Some husbandry practices are influenced by the artificiality of our modern (and appearance-conscious) society. Cosmetic surgery is one such example. Cosmetic surgery is an unmistakably poor practice because it is unnecessarily painful and functionally useless if not detrimental. Some of the most common physical modifications involve the tail and ears. Tail docking, for example, was a widespread practice.
Domestic dogs, like other canids, are a social species. Attachment behaviors are important for maintaining social contact. Similarly, isolation and separation distress (i.e. anxiety) are important for reuniting group members (Horowitz, 2000). Because dogs consider their human family to be their social group, it is not surprising that separation distress in dogs is one of the most common behavior problems for which pet owners seek professional help.
The key to teaching stay is timing. It is extremely important to reward your dog while she is engaged in the correct behavior (i.e. the stay), not after you have released her. Treating your dog after you have released her creates anticipation, which makes some dogs more likely to get up prematurely.
On 3 July, my wife and I adopted two kittens from the PetSmart in Greenbelt, MD. For those of you who don’t know, these in-store cat adoptions are sponsored by Last Chance Animal Rescue, which acquires cats and kittens from 40 high-kill shelters in eight states. Inevitably, in our highly judgmental society, two points prompt disapproval from some people. Not only did we fail to adopt one of the oft-ignored older cats but we also failed to adopt one from in-state, like from our city or county animal shelter.
Humans have shaped canine behavior through domestication, artificial selection, and husbandry practices. These forces have contributed to the development of a human-like animal with regards to both socio-cognitive behavior and pathology. These canine-human similarities have led to a close but insecure relationship with humans.