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RateMyPitbull.com Moderator
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Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882). Origin of Species.
The Harvard Classics. 1909-14.​
Natural instincts are lost under domestication: a remarkable instance of this is seen in those breeds of fowls which very rarely or never become "broody," that is, never wish to sit on their eggs. Familiarity alone prevents our seeing how largely and how permanently the minds of our domestic animals have been modified. It is scarcely possible to doubt that the love of man has become instinctive in the dog. All wolves, foxes, jackals, and species of the cat genus, when kept tame, are most eager to attack poultry, sheep, and pigs; and this tendency has been found incurable in dogs which have been brought home as puppies from countries such as Tierra del Fuego and Australia, where the savages do not keep these domestic animals. How rarely, on the other hand, do our civilised dogs, even when quite young, require to be taught not to attack poultry, sheep, and pigs! No doubt they occasionally do make an attack, and are then beaten; and if not cured, they are destroyed; so that habit and some degree of selection have probably concurred in civilising by inheritance our dogs. On the other hand, young chickens have lost, wholly by habit, that fear of the dog and cat which no doubt was originally instinctive with them; for I am informed by Captain Hutton that the young chickens of the parent-stock, the Gallus bankiva, when reared in India under a hen, are at first excessively wild. So it is with young pheasants reared in England under a hen. It is not that chickens have lost all fear, but fear only of dogs and cats, for if the hen gives the danger-chuckle, they will run (more especially young turkeys) from under her, and conceal themselves in the surrounding grass or thickets; and this is evidently done for the instinctive purpose of allowing as we see in wild ground-birds, their mother to fly away. But this instinct retained by our chickens has become useless under domestication, for the mother-hen has almost lost by disuse the power of flight.
Hence, we may conclude, that under domestication instincts have been acquired, and natural instincts have been lost, partly by habit, and partly by man selecting and accumulating, during successive generations, peculiar mental habits and actions, which at first appeared from what we must in our ignorance call an accident. In some cases compulsory habit alone has sufficed to produce inherited mental changes; in other cases, compulsory habit has done nothing, and all has been the result of selection, pursued both methodically and unconsciously: but in most cases habit and selection have probably concurred.
 

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RateMyPitbull.com Moderator
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And this class, is an explanation of the process of selective breeding. This explains why a dog, whose natural instincts, would tell it to run from death, will continue to fight even though the dog's instincts tell it life is about to exit its body. I have often wondered if this breed could survive without man, and I don't think it could. Our dogs do not have the pack mentality. They would fight and kill for purposes other than survival, and would not bail when instincts should tell them to quit. In a few generations of life without humans, these tendencies may be bred out, but I don't think they would last a few generations. With no man around to love and only other animals in the world to hate, our dogs would not survive without us. What do you think?
 

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Hence, we may conclude, that under domestication instincts have been acquired, and natural instincts have been lost, partly by habit, and partly by man selecting and accumulating, during successive generations, peculiar mental habits and actions, which at first appeared from what we must in our ignorance call an accident. In some cases compulsory habit alone has sufficed to produce inherited mental changes; in other cases, compulsory habit has done nothing, and all has been the result of selection, pursued both methodically and unconsciously: but in most cases habit and selection have probably concurred.
I love Darwin! Great post, Betty! Thanks!
 

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Saw such a great special going into this in detail. It's called the science of dogs and it's on Netflix if you have it. Such a great show. I don't think it was the same show but it was about a litter of dogs and domesticated wolves raised to together as one pack. After numerius tests The wolves didn't included the humans as a part of their pack like the dogs did.

Maybe our pups would have a hard time on their own and conforming to other breeds packs but I like to think they would make it :)

Anyway very interesting thanks for sharing.
 
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