they're good genes Brent
June 1, 2019 3:20 PM   Subscribe

 
love for dogs may be coded in our DNA.

And vice versa I would think.
posted by Splunge at 3:47 PM on June 1 [4 favorites]


Doesn't seem too astounding. The archeological evidence so far seems to say that our hunting/foraging ancestors kept dogs as pets for at least a hundred thousand years, while cats have been hanging around only since farming settlements have been storing grain (and attracting mice).

I like to think that at times, our ancestors and wolves must've recognized that we were sharing the same ecological niche. Stalking a deer in a clearing, we must've looked across to see each other on the far side. It's amazing that we actually teamed up, and maybe it wasn’t entirely our idea. What we consider cute and admirable has probably been shaped by dogs. I've heard that primates don’t understand the concept of pointing- dogs probably taught us that. They may have even given us some social manners and concepts about acceptable behaviour. Just going by what I've seen on TV docs, dog packs seem way more orderly and sensible than primate troops...primates just seem to do whatever horrible thing pops into their heads.

Edit: what Splunge said.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:48 PM on June 1 [12 favorites]


further evidence for my thesis that civilization is going to the dogs
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:14 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


I recall a recent nature documentary that showed how a troop of baboons would kidnap young pups from a nearby pack of wild dogs, feeding and raising them, whereupon the grown dogs would then protect the baboons.

I suspect the primate-canid relationship may well precede humans. It would be interesting to see if similar genetic correlations are present in members of that baboon troop...
posted by darkstar at 6:42 PM on June 1 [7 favorites]


That's fine, but my love for cats has wormed its way into my brain, dig.
posted by symbioid at 6:42 PM on June 1 [10 favorites]


how many generations would it take to correct this?
posted by lefty lucky cat at 7:34 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Dog lovers believe they are worthy of unconditional love. Cat lovers don’t believe anything, because they have that brain parasite you get from cat feces.
posted by Automocar at 7:39 PM on June 1 [17 favorites]


i dont know about dogs but my love for chorizo is definitely coded in my dna
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:24 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


I recall a recent nature documentary that showed how a troop of baboons would kidnap young pups from a nearby pack of wild dogs, feeding and raising them, whereupon the grown dogs would then protect the baboons.

A reporter who did some investigation found that it probably isn’t true.
posted by D.C. at 9:41 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


love for dogs may be coded in our DNA.

And vice versa I would think.


Love for DNA is coded in dogs? That would explain why they like to eat poop.
posted by sylvanshine at 11:04 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I recall that in an essay Pierre Bordieu wrote about Habitus, that cats are favored by those whose politics align with left-wing ideals, and dogs are favored by those whose politics align with right-wing ideals...
posted by nikoniko at 1:57 AM on June 2 [4 favorites]


Keeping a dog costs money and requires a resonably spacious house. In surveys most pet owners have reported higher household incomes than average.

Wealthy parents tend to have to wealthy children, so all this web-based study tells us is that the American Dream of equality of opportunity is dead.
posted by Lanark at 2:24 AM on June 2 [5 favorites]


I love dogs the same way I love toddlers, really. Super cute, but I really want to give them back after an hour, I am entirely missing whatever makes people want to take them home and have one *all the time*
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:26 AM on June 2 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure if humans had co-evolved with cat companions we would have thicker skin on our stomachs instead of having to earn scar tissue (Cat is making biscuits on my stomach right now and it being summer I have insufficient layers of clothing to protect myself from her murder mittens).
posted by srboisvert at 3:17 AM on June 2 [9 favorites]


I'm pretty sure if humans had co-evolved with cat companions we would have thicker skin on our stomachs

I keep catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thinking I have some sort of horrible stomach rash. Nope, just kitty claws.
posted by stillnocturnal at 3:38 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


A genetic love of dogs can be severely curtailed by an environment of mean, untrained, off-leash dogs.
posted by clawsoon at 6:26 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


I think love of dogs actually somehow replaced whatever in my genetic makeup is supposed to make me like babies - the only way I can understand other people's enthusiastic reactions towards infants is to pretend they're looking at a dog instead ...
posted by DingoMutt at 11:31 AM on June 2 [5 favorites]


Too bad picking up dog crap isn't in my neighbor's DNA.
posted by madajb at 2:29 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


I enjoy a good dog people vs. cat people thing as much as anyone, but really aren’t a great many of us just generic “OMG LOOK AT THE FURRY FRIEND” people? I will tell any dog or cat they are the Goodest Boy/Girl Ever and mean it.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:30 PM on June 2 [7 favorites]


I must be missing this strand of DNA then because I'm really not a dog person. I've become friends with very specific dogs (friends' dogs) and there are a few that I do like, but on the whole dogs elicit a "meh" at best.

CATS THOUGH. Being told that I was highly allergic to cats was the most devastating medical news I've gotten so far, and I had just gotten diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. I've been cleared for toxoplasmosis (the test for it is weird), so I'm just a natural crazy cat lady.
posted by divabat at 4:42 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


BuddhaInABucket: I am very much a OMG FURRY FRIEND person, but dogs rank pretty low in my level of enthusiasm.
posted by divabat at 4:44 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure that "love" is the right word. I can certainly believe that millennia of co-evolution (and targeted selection of dogs by humans) have made the dog-human relation somewhat special at genetic level, but until fairly recently dogs were primarily tools for protection and hunting, not lovable pets. Their companionship was reserved to elites (partly as as status symbol I guess). Otherwise, dogs are/were just another domestic animal: they're considered to be unclean, they're not wanted insided the house, mistreating them is not frowned upon, puppies are not "cute" (unwanted puppies are drowned or worse), and of course some cultures raise dogs for meat.
posted by elgilito at 5:52 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Always with the negative waves, elgilito. Always with the negative waves.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:38 PM on June 2


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