, I leave it alone. I vote up if a person has basically "dittoed" my thoughts. I vote down if I sense arrogance or maliciousness in the answer.

  5. cat on a soapbox profile image95
    cat on a soapboxposted 11 years ago

    In nature, dogs ideally band together to protect a territory. In belonging to a pack, dogs hunt for communal food, are companions to each other, and fight for dominance in procreation which insures the continuance of the pack. Once dogs are domesticated, depending on humans for food and care, they will never survive release into the wild. They may be weak, homeless scavengers among humans,but they will not survive predators as lone dogs. Dogs are social animals and do best in the company of other dogs or humans. Wolves, coyotes, hyenas, and dingoes are good examples of pack-behavior animals.

  6. libby1970 profile image69
    libby1970posted 11 years ago

    The original purpose of dogs were carnivores. There are many different types of wild dogs all over the world. They seem to work in packs though. It's difficult for a dog to make it on his own...but if he grouped up with other dogs then it would have a fighting chance.

    Dogs come from wolves too... there purpose in nature were to kill off the weaker or diseased animals making that species stronger.

    The way we have domesticated dogs it would be tough on them to revert back to ways of their ancestors. It's not impossible, but it would be hard. We all know that species will adapt to their environment to survive... eventually these dogs would join together into different packs and be as the wolves are....dominant!

    1. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image59
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Dogs are not obligate carnivores. Yes, they eat meat, but because they are scavengers, not pack animals like their relatives the wolves, they are really omnivores.

  7. profile image57
    consentinoposted 11 years ago

    They are great companions and definitely mans best friend.



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