Dogs willingly fight with other dogs or other spec


Fighting dogs and warrior dogs both probably evolved from livestock guarding dogs and this too needed more of our intervention, not just in selectively breeding for massive size but also for both ferocity and obedience.

Dog fighting has existed as a “sport” for as long as we’ve lived with dogs. Livestock guarding breeds, already massive in size, were ideal for selectively breeding for other attributes that would be useful in a fighting dog, for example dense, protective hair and thick skin. They were also now bred for attitude, for an inclination to keep on fighting, in war or in sport, to go for the neck, to go for the kill. The Roman army certainly used military dogs, the British-bred Pugnaces Britanniae, and when these dogs were not serving in Roman wars they were used in dog fight contests.

Although they are now technically illegal in most countries, dog fights are still widely organised including in one of the cradles of the dog’s evolution, rural Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Dog fighting is common in Russia where owtcharkas, massive sheep guarding dogs are used. In Spain, mastiffs were used as was the Presa Canario both in mainland Spain and in the Canary Islands. In Argentina and some parts of Brazil, dogs such as the Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro were developed specifically for fighting as was the now extinct Dogo Cubano in Cuba. The Japanese Samurai retained their aggressive image during peaceful times through dog fights. Fighting was particularly popular in Akita Prefecture and in present day Kochi Prefecture (once called Tosa Province). Even in Muslim countries where dogs are culturally disliked, dog fighting takes place. As in Europe and North America, young men in Arab countries now primarily use Pit Bull terriers and Rottweilers. (By the Middle Ages some mastiffs had become butcher’s dogs. This is the origin of the Rottweiler. Dogs such as these went on to be used for bull-baiting and dog-fighting.) In the Middle East the fighting dogs are caged, starved and abused before they’re used in fights. Someone who is familiar with dog fights in Oman tells me their wounds are seldom treated and become infested with maggots. Dogs that lose fights are brutally killed or left to starve to death in cages.

Dogs work as draft animals?

You know what the most common dog problem is, the question dog trainers are most frequently asked??“How do I stop my dog from pulling on his lead?”?Wired into your dog’s brain is the imperative, “Resist!” Tug on your dog’s lead and unless he’s been trained not to do so, he’ll just yank you in the opposite direction. People have known this for millennia which is why an original dog job was to pull sleds or travois.

The Inuit’s ancestors were accompanied by dogs as they spread from Far East Asia across Alaska and Canada until they reached as far east as Greenland. No one knows for sure when they harnessed the pulling power of dogs (Inuit folk history says this happened over 2,000 years ago.) but the sled dog remained at the fulcrum of their survival until well into the 20th century. Farther south, Native Americans on the Great Plains of Canada and the United States harnessed the power of dogs to pull their travois, sleds made from two long poles connected by rawhide to a frame. At the same time dogs in Switzerland and Belgium were routinely used as cart pullers. Big dogs have helped us travel or carried our loads for at least a thousand years and they do so instinctively. That function disappeared in my lifetime not because they didn’t have the intelligence to adapt to modern needs but rather because we found more efficient ways to move goods.

Captain R.E. Peary, who reached the North Pole in 1909, (at least he says he did) depended on Eskimo sled dogs and credited his reaching the Pole to the dogs. In his book recounting his adventure he wrote, “…it is an absolute certainty that it [the North Pole] would still be undiscovered but for the Eskimo dog to furnish traction power for our sledges … enabling us to carry supplies where nothing else could carry them.”

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