Thread: Dog Question
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:19 PM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 16,777
I'm interested in checking out some of these links. I've had dogs almost all of my life, and will get another one when my current 8-yr old passes.

But I'm not entirely sure how one can parcel out "emotion" o/b/o my dog, as opposed to their behavior as a pack animal respecting the higher status members of the pack, and their attempts to derive certain benefits from their pack fellow pack members. You all know the argument - how much of HUMAN emotions can be considered to confer evolutionary advantage? I then to think the answer is not binary.

I tend to want to THINK that my dog loves me, but what he might really be loving is the fact that I feed him regularly and provide him a safe, comfortable place to live. If a dog loves its owner, does a wolf love its higher ranked pack members?

I think it pretty clear than animals are not unfeeling automatons. But I did quite a bit of reading on this over the years, and have discussed this quite a bit with my wife of 30 years and co-owners of at least 5 dogs. And I'm not sure what amount of the dog's behavior is affection, as opposed to manipulative/goal oriented.