It’s easy to look into the adorable eyes of our pampered puppies and think they’re utterly helpless without us. dog Living in the wild is enough to drive some owners to despair. But imagine what would happen if humans suddenly disappeared and dogs had to fend for themselves. In such an apocalyptic scenario, could dogs survive in a world without humans?
“The dog must be able to live without us.” Jessica Pearce (opens in new tab)a faculty affiliated with the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus,A world of dogs: imagine a dog’s life in a world without humans (opens in new tab)‘ (Princeton University Press, 2021) told Live Science.
Without humans, formerly pets would wind back the tame clock and live like wild species. However, not all dogs will survive this transition. Today there are a wide variety of dog breeds, some of which are not suitable for the wild. For example, flat-faced dogs such as pugs and bulldogs are prone to a variety of health problems, including restricted breathing and decreased hunting ability. They are bred with short tails that are harmful to animals.
“Tails are an important part of your communication toolbox,” says Pierce. “Even if you’re a little bad at communicating things like aggressive feelings or submissive feelings, you’re more likely to get into a fight than if you can send a clear signal.”
Related: What if humans had tails?
Dogs that are more likely to get into fights are more likely to get hurt and less likely to survive. Fortunately for our barking companions, humans no longer dictate the reproductive habits of dogs.
These terminal dogs mate with wolves to create hybrids with overlapping ranges.Stray dogs and wolves are already mingling in European countries such as Italy, according to a 2017 study published in the journal Global ecology and conservation (opens in new tab). Friederike Mountains (opens in new tab)An associate professor at the Vienna University of Veterinary Medicine, who studies both dogs and wolves, told Live Science that the main thing that really separates dogs and wolves is us.
“Wolves are primarily hunters and dogs are primarily scavengers, but it’s a continuum,” Renji said. , wolves can be found living in human dumps just like stray dogs, and stray dogs hunt wild prey just like wolves.
But even if a dog could survive in a world without humans, wouldn’t it be miserable without morning fetch and nighttime noise? haven’t seen
Pearce says that in a domestic environment, humans repress many of the dog’s behaviors. Ownerless dogs have no such restrictions. And while they don’t have the same comforts at home as pet dogs, they may be psychologically better.
Renji, who has studied dogs living independently of humans, has observed that dogs form their own social groups, and food is a more important consideration than human companionship in the well-being of these dogs. I believe there is.
“If we disappear, food will be the main problem for dogs, rather than losing humans as social partners,” Renji said. , they would be perfectly happy without us.”