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Just something I was pondering. Now I know some people believe animals are capable of similar human emotions. Those of us who believe a dog can love their owner would probably believe that dogs protect out of love and loyalty to their owner. Now for those who don't believe dogs love and only act out of instinct, what would be the reason for protecting? Would it be as simple as resource guarding? Or in the wolf pack do wolves commonly jump in and save their fellow member from being attacked by another wolf out of loyalty to his pack? Just to provoke some thoughts out of everyone. ;)
 

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Pits Are For Chicks
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Dogs are pack animals so yes, they tend to protect their pack for the sake of the fact that its "family". As dog breeds developed they lost many traits of wild wolves, but some things like being den animals seems to stick with them.
 

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I think that they are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. I swear Marley understood english just as well as any human. The look in his eyes was very intelligent. I do believe that they are capable of love and emotions.
 

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I believe a little of both sides of that argument.
Keira is very loving, always tries to please, and is very communicative. I feel like she loves me. But she also is very much a pack animal... She is happiest when she has Caesar and the cats close by everyone else, and she is very respectful and submissive with her humans. She knows her place in the pecking order... she is only above (in her eyes) the cats. Caesar is very dominant, and not as loving as Keira-- he's affectionate, but he prefers to be left to his own devices. He is submissive towards his humans, but most submissive with my husband. I think it's more of the pack mentality with him rather than the loving, people-loving way that Keira is. (If that makes sense-- trying to put how it feels into words) Keira is more devoted to individuals in her pack, whereas C tends to protect the pack as a whole. SO I think that dogs DO have feelings-- are capable of some emotion... but some dogs are more wolf-like in behavior.
I think it is dependent on the individual dog, however... as some dogs are more personable and display those attributes, where other dogs don't always.
 

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Dogs are pack animals so yes, they tend to protect their pack for the sake of the fact that its "family". As dog breeds developed they lost many traits of wild wolves, but some things like being den animals seems to stick with them.
As a general rule i agree with this though we have breeds both historic and today that were never meant to be pack animals. The pack mentality is a very common "trait" if you will but does not cover all dog breed so because of this that argument is flawed.. Not to say i'm disagreeing with you as all arguments for the topic can be flawed in many aspects if we look at all breeds combined and not just a selection.

In general, we have instilled a common ground of obey, respect and respond to the human handler..The human "family" or "pack". A well bred guardian will respond to a stranger as HA where as a sound temperament will offer respect to the handler. A dog bred to be a [] dog, historically, will not fair well as a pack dog as the intentions and selection are far differ than that of a traditional livestock guardian..In the aspect of they do not work in "packs" if we are to refer to protection all within, including animals alike in one co-existance. (Pack - Family - etc)

So there is no real "one" answer to sum up all..If there is, its that genetically we have instilled that "protective" mentality across the board of all dogs in some level of the spectrum..However that is slowly changing as the modern dog has less purpose and more status symbol. Breeding practices aimed towards registry standard sells and with that has come destruction of many breeds...Evidence is provided through the current "history"..HA, DA and all levels of reacting or redirecting can be traced now through many breeds that are traditionally not such.. Only a matter of time before the "pack mentality" shifts.. You can't change one aspect without altering another.

The pack mentality as AP13 mentioned is a good general rule though it can't be applied to all.
 

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to me dogs are like ppl, they are all different. Some intellgent; others not so much. Some more protective others who will turn tail and run. So I can't say all dogs are or even act like they're protective of thier human. My aunt has a daucshund that would just watch you kill her. The most laid back don't give a flip dog i've ever met. Then she has her min pin who will and infact has taken chunks out of ppl who even acted like they were attacking my aunt.
But over all i truly believe that dogs are much smarter and capable of more emtion then what most ppl give credit for.
 

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a dogs brain would have to be analyzed to see if they are capable of love imo
 

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I don't care what most people say. Dog's are freaking smart!! There is someone in my platoon who has a service dog that completely understands pretty much everything you say. And she gives the weirdest looks when you say dumb stuff too, haha.
 

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i think dogs are capable of love and i think that humans think that they are top bananas in the brain department when i've met dogs smarter than some people. but we dont give enough credit to every living creature. most of them can survive in the wild... alot of us cant... just saying
 

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Dogs do feel emotions. They can be happy, sad, or depressed like any of us so why is it so hard to grasp the fact that they can love? Just because people think they are far superior to any other living creature, doesn't mean that they don't have feelings and emotions. Animals mourn the loss of their owners just as they owners do their pets, and why is this? Because they love us and we love them.
 

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As a general rule i agree with this though we have breeds both historic and today that were never meant to be pack animals. The pack mentality is a very common "trait" if you will but does not cover all dog breed so because of this that argument is flawed.. Not to say i'm disagreeing with you as all arguments for the topic can be flawed in many aspects if we look at all breeds combined and not just a selection.

In general, we have instilled a common ground of obey, respect and respond to the human handler..The human "family" or "pack". A well bred guardian will respond to a stranger as HA where as a sound temperament will offer respect to the handler. A dog bred to be a [] dog, historically, will not fair well as a pack dog as the intentions and selection are far differ than that of a traditional livestock guardian..In the aspect of they do not work in "packs" if we are to refer to protection all within, including animals alike in one co-existance. (Pack - Family - etc)

So there is no real "one" answer to sum up all..If there is, its that genetically we have instilled that "protective" mentality across the board of all dogs in some level of the spectrum..However that is slowly changing as the modern dog has less purpose and more status symbol. Breeding practices aimed towards registry standard sells and with that has come destruction of many breeds...Evidence is provided through the current "history"..HA, DA and all levels of reacting or redirecting can be traced now through many breeds that are traditionally not such.. Only a matter of time before the "pack mentality" shifts.. You can't change one aspect without altering another.

The pack mentality as AP13 mentioned is a good general rule though it can't be applied to all.
:goodpost:

Dogs do have emotions but not as we have complex emotion. People like to label canine behavior and put a label on it when it is a much simpler emotion. It is more instinctual than we like to believe because many of us need to attach human emotions to make us feel better.

By attaching human emotions to them we also create some behavior problems. Like separation anxiety is a learned behavior in most dogs because we as humans get emotional and create issues when we think with our hearts and not our head. Sorry a little OT but that is where it took me ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Remember we already had the love vs instinct argument. Now I'm getting at if a dog protects because of love or resource guarding. ;)
 

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a dogs brain would have to be analyzed to see if they are capable of love imo
in humans, love is pretty much just a chemical reaction in the brain. with dogs, the feelings they experience might be similar yet totally different from what people call "love" analyzing their brain may or may not prove anything.
 

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i think dogs are capable of love and i think that humans think that they are top bananas in the brain department when i've met dogs smarter than some people. but we dont give enough credit to every living creature. most of them can survive in the wild... alot of us cant... just saying
good post. in addition to my dogs, i have plenty of guns, ammo, green beret's survival guide and a nice emergency backpack. some people might laugh it off saying that if there is a zombie apocalypse they are gonna come to my place but, i like to be prepared for everything :)
 

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I truly believe dogs can love and have other feelings as well.

Though when it comes to protection I feel like its a slightly different story. I don't think dogs understand danger the same way that humans do and they are not afraid of pain like humans are therefore they will always be ready for a fight.

It a bad situation, a human will analyze the weapons and number of people and the pain that might be inflicted, though a dog will just be there ready to fight without even thinking twice.
 

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I believe dogs can sense the anxiety or fear their human partners as well as some strangers display. This is why and how they react when put into a dangerous position. I do have to say we have taught our dogs certain words and actions that would put them "on notice" danger lurks and they will react to it.
 

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I also think a lot of animals are smarter than humans give them credit for. I mean dolphins are now using tools to catch fish, that's not something they taught themselves its something they learned by watching humans. Saying animals do not feel or love like humans is BS, you can never tell how they feel or love so how do you know its not like a humans feels and loves? Has anyone talked to a dog? has anyone been a dog and knows they have different feelings? I am not saying they do or don't just wondering why people feel they can speculate on something they have, and will never have, a clue about since they are human and not an animal. Maybe it makes them feel better if they think their dog doesn't miss them or need to be with them that much if the dog doesn't have feelings. i also know that humans emote their feelings onto others as well, like If I am in a bad mood and I go to work I feel better cause there are people in a good mood and I can't help being OK. Good karma and all that.

Just got finished watching Food inc. (GREAT movie BTW) In one scene a vet is reaching into the gut of a cow and the cow is clamped down by its head and in a cage to not be able to move. The cow is trying his best to get away (with the little room he has to even move) and the vet is reaching into his stomach and saying "yeah this doesn't hurt the cow at all, they don't have feelings" HOW does he know if a cow can feel pain or not??? How can people make such ridiculous statements about stuff that they have no clue about? And why is the cow moving over as much as he can and mooing every time your arm reaches into the belly to remove corn based feed from clogging its arteries???
 

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i'd say love because if it was resource gaurding then he'd think you were food...

i mean like on walks and what not if a stranger started harassing you.
 

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i'd say love because if it was resource gaurding then he'd think you were food...

i mean like on walks and what not if a stranger started harassing you.
I agree. I say love, or loyalty, which might be the same thing to them...
 
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