I'm Evan MacLean, director of the Arizona Canine Cognition Center at the University of Arizona. I am a comparative psychologist interested in canine intelligence and how cognition evolves. I study how dogs think, communicate and form bonds with humans. I also study assistance dogs, and what it takes for a dog to thrive in these important roles. You may have seen me in season 2, episode 1 of "The World According to Jeff Goldblum" on Disney , where I talked to Jeff about how dogs communicate with humans and what makes their relationship so special.

Proof: Here's my proof!

Update: Thanks for all the fun questions! Sorry I couldn't get to everything, but so happy to hear from so many dog lovers. I hope you all get some quality time with your pups over the holidays. I'll come back and chat more another time. Thanks!!

Comments: 1175 • Responses: 62  • Date: 

Uorag552 karma

My dog has a ritual every night when I am going to bed, she climbs up on the bed with me her tail is wagging furiously and she licks my face and neck nonstop. She seems almost frantic to do it or super enjoys it. We are very close and she is almost always at my side, but I am worried about the licking, is she scared or nervous or just showing affection. She pushes against me, leans on me. It is really cute and I love it, it appears she does. Is this something I should worry about or is it just affection?

evanlmaclean680 karma

This sounds like affection to me. Dogs are such social creatures. They get a lot out of simply being together with you. See my other reply about licking and some of its social significance in dogs.

hadees536 karma

Whats the deal with those dogs hitting the buttons? Are they really expressing complex thoughts?

evanlmaclean662 karma

Hard to know. you can train animals to do all kinds of things that look impressive but really aren't. A colleague is studying some of the button pressing stuffthough and it will be interesting to see what they think.

sjb_7514 karma

My dog is an excessive licker. Licks faces, feet, ankles, whatever she can reach. She's also very needy and attention seeking.

What is she doing and/or trying to tell me?

evanlmaclean891 karma

Dogs lick for lots of reasons. Sometimes things taste good. But licking is also a submissive or affiliative behavior in canids. Puppies actually lick at their mother's mouth to get her to regurgitate food. So, when your dog is licking your mouth.....

RbrtEvers497 karma

We dog owners are convinced that our animals love us. But, do they really? I know some dogs will protect their human family to the death. But I've also read that anyone can feed your dog and show it enough attention, and eventually it will transfer loyalty. What's the scoop, really?

evanlmaclean989 karma

Great question. And it depends how you define love. There are emotional components, that are basically very strong social bonds rooted in attachment. And cognitive components like thinking about wanting good things for somebody after you die. I think the emotional components are there with dogs and there is good science to this point. We study some hormones involved in love, like oxytocin, that both dogs and people release when interacting with a bonded partner. At the level of the brain and physiology I think its safe to say that dogs do love us. But they may be able to develop love for other people quickly too...which is wonderful!

chickennoobiesoup491 karma

If dogs could talk, what would they say that might surprise us?

evanlmaclean1723 karma

"Just because I'm wagging my tail doesn't mean I'm happy you moron"

Sibe2600329 karma

Any advice on forming a bond with a timid and traumatized dog? I adopted him a year ago; he was a street dog for most of his life though I don't know how he survived on his own as he is scared of everything in the world. He seems happy when I feed him but otherwise scared of everything I do, even if all I do is get up from the couch or look at him. I just can't seem to get past his fears.

evanlmaclean470 karma

This is always tough. Once bitten, twice shy. It takes a long time and slow building of confidence. If you are spending time with your dog in safe places, and showing them affection, this is the best bet, but it takes a long time to overcome trauma. Your pups is lucky to have you!

allthatryry285 karma

What are your thoughts on dog parks/dog day care? It seems vets and trainers are usually against them, and I do see their points. But it has been so great for my 2 year old Rat Terrier!

evanlmaclean563 karma

Just like the best diet is the one that works for you, the best social setting for your dog is the one that works for them. Lots of dogs love daycare and/or parks, and others absolutely hate it. There's no good universal recommendation. If your dog is excited to do it and it works well for them, that's all that matters!

dancole42252 karma

I often ask my dog to do multiple tricks - or multiple instances of the same trick - before giving a reward.

Sit! High five! High five! Gimme a kiss! One more! Another! Another! Down! Up! Down! Up! WOOF! WOOF! Good girl, done! <throw ball>

I worry she thinks she did the first tricks wrong and that's why I'm asking her to do more. Am I filling her with self-doubt?

Dog tax: https://imgur.com/a/neQWqnm

PS I taught her to bark when I say "woof" so it feels like we're having a conversation.

evanlmaclean313 karma

your dog pic gets a reply! cute pup! One thing you can do is to introduce secondary reinforcers where you have something like a spoken phrase that is often paired with the treat, but sometimes used alone (like after that first trick) to indicate 'good' without having to always use food.

1longtime250 karma

Why do some dogs bind so tightly to one human? Is the old "one master dog" trope a real thing?

source: German Shepherd made of velcro

evanlmaclean233 karma

Ha! It does seem that there are some breeds / individuals that like a single social bond more so than others. I don't think we know nearly enough about this though. A colleague and I have ideas that it may be something about interactions between oxytocin, vasopressin, and social reward that creates more and less selective forms of sociality, but we don't have the data to think enough about this yet.

Voodoobones185 karma

Who’s a good boy?

evanlmaclean281 karma

you are! you are the best boy!

tolovan173 karma

As a (human) psychologist I have often found that dogs tend to share symptoms with their humans. Especially psychosomatic issues. What are your thoughts on that?

evanlmaclean240 karma

interesting! There are some studies showing personality congruences in dogs and people. But the open question is why. Do people select dogs like themselves? Or do dogs and people develop similar personalities / characteristics as a function of their lives together.

uhdog81163 karma

Can you recommend any resources for learning about how dogs communicate through their body language? I feel like a lot of dog owners misunderstand so much of their own dogs behavior, and there are a lot of resources (especially w.r.t. training) that just give outright incorrect information.

evanlmaclean239 karma

This book has some great illustrations. You are absolutely right that people are, in general, terrible at understanding dog body language.

blitched148 karma

I've always been interested in the nature vs nurture question when it comes to dogs: how much does breed and genetics play into things vs how a dog is raised and trained?

evanlmaclean276 karma

We think a lot about this. Genetic factors definitely contribute to differences among breeds, and within breeds too. But you can think of the genetics as a 'push' in a certain direction, not a destiny. Here's some papers we've written on this if you are interested.

Within breeds.

Between breeds (behavior) (cognition)

IndianGuyFromYouTube142 karma

Why are Huskies such an assholes. ?


dog tax

evanlmaclean140 karma

The perennial question among dog behaviorists :) Kidding! I love huskies!

Onlydogcanjudgeme69132 karma

What is your opinion on breed intelligence rankings? I have an Australian cattle dog, which is ranked #10ish in most rankings, and he is very smart. But I have a hard time seeing how sighthounds or scent hounds are considered less smart when they are so incredible at what they are bred to do. Do you place any stock in these rankings? My inclination is to think they are more based on eagerness to please humans (smarter breeds) and stubbornness and likelihood of becoming distracted (“dumb” breeds). Thanks for doing this!

evanlmaclean386 karma

I have very strong opinions here actually. I don't think the rankings make any sense. The main reason is that intelligence is not one thing. There are different kinds of intelligence. And some species are incredibly intelligent in some ways, but not in others. The same is true in dogs. We find evidence for different kinds of intelligence. Here are some papers. I call BS on anybody who thinks they can do a simple ranking of breeds based in intelligence:

individual differences

breed differences

hotsprings1234126 karma

Is it true that Pavlov's hair was soft... Because he conditioned it?

evanlmaclean81 karma


DietInTheRiceFactory121 karma

My brother and I have an argument. He thinks dogs sneezing while playing is deliberate communication that the action is play. I think it's more likely that sneezing is a physiological response to clacking teeth and bumping noses, but that that response is generally physiologically suppressed during non-play fighting.

Could you settle the bet for us? Or are we both off base?

evanlmaclean176 karma

ooh. Wish I could offer a solid response. Sneezing does seem to have some communicative functions in some canids. Check this out.

Ten-Bones102 karma

Thank you for doing this.

How do they study what dogs dream about?

evanlmaclean214 karma

In terms of the content of dreams, we can't really do this. But we assume dog dreams are similar to those of other mammals, including humans, with random bits of experience meshing together in interesting ways. Certainly it seems based on motor patterns that are not completely suppressed during REM sleep, that dog dreams involving things like running, and vocalizing.

Ky20002899 karma

The age old golden question- do dogs really like having their belly rubbed or do they just think we enjoy rubbing their bellies?

evanlmaclean165 karma

A lot of dogs love it for sure. But not all. Laying on the back puts a dog in a position of vulnerability and they don't like to do it unless they are comfortable around a person. Sometimes this is done submissively, but more often its from a sense of safety and that they actually enjoy the tummy rubs.

Euro-Canuck94 karma

Is my Beagle just using me for my food and chewy supply?

evanlmaclean150 karma

+ your love

dodo321191 karma

I fear dogs on the street, stray or pets. Whether they’re friendly or not, I get a sense that they’ll bite me anytime. How do I train myself to not be afraid of them?

evanlmaclean151 karma

Pretty common, especially if you've had a negative experience in the past. My best advice would be to work up to this slowly. If you have a friend or neighbor with a chill dog, start by dedicating some time to just be around that dog. Let yourself get comfortable in a very safe and controlled environment. If you do create opportunities to do this with several dogs, I think eventually you'll get more comfortable. Learning to understand dog body language is also important and can help you get a good read on situations when you encounter dogs.

orangejoobs88 karma

What are some ways to build the bond with your dog? I feel I have a good relationship with my puppy, but he loves other people so much and always wants to say hi and be near them, to the point where I feel ignored sometimes. Not sure if this is an age thing or a breed thing (he is a lab), but I would love some ideas on how to build our bond even more!

evanlmaclean183 karma

Consider yourself lucky that you have such a friendly pup! I have a lab who does the same. I think the best way to bond with your dog is just by spending time together in relaxed settings. Petting your dog while reading or watching TV, or taking walks creates a sense of togetherness that goes a long way.

lucanusor84 karma

Are assistance dogs happy playing that role?

evanlmaclean162 karma

Hopefully! This is a big challenge. Just like some people love their jobs, and others don't, fit matters a lot here. Its our job not just to find dogs who can do the work well, but to find dogs who enjoy doing it. The better service dog programs out there are good at making sure the dogs like the work, and doing "career changes" for those who don't.

gb2ab84 karma

do dogs really not know when they have done something wrong while youre out of the house?

for example- i come home, walk in the house, and my dog instantly acts sheepish, avoids eye contact, and just will not greet me like normal. 10 minutes later i find whatever item the dog has shredded and realize why the dog was acting weird when i got home

in the past, i have heard that in that type of scenario, the dog doesnt know they did anything wrong, and you cannot "punish" them for the crime they committed while you were gone. but too many times to count, but very sporadically, that scenario has happened to me. i notice the dogs body language before i notice whatever damage was done.

do you think dogs are able to make the connection of bad behavior and feeling the need to show remorse?

evanlmaclean165 karma

at in that type of scenario, the dog doesnt know they did anything wrong, and you cannot "punish" them for the crime they committed while you were gone. but too many times to count, but very sporadically, that scenario has happened to me. i notice the dogs body language before i notice whatever damage was done.

People are working on this. Alexandra Horowitz has done the most I think. Dogs may display these behaviors because in the past they have been punished for something, and now they have an association between that punishment and the event. But that doesn't mean that if you come home and yell at the dog they will understand why. If you are trying to correct an undesirable behavior, its best to only respond to it the moment in happens (not hours later assuming the dog would make a connection). And of course, there are humane ways to discourage a behavior that you should be using.

NJShadow71 karma

Have you noticed any trends or studied when a dog turns its head to the side as you're talking, as though it's genuinely trying to listen and understand you?

evanlmaclean106 karma

OptiqueMarquis67 karma

What's your take on "dangerous" breeds? Is there such a thing?

evanlmaclean273 karma

This is really complicated. On average, there are some breeds that may be more aggressive than others. But this doesn't say anything about a given dog of a given breed. There is tons of overlap across breeds. I am very much AGAINST breed specific legislation for a host of reasons. I'll give you an analogy that I use in my course on dogs: Think about human violence. Men commit something like > 90% of all murders. Without question men are wildly more violent than women. So, should we ban men? (maybe). If you are a man are you necessarily violent? Of course not! We need to think about breeds the same way.

MisterGGGGG47 karma

What do you think of the hypothesis that dogs evolved from wolves with Williams-Beuren syndrome?

evanlmaclean111 karma

So the thinking here is not so much that there were wolves with WBS, that dogs were decended from, but rather that during domestication there were some genetic mutations similar to those we see in WBS. We're actually currently doing research on this looking at how genetic variation implicated in WBS is related to social behavior with dogs.

bookynerdworm46 karma

It's petting a dog when they are stressed reinforce that feeling in them?

evanlmaclean80 karma

No - or at least probably not. As long as your dog likes the petting it will soothe them. If they are uncomfortable being petted (e.g. from a stranger) it could exacerbate fear/stress though.

jekylll39 karma

What are your thoughts on the "alpha dog" theories? I think it's overblown, but my friend seems to think I'm letting my (15 lb poodle/havanese mix) dog think he is the alpha by letting him sleep on my bed, and that's why he doesn't always listen to me. I think he's just a 1yo puppy who needs more training. Thoughts?

evanlmaclean200 karma

A couple questions on alpha dog stuff so I'll respond here. The first is whether dogs recognize something like a dominance relationship with people. The answer is that they do. And you can see this for example through things like greeting behavior where they exhibit submissive signals. But do you need to be a tough guy with your dog? Absolutely not. Dogs like a friendly leader, not an asshole. You have so much power just by virtue of the natural dynamics of dog ownership. you provide food, you allow access to places etc. In animal behavior "dominance" just means priority of access to resources. It doesn't mean strongest or meanest etc. Be NICE to your dog. Thats what matters. There is a lot of BS out there about trying to be an alpha.

momtofourleggedbabes39 karma

What are the studies on dog behavior telling us about positive vs negative reinforcement dog training methods?

evanlmaclean97 karma

You'll get differences of opinion here. There are some studies showing that punitive methods can lead to behavior problems or worse training results. I think there are important distinctions though between what is effective and what people think we should do morally and ethically. Sometimes what works is not always what we should do.

xHangfirex30 karma

We like to think that we domesticated dogs, but how much have dogs changed us?

evanlmaclean51 karma

we don't know for sure. But some people think dogs played key roles in human evolution. For one provocative theory, check out this work:

mydoghasocd28 karma

My dog randomly barks at nothing. Is he seeing ghosts, and protecting me from them?

evanlmaclean94 karma

Nothing to you! But of course in his world, there may be smells and sounds you can't perceive. But its probably ghosts :) You do a lot of stuff he can't figure out too.

mhobdog27 karma

Hello from Tucson! Go wildcats!

I’ve always been curious, since dogs evolved from wolves, who aren’t known to be friendly…

Dogs are affectionate & friendly. Did this trait evolve because it increased food security for them, and if so, is affection now something dogs “choose” to do or just an unconscious behavior born from evolution?

evanlmaclean100 karma

Hey Tucson! So, its a misconception that wolves aren't friendly. In the wild, wolf packs are families and they get along really well (between packs things can get nasty though) Probably in domestication there was a relaxation of who dogs were willing to consider as social partners, or part of their group, which allows them to extend the highly sociable nature of wolves to broader sets of social partners.

fixthemods26 karma

Do you think like foxes, wolves and other kind of more wild canines can create the same bond as a domesticated dog?

evanlmaclean82 karma

Potentially. To me the answer is not whether it CAN happen, but rather how easily it happens. Studies with dogs show that even 5 minutes of human contact a day during development is enough to have them socialized with and interested in people. You can do it in wolves or foxes too, but you need near constant contact throughout development for the bond for form similarly. So, dogs are prepared for bonds with people in ways other animals aren't. But these kinds of bonds are also generally easier for species that naturally form bonds with members of their own species, and most canids do this.

hereappleapple26 karma

Do dogs have any concept of time? My dog acts like she hasn’t seen me for a million years if I briefly walk out to grab something from my garage. I get the same greeting regardless of whether I have been gone for 5 minutes or 5 hours.

Thanks for doing this! I have enjoyed reading through the thread and learning a little more about my best friend.

evanlmaclean40 karma

thats admittedly strange. a similarly big greeting after an hour or 8 hours might be normal. Five minutes seems off. Older dogs do suffer from dementia which can impair some things like memory and sense of time. Not sure how old your pup is.

VanCanFan7525 karma

I've got one of those dogs that pees/marks frequently during a walk. He seems very intent in leaving his scent everywhere. what I don't understand is why my dog wants to mark around our house when we leave the house. Any tips on how to get him to stop marking in the house? It seems instinctual to him. Thanks in advance from my carpet cleaner.

evanlmaclean33 karma

Marking is often a territorial thing. Wolves mark primarily around the perimeter of their territory. So, marking around the house makes sense. When it comes to inside peeing though, thats tough. The best bet is to keep eyes on him and scoot him out the door quickly if he ever starts to pee. Also diapers can work sometimes (if he would be reluctant to pee in them while indoors).

storm0425 karma

Are you accepting PhD students?

evanlmaclean45 karma

This year's application cycle just closed, but next year, yes! Details at dogs.arizona.edu

Zealousideal_Quit32523 karma

I want to get a relatively low maintenance dog for my family, what do you suggest? We had a gsd before and he was wonderful but I ended up doing the majority of the work.

evanlmaclean70 karma

Breed recommendations are so hard because while there are differences between breeds at the population level, there is a ton of individual variation within all breeds. If you don't mind hair though, I think Labrador retrievers are some of the best family dogs.

bkrlky23 karma

Do dogs feel guilt?

evanlmaclean35 karma

Open question and hot topic. I linked previously, but will again direct to great work by Alexandra Horowitz who thinks about this: https://psychology.barnard.edu/profiles/alexandra-horowitz

ariesfrost18 karma

Do you have a dog of your own? Have you ran tests or studies on your own dog? What's your favorite breed of dog and why?

evanlmaclean52 karma

I've got two amazing dogs. They get to participate in a lot of our pilot studies. Today my lab was playing a game on a computer touchscreen. Pretty cool!

Agonlaire17 karma

We rescued a puppy when she was around one month old, she was thrown over a fence into a house yard. She was very very scared all the time, and while she's doing better now at 8-9 months, she's still very quite easy to scare.

Sometimes she'll get very scared, bark and pee if she's in deep sleep and I go out of my room, she also pees all over and gets very submissive 90% of the times someone arrives home, she also barks if any noise is made in the front of the house or if she hears human voices, also very scared of "strangers".

Recently a friend came over for a bit, she was scared at first but was quick to improve, a few minutes later another friend arrived and she was very scared and didn't really get over it, she just stopped barking after s while but looked scared.

Other than that she's always comfortable around the house, she's always around anyone at home, sleeps under my desk when I'm working, follows anyone who goes downstairs, etc. Aside from her nervousness and scares, she's very playful and honestly a really great dog.

Is there a way to "fix" any of this? I'm also a bit worried because she looks to be a pitbull mix.

evanlmaclean27 karma

I think systematic desensitization is probably the best bet. But while I study dog behavior and cognition, I am not involved in treatment and always encourage people to seek advice from certified veterinary behaviorists when possible: https://www.dacvb.org/

Morph70716 karma

My english bulldog refuses to go for a walk if only one person walks him, it needs to be at least two people. Any advice on this?

evanlmaclean21 karma

find a friend for your walks :) No idea - first I have heard of this one!

RegulatoryCapturedMe14 karma

What do you think of service dog breeding/breed selection (hybrid/purebred/rescue)?

Also, do you think it possible to breed out the health issues seen commonly, like bad hips?

evanlmaclean30 karma

I am involved in service dog work and breeding programs. And without question, good breeding programs have produced dogs that are better equipped for these jobs, and healthier (including hips!). Anything that has a genetic basis can be selected, and most health characteristics in dogs do. We just have to have systematic breeding programs that prioritize health (not appearance). The shelter dog programs are interesting. Its a different model, but it may work well in some circumstances.

forestwolf4214 karma

Is it possible dogs domesticated us? They sure do get a lot out of us

evanlmaclean41 karma

I have a lecture in my course about dogs where I basically try to convince the students that dogs meet all classical definitions of being a parasite. I don't really believe it, but its a fun thought experiment and there are so many things about them that can really push the right buttons in people. A big part of it is that dogs have baby-like features...something the ethologist Konrad Lorenz called kindchenschema. Our brains are adapted to see those signals and want to nurture.

jomfletch14 karma

is it true that dogs don't have the understanding of what accidents are?

for example, i'm walking and my dog gets too close to my ankles and i kick him. does he think i did it ? does he just think nothing at all? if i say sorry does he accept apologies?

also second question, is it true dogs have no concept of time? whether you are gone for 10 minutes or 6 hours?


evanlmaclean26 karma

g gets too close to my ankles and i kick him. does he think i did it ? does he just think nothing at all? if i say sorry does he accept apologies?

also second question, is it true dogs have no concept of time? whether you are gone for 10 minutes or 6 hours?

The first part is a topic of research. Do dogs understand intentions? We don't know enough about this yet. As for apologies, I don't think they would get this in terms of understanding a concept like remorse, but you can do things to quickly "repair" the situation that function the same way. A quick "sorry" with petting and play tends to heal the wound and send the right message.

As for understanding time, dogs most certainly have a sense of time. Thats BS folklore that they don't.

colin_atn14 karma

Does my dog remember things we did when I first got him? For example does he remember me chasing him around the neighborhood when he got out.

evanlmaclean13 karma

Probably some of it! There are different memory systems, ane the one involving a reliving of a past experience is called episodic memory. Whether animals have this is controversial, but there is some really cool evidence that dogs might!: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-67302-0

FootHiker12 karma

I saw a brain imaging study a few years ago saying that the emotion dogs and humans most closely share is fear. Can you elaborate on that?

evanlmaclean30 karma

Not sure which paper you are talking about but there are now a bunch of great brain imaging studies in dogs. Its hard to say what is most shared because we can't clearly map most emotions to a discrete area of the brain. But fear is a very primal emotion and the neural circuitry it relies on is shared across lots of animals (not just dogs and humans)

tino76810 karma

Why is it called the "Human-Animal" bond when humans are animals themselves?

evanlmaclean14 karma

You know? Good point! Even in my own field where we always specify nonhuman animal when talking about 'animals' we still say human-animal bond. I think intuitively people just get this though, wrong as it may be.

rivetcityransom10 karma

Have you done any research involving dogs that are highly trained for working, such as hunting retrievers? I'm an avid waterfowl hunter and retriever trainer and it's seems that the rigorous training that's involved in producing a good hunting dog leads to a wonderful bond between a hunter and their dog that's unique to that relationship, and different from a pet/owner dynamic.

evanlmaclean15 karma

We do a lot of research with working dogs and you are right that the systematic work with human partner is an incredible mechanism for creating a bond! I'm so happy you've had this experience!

Bundle_of_Grundle9 karma

What’s the best way to get my dog to bond with and accept my new baby? The dog has been very territorial with people outside our family coming into our home but never shown aggression towards the baby. Just wondering how to introduce the baby as part of the pack.

evanlmaclean23 karma

Slow and steady. I would leave items with your baby's scent around the house (e.g. last night's pajamas). And spend time with your baby (you holding) around the dog. Quickly enough the dog will treat your baby as part of the home environment and family. Just obviously make sure all dog and baby interactions are closely supervised.

zumera9 karma

Do you think it's possible for dogs to communicate with us through augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices? The recent trend pings my bullshit radar, especially when dog guardians claim their dogs are understanding and communicating concepts like time and emotion (conveniently in the same way that humans understand/communicate those concepts), but what does the science say?

evanlmaclean20 karma

The overinterpretation is real. And sadly the media loves this stuff. BUT, that doesn't mean that we can't develop technologies that allow for better communication. Just don't expect dogs to write any novels using this stuff in the near future. There are some very impressive studies on word learning in dogs. Just not using these button systems. Check out this work.

vhw_8 karma

so my two dogs used to be strays living down the street (previously there were three of them but one got taken away) and i took'em both in after a few months of feeding'em. How can I tell they're happy being adopted now? It's been 2.5 years, first half year was rough on the oldest girl (she was about 1yo when she was took in) but she seems to have gotten the hang of it by now.

evanlmaclean18 karma

it can be hard to judge! I think one good indicator that animals are happy is when they seem eager to meet the day, and excited for what comes next. That paired with showing signs of actually relaxing in between is important. If your dog is constantly vigilant and can't settle down, or seems reluctant to do every day things, that would be concerning.

superslomo1 karma

We adopted a pair of alleged littermates, sisters, who are Great Pyrenees (mixes) that were found lost together. Do dogs who are companions from birth see human beings in a different way with respect to authority and alpha status than individual dogs or dogs that are not related?

evanlmaclean2 karma

I don't know about the dominance pieces, which I have commented on elsewhere. But dogs do have to be socialized to both people and other dogs at young ages for them to develop normal social responses to them. So, if they were close from early in life, their social sphere may be more dog oriented than, say, a dog who was adopted into a family without other dogs and who had limited dog contact in early life. Its best when dogs can be well socialized to both people AND other dogs.

Caddy6661 karma

Are dogs more intelligent than conservatives?

evanlmaclean8 karma

oh man....I am hoping to get tenure in AZ. Can I defer answering this question for a few months. Or maybe I just did.