Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) have developed a close relationship with humans through the process of domestication. In human-dog interactions, eye contact is a key element of relationship initiation and maintenance. Previous studies have suggested that canine ability to produce human-directed communicative signals is influenced by domestication history, from wolves to dogs, as well as by recent breed selection for particular working purposes. To test the genetic basis for such abilities in purebred dogs, we examined gazing behavior towards humans using two types of behavioral experiments: the ‘visual contact task’ and the ‘unsolvable task’. A total of 125 dogs participated in the study. Based on the genetic relatedness among breeds subjects were classified into five breed groups: Ancient, Herding, Hunting, Retriever-Mastiff and Working). We found that it took longer time for Ancient breeds to make an eye-contact with humans, and that they gazed at humans for shorter periods of time than any other breed group in the unsolvable situation. Our findings suggest that spontaneous gaze behavior towards humans is associated with genetic similarity to wolves rather than with recent selective pressure to create particular working breeds.
For example, a bill currently under consideration in New Jersey would ban breeders from selling dogs outside the state unless the sale was made face-to-face. If you are a breeder in New Jersey and a potential buyer in say, California, is interested in one of your dogs, this buyer would have to come to New Jersey to see and buy the dog. Or the breeder would have to take the dog to California. This is obviously onerous and unnecessary. It also adds a tremendous expense to the cost of the dog. This kind of legislation is proposed in the name of “consumer protection” but it is actually meant to punish and discourage dog breeding.
When large dogs eliminate, they eliminate a lot more than small dogs. More goes in and more comes out of large breeds. Which is something to keep in mind if your dog will live inside - especially if you live in a high rise apartment and he will have to be litter box trained (there is always going to be more to clean up).
If you own one of the 11 "riskiest" dog breeds -- which include Rottweilers, Pit Bulls and Doberman Pinschers -- you may face some big homeowners or renters insurance headaches, even if the only things your pup has ever taken a bite of are his Alpo and bone. These days, companies offering homeowners and renters insurance are pickier than ever about which types of dogs they’ll insure and which they won’t