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Structure Modified by Man.
We may, then, with considerable confidence, pronounce the extraordinary productions to be seen at a modern dog show to represent the divergences from a wolf-like animal which have been brought about by human interference, in some cases of not long duration. On placing a bulldog and a colley side by side we have an immediate measure of the degree of divergence to which selection has given rise. Among all our well established breeds, the colley perhaps approximates most closely to the ancestral wolf type, while the bulldog is furthest removed from it, in the shape of the skull and jaws. If two animals, differing so widely as these, had been found in a state of nature, no naturalist would have hesitated for a moment to class them as good and distinct species; yet this variation is due to causes which would not in all probability have been brought into operation, or with nothing like equal effect, by any natural circumstances. The modifications in most instances would be distinctly disadvantageous to a predatory animal. The shortening of the muzzle of the bulldog would impede him in cutting and tearing the muscles from the neck of an animal and bringing it to the ground, after the manner of the wolf, with its trenchant shear-like jaws ; and those bandy legs would diminish his speed. In fact, several of our highly prized breeds if turned adrift to get their own living in a country well stocked with a variety of game would experience the utmost difficulty in supporting themselves; while some of them would starve in the midst of a rabbit warren from inability to catch anything
This structural evidence goes a long way towards proving that domestic breeds had no direct progenitors with the peculiarities now so firmly established. When the ears of a dog are so enormously long and his legs so ridiculously short, as in the Basset hound, that he sometimes treads on his ears and turns a somersault during the chase, we cannot but regard that as a form which Nature would not have imposed on a hunting animal.
The very wide distribution of this group has been a fortu
The Dog the Friend and Companion of Man-Difference of
Character and Disposition in the Wild and Domesticated State
we may suppose, will dispute that of all the animals we have domesticated, the dog is entitled to fill the highest place in our esteem, and is alone worthy to take rank as the
Friend of Man." Of the numerous animals which have fallen permanently under our control, some have become necessary to us' as beasts of burden, others supply us with food and clothing, and the sweet songsters of the grove delight us' with their music and lovely plumage—albeit, they are, for the most part, unwilling ministers to our pleasure. But there is one only among the “ lower animals” who has been raised to the dignity of the guardian of our homes and flocks, and has become the playfellow of our children, and our constant and faithful companion in everyday life. He is no respecter of persons, no seeker after ease and comfort. Whether his master be prince or pauper, we find in him the same devotion, the same cheerful obedience and constant readiness to sacrifice himself, while sharing the fortunes of the one human being to whom he may have attached himself.
Darwin very truly says : “ It can scarcely be doubted that
The Dog's Love of Man.
the love of man has become instinctive in the dog." Uninterrupted association for many generations with human kind has impressed upon his nature a sentiment of trustful affection, that shows itself as soon as the puppy opens its eyes on a world in which the first creature it beholds except its mother is
of our domestic dogs wag their little tails and lick our hands as soon as they are able to roll about on their short legs. These comical little fellows betray not the slightest fear of us. They seem to have known us ages ago in some far-off land, or in a previous existence, and to have come back to welcome us as old acquaintances and friends. Here is the subtle effect of inheritance, that potent influence to which so large a part of the mental and moral character is due. The mother through a long line of ancestors unconsciously gives her progeny this birthright—the love of man, and confidence in his friendship. Among the awakening perceptions of the puppy there is nothing incongruous. All that he sees and hears ought to be there, just as it is, for him, the heir of civilization, the co-partner with man in a common heritage. He trembles not when the children seize him, and, struggling for possession, bear him aloft in their arms, while the mother looks on with equanimity, confident in the security of her young.
How different is the behaviour of the whelps of the wolf. Those I have taken from the nest when about three weeks old have snarled and snapped at my fingers with all their might, and striven their utmost to escape from my hands, in spite of every effort to soothe their angry feelings. To them I was a --strange, wild, and fearful creature, to be treated
enemy—the embodiment, perhaps, of all their inherited vague apprehensions of danger, for the first time presented to their perceptions in a concrete form. When those whelps grew to maturity they might remorselessly hunt me down and tear me to pieces without the slightest consciousness of that almost sacred tie which can subsist between their species and mine when domesticated.
nate circumstance for man, enabling him almost everywhere to avail himself of its services; and its singular plasticity has afforded him opportunities for selecting the form most suitable to his wants. To the West Indian Islands, Polynesia, New Guinea, the Malayan Archipelago, and New Zealand it does not appear to be indigenous. Australia is doubtful, but I shall have occasion to refer to that presently. At all events, the races of man which now dominate the globe have always been in association with one member or other of the group capable of being raised to domestication. The young would frequently be met with, and curiosity in the first place might lead primitive man to take them home and rear them. He would have observed the wild species hunting down their quarry, and what more reasonable than that he should endeavour to obtain such fleet and strong animals to assist him in his own hunting expeditions ? In the back bush of Australia I have often seen the whelps of the indgo running about the camps of the natives. This is, or was before the advent of Europeans, the source of their hunting dogs. The young are taken from the nest (frequently in a hollow log) and brought up among the children, soon becoming attached even to these poor specimens of humanity. In this way, no doubt, the dog became the friend and companion of man in every part of the world. The Australian aborigines have not improved the character of their dogs; but we can easily imagine intelligent savages paying attention to the qualities exhibited by certain individuals, strength, fleetness, and, above all, docility-and mating those which possessed them, or at least preserving the most promising young. Thus from the very first the principle of selection would be adopted to some extent, while the race of dogs would be gaining something by inheriting the effects of training and association with man.
This process has been going on for ages. Man has, in fact, been transforming the wolf into the dog by the exercise of that selective principle which he has applied to other domestic
The Dog in Pastoral Pursuits.
animals and to innumerable plants. No more complete and valuable conquest over the brute creation has ever been effected. We cannot doubt that this one species has been the prime and indispensable agent in giving us dominion over those numerous animals without which it would not now be possible to maintain civilised existence. Townsend justly observes the dog is the first element in human progress. Without the dog man would have been condemned to vegetate eternally in the swaddling clothes of savagery. It was the dog which effected the passage of human society from the savage to the patriarchal state, in making possible the guardianship of the flock. Without the dog there could be no flocks and herds; without the dog there is no assured livelihood, no leg of mutton, no roast beef, no wool, no blankets, no time to spare, and consequently, no astronomical observations, no science, no industry. It is to the dog that man owes his hours of leisure.”
From the position of the hunting companion of man, the dog would be promoted to the even more important duty of guarding his flocks, Man, as we know, has in all countries passed successively through the hunting, the pastoral, and the agricultural stages. In the first of these the dog would his chief assistant in the chase, and in the second most necessary in guarding the flock from predatory animals while out on the pastures, and giving warning of their approach at night by the habit of barking, which has certainly been acquired under domestication. No satisfactory explanation of the process by which the voice has thus become modified in so remarkable a manner has been proposed, but it is certain that no wild species gives utterance to any other sound but a prolonged howl, or very occasionally a short yapping noise. This change in the voice must have been useful, too, to pastoral man, for it indicates most clearly to the practised ear a difference in the character of the object at the moment exciting the dog's anger or suspicion, as I shall show presently from my own experience.
Even those who have witnessed the splendid work accomplished by colleys among the mountains of Scotland and Wales cannot