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.
Dogs have been selectively bred for thousands of years, sometimes by inbreeding dogs from the same ancestral lines, sometimes by mixing dogs from very different lines. The process continues today, resulting in a widening in appearance without speciation, "from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane."
Getting a dog is not just an emotional commitment; it is also a financial one, too. But when it comes to money, not all dogs are created equal. A bit of research goes a long way in discovering which dog breed is best for your budget.
Dogs can either serve as watchdogs or guard dogs or both. A watchdog s job is to bark and raise the alarm when a stranger enters your property. Their job is to warn you. Many small dog breeds make great watch dogs. Whereas a guard dog s job is to look intimidating and protect his family by keeping intruders out. Some breeds are great guard dogs but not great watchdogs. And vice versa. And a few breeds are both great guard dogs and great watchdogs.