Friday, February 26, 2016

Dogs choose to obey us

As I was pulling at Bogie and saying "Leave it!" so he wouldn't eat food off the ground that is probably rancid, I wondered, Why did he leave it?

It would have taken him only nano-seconds to scarf up whatever that was.  And he can certainly withstand any tugging I do on the leash.

But he didn't.  He left the tasty garbage and walked with me.

Other than the occasional mishap, Bogie does whatever I tell him.

Don't chase the birds.
Don't pull my arm off.
Wait for Angel to finish sniffing.
This way.
Stop barking.
Sit (and ignore the dog that is passing by)

Really, if he wanted to, he could ignore any of these commands.  He's bigger than I am.  He's stronger than I am.  I can't stop him if he insists on doing something.  And there are the teeth.

But he doesn't insist.

Dogs have agreed to do what we ask of them.  In fact, there are studies that say wolves domesticated themselves, becoming the dogs we (hopefully) love and care for.  (Dogs Domesticated themselves)

They get a benefit from living with us that is greater than the inconvenience of doing what we want them to do.

I, for one, am grateful they have chosen to be our companions.