Thread: Dog Question
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:27 AM
Blue Blistering Barnacle Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,335
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I do not know which of those conclusions is correct, but I am comfortable with either of them (with the caveat that it's possible that some of our cousin species secondarily lost or diminished the capability for love).

To the extent that that's true, I think it's more due to a lack of understanding, not to a lack of love, and while dogs do have a great deal of understanding, as animals go, I won't attempt to claim that they understand to the same degree that humans do. Though I would even question the premise: There have, after all, been cases of dogs sacrificing their lives for those they loved, and dying is the extreme case of not being a part of one's life.

Well, yeah, but I don't think anyone's suggesting here that dogs have any concept of their own mortality.

I'd rather go the other way and point out that it's moderately exceptional for humans to show their love that way.

I also don't know how many here are suggesting that dogs have the emotional depth and complexity of adult humans. I'm certainly not. I'm just arguing that they (and other mammals) do a lot of their thinking on an emotional level.

To the extent that love includes wanting to be around someone, wanting to please someone, and subordinating your naked self interest and immediate desires to someone else, than dogs do seem to love.

Lots of other mammals do, too.

I'm sure we'll here the same from bird fanciers. I really think we are talking very basic limbic brain here.