Humans domesticated dogs more than 10,000 years ago, and certain breeds, such as hunting and herding dogs, were bred to have traits more associated with loyalty, such as following their master and responding to cues. In this list, we’re going to look at different breeds of dogs that are known for their loyalty (in no particular order), but it’s important to remember that grooming, not just nature, does play a role in a dog’s personality and that Mixed Breed Dogs Raised in a loving home can be incredibly loyal and loving pets.
Why are dogs so loyal?
Dogs, like their closest non-domesticated genetic relatives, wolves, are pack animals, and tend to trust and cooperate with other members of the pack. Animal researchers believe that humans selected certain dogs for an increased submissive propensity to minimize conflict over resources and ensure safe coexistence and coworking – so that humans lead and dogs follow. Since the 18th century, more than 400 specific races have been developed to perform specific functions in human society.
Staffordshire bull terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terriers or Staffies, also known as nannies, are a small, short-haired British breed. Descended from terriers and bulldogs, this dog was primarily designed for dog fighting, but has also consistently had a reputation as a loyal family pet, especially loyal to children. It is important for these dogs to come into contact with other pets early on, as their history as fighters has given them a tendency not to step back when challenged.
Shiba Inus, commonly called Shibas, is an ancient breed of dog in Japan that hunted over rugged mountains thousands of years ago. They came to the United States with a Japanese military family in the 1950s after they nearly died out in World War II. A particularly loyal Shiba named Mari’s story was turned into a movie after an earthquake struck Japan in 2004. Mari got her three pups to safety after their owner’s house collapsed and successfully woke the older owner up so he could be rescued. A helicopter flew the owner and when he was able to return two weeks later, Mari and her pups were waiting for him.
Beagles are the most popular dogs among American pet owners, known for their cheerful temperament and loyalty. The modern breed was developed as a scented dog in 19th century England, intelligent and with superior chasing instincts. These chipper dogs have worked as a team with human hunters in the past and are therefore believed to be closely related to their owner.
Saint Bernards, commonly referred to as gentle giants, are notoriously patient, kind, and watchful of children. Hundreds of years ago, monks used this powerful and loyal race to locate and rescue travelers buried in avalanches in the Swiss Alps. The dogs crossed snowdrifts several meters deep, found stranded people and returned to monasteries to lead the monks to the place of the missing.
These large, working mountain dogs were historically bred to deter wolves and other predators from harming livestock. As a result, they are known for being both territorial and protecting their families, although socialization with other dogs helps keep the Great Pyrenees friends off with other dogs. These dogs have a double coat that consists of an outer, waterproof layer and a softer, shorter inner layer that peeled off significantly each spring.
Dog breeders developed Border Collies around the border (hence the name) between Scotland and England towards the end of the 19th century. Known as one of the most intelligent breeds, Collies need a lot of exercise and stimulating play to be satisfied. They run for miles a day when they tend sheep or other livestock. Working dogs are known for the fact that they inherently want to please their owners, and Border Collies are no exception to what usually makes them loyal companions.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Also known as the Bernese, this great Swiss working breed is characterized as loving and strong-willed according to the American Kennel Club, and often devotes most of their attention to a special person. These intelligent dogs are usually easy to train and do not respond well to harsh training methods. They do not have a particularly long life expectancy and live on average between 7 and 10 years.
Australian cattle dog
Dog breeders developed Australian cattle dogs to herd cattle over long stretches of rough terrain. Also known as red or blue heels, depending on the color of their coat, these dogs are related to Australian wild dogs known as dingoes. As they guard by biting, early training is important to make sure this breed does not choke. Cattle dogs require a high level of physical activity and are considered particularly loyal to their owners.
Developed between the 17th and 19th centuries in the French province of Brittany, the Brittany dogs historically worked with hunters as hunting dogs, mainly to rescue birds. Obedient, agile, and excited, these dogs are best for those with active outdoor lifestyles, as well as those looking for a loyal hunting partner. Some breeders differentiate between American and French Brittany, with the former being larger.
Boxers, which have been used as hunting dogs for wild boars, bears and deer for centuries, are originally from Germany and have large, strong jaws and a smooth, close-fitting coat. Patient and protective, boxers are also very playful and energetic and should not be allowed to roam freely in public spaces given their history of hunting game. Boxers have consistently placed themselves in the top ten list of the most popular dogs in the United States and are usually easy to train if the positive reinforcement is consistently positive.
German shepherd dog
German Shepherds are the second most popular dog breed in the United States, known for their intelligence, bravery, loyalty, and self-confidence, according to the American Kennel Club. This dog is considered a little aloof among breeders and it takes a while to make friends with new people. Their intelligence, coupled with their strength, makes them a common choice for search and rescue dogs as well as guard dogs.
German breeders, also known as Viennese, badger, and sausage dogs, combined elements of English, French, and German dogs and terriers to develop dachshunds, primarily to hunt game such as badger and, in packs, even larger animals such as wild boar. Inquisitive and vigilant, these short-legged and long-bodied dogs have been known to make good watch dogs, although they are often tenacious as they were bred to be independent hunters of dangerous prey.
Irish wolfhounds are greyhounds, which means they hunt by sight and speed – as opposed to scented dogs like beagles, who hunt with scent and stamina. Originally developed in Ireland, these large, dignified dogs are considered good watch dogs, as their imposing presence alone is often enough to scare away most of the unfamiliar people. These dogs are loyal and calm, but they also take a lot of work because they are galloping dogs.
Yorkies are compact, toy-sized terriers with floor-length, silky coats that were developed in Britain in the 19th century. These terriers are brave and protective, intelligent, and usually easy to train, although they are also known to be stubborn and full of personality. These small dogs are low in allergies and have fur that is closer to human hair than typical dog fur. This makes them a favorite for dog lovers who live in a small space or with allergies.
Golden Retrievers are famous for their thick, gold coats and muscular, medium-sized dogs that breeders in Scotland developed to retrieve ducks and wild birds during hunting expeditions. These dogs have large, feathery tails and are sociable, trusting, and easy-to-be-satisfied pets. Golden Retrievers are popular all over the world and enjoy lots of play and exercise.
Hailing from the mountains of Northern Japan, Akitas are muscular, double-coated dogs known for their family protection and loyalty to their owners. Probably the most famous Akita is Hachikō, who was so loyal to his owner, a Japanese agronomist, that after the sudden death of his owner, he waited in the same place every day for nine years until Hachikō also died.
Also known as newbies, Newfoundland dogs are one of the largest breeds of dogs in the world. The males can weigh up to 150 pounds. As a showy and powerful working dog, newbies also have a reputation for being patient, loyal, and great with children, and having a gentle and easily trainable temperament. A famous Newfoundland, Gander, traveled to Hong Kong with a battalion of Canadian troops and rescued many of them from a grenade attack. He sacrificed himself by picking up a grenade and carrying it away from the soldiers.
Descended from the English bulldog, American bulldogs evolved from working dogs brought with immigrants to guard farms and sometimes to hunt and kill game, including wild boar. Bulldogs are considered loyal and confident and should be socialized early on to ensure they are not overprotecting strangers or unfamiliar dogs.
Great Danes, also known as German mastiffs, are descended from hunting dogs that were used in the Middle Ages. These dogs are one of the largest breeds in the world. They are friendly, patient, reliable, and are considered good watch dogs just because of their size. The males weigh up to 180 pounds. Despite their imposing size, these dogs are good-natured and easy to train, and enjoy spending time with other pets and people.
The Papillon is also known as the butterfly dog because of the shape of the long hair that extends from the edges of its large, wing-shaped ears. It’s a toy spaniel known for being vigilant and kind, and tougher than its lightweight looks might suggest. These dogs love to play and are very attached to their owners.
Even Puppies Get the Point
Dogs’ ability to understand us and respond to our attempts to communicate with them has long been considered a fundamental part of the close relationship we share. More than two decades ago, researchers first provided evidence that dogs can follow human pointing gestures.
Many studies have since shown that when humans point at one of two identical objects to indicate the location of the food, dogs respond by choosing the one pointed more often than we would happen to expect. This may sound like an easy skill, but maybe that’s because it’s so easy for us. The idea that another species can respond to our hint is a big deal.
As with any significant discovery, this topic has been discussed at length. Behavioral questions mainly revolve around whether dogs are learning what this gesture means from spending so much time with us, or whether they can naturally understand that pointing is a way to get their attention to something interesting.
It is difficult to study for practical and ethical reasons. Most adult dogs have a lot of experience with humans. Raising dogs without such contact for the purposes of scientific study would be cruel and totally unacceptable. It would also be pointless because such dogs would be so poorly socialized and so fearful that they would not be able to participate in studies. However, puppies are a different matter.
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In a recent study, researchers used the fact that young puppies have limited experience with humans to examine their ability to respond to human pointing gestures. The 375 participating puppies were between 7.3 and 10.4 weeks old (mean age 8.4 weeks). The puppies were loaned out by Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit group that provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities. The 203 females and 172 males came from 117 litters. In terms of breed, there were 98 Labrador Retrievers, 23 Golden Retrievers, and 254 Golden Retriever / Labrador Retriever crosses.
The experimenter hid food in one of two places and either (A) pointed and looked at the bait container, or (B) placed any marker next to the bait container. (C) Puppies exceeded chance expectation with both social cues, but not in an olfactory control state. Source: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.17.434752
In the study, the pups had a choice of two containers, one of which held a piece of snack food. While one person was holding the pup, another caught the pup’s attention and either pointed and looked at the food reward container, or showed the pup a marker (a small yellow block) and then placed the marker next to the correct container. Based on the dot gesture, the pups chose correctly more than two-thirds of the time. They correctly picked almost three-quarters of the time the person communicated the location of the food by placing the marker.
In control trials, where puppies were not directed and were likely to choose based on the smell of the food, their decisions had a success rate of 48.9 percent – essentially random and slightly worse than you’d expect based on chance alone. These experiments showed that puppies could not find the food by sniffing it out.
Multiple replications did not appear to improve the puppies’ performance. This suggests that they don’t learn the task while studying. (They had either already learned the task even though they were so young, or they could do it without having to study.) Previous studies in adult dogs – both lap dogs and assistance dogs – found similar success rates for the pointing task, and were even higher Success in the marker task.
Another aspect of this study examined the genetic basis for the variation in dogs’ ability to find food based on human information about their location. They found that 43 percent of the variation was due to heredity, confirming a long-standing belief that genetics play a role in dogs’ social and cognitive abilities. This is an important finding. In order for selection to affect a dog’s ability to respond to human communication, as there are many theories about the domestication of dogs, there must be a genetic basis.
It is important to understand that even a natural ability can be adaptive. Hence, it is not that dogs either have an innate ability or need to learn that ability. The idea that behavior is binary is extremely out of date. In fact, an influential 1967 study in my field of ethology had the brand name “Ontogenesis of an Instinct”. To understand why it was so dangerous, it is important to know that ontogeny means evolution.
The study looked at changes in a pattern of behavior that was believed to be instinctive: a gull chick pecks at one point on the beak of an adult gull to trigger feeding. Such species-specific behavior patterns were viewed as innate rather than learned. In a series of studies, Jack P. Hailman, PhD showed that learning took place and that gull chicks improved their chopping accuracy with practice.
The idea that instinctive behavior can be improved and that learning occurs in relation to such behaviors was revolutionary and has changed the field significantly. But here, more than 50 years later, we are still debating whether behavior is instinctive or learned. It is more complex than that, and we have to accept that learning can play a role even in natural and species-prevalent behavior.
One possibility that must always be considered is that dogs have a tendency to learn the ability to follow human gestures. That is, it can be easy and natural for them to learn. In fact, it can be so simple and natural that it can be difficult to find dogs who have not yet learned how to do it. The current study provides evidence that even young puppies who have not had extensive experience with humans can perform this task and – equally interesting and important – that there is a genetic basis for this behavior. However, dogs have not been shown to have this ability in the absence of experience with humans.
The researchers say it fairly in their work: “Taken together, our results show that the social skills of dogs are very important in early development and that the variation in these traits is strongly influenced by genetic factors.”
Source * thebark.com – * https://thebark.com/content/even-puppies-get-point
How to Tell if Your Dog is a Genius
Anyone who has lived with a dog knows their ability to learn the meanings of words, even those you wouldn’t want them to know. How many times did you have to spell the words “going” or “dinner” to avoid an explosion of excitement?
Previous studies have looked at how non-human animals, including chimpanzees, sea lions, and rhesus monkeys, learn words. But now, a paper published in Nature shows that some dogs learn the name of a new object after hearing it just four times, a skill previously believed to be limited to humans.
The researchers found that this skill was not common in all dogs studied, but may be limited to a few “talented” or well-trained individuals. So how do you know if your own dog is a genius or not?
The study was simple and easy to repeat at home. Just follow the researchers’ steps to see if your dog can learn the names of objects that quickly. But don’t worry if your dog doesn’t have this ability. This can only be due to his race or previous experience.
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Whiskey and Vicky Nina
The new study included a collie named Whiskey who knew 59 objects by name and a Yorkshire terrier named Vicky Nina who knew 42 toys.
The researchers tested each dog’s knowledge of their toy by asking them to bring each toy in turn. Neither the owners nor the experimenters could see the toys so as not to influence the choice of dogs.
Once it was determined that the dogs knew the names of all of their toys, the researchers introduced two new objects, each placed one at a time in a group of familiar toys. In this test, Whiskey chose the new toy every time. Vicky Nina got the right one in 52.5% of the attempts, which is a bit more than chance.
Learn new names
For the next part of the study, the dog was shown a toy, given its name, and then allowed to play with it. After repeating the name of two different new toys four times, the dog was asked to choose one of the two new toys.
No known toys were included in this part of the experiment in order to prevent the dog from choosing the right toy through exclusion. Knowing the name of all the other toys, the dog may choose the right toy, guessing that the unfamiliar word must indicate the unfamiliar toy.
Both dogs opted for the new toy more often than chance would predict, suggesting that they actually learned the name of a new object very quickly. However, her memory deteriorated significantly after 10 minutes and almost completely after an hour. This shows that the new learning needs more reinforcement if it is to be maintained.
Read More: Six Tips For Grooming Your New Puppy According To Science
The test with the new toy was also done by 20 volunteers with their own dogs, but these dogs did not show the ability to learn new names after a few hearings.
The authors suggested that the difference between the performance of the two dogs in their test and the volunteer dogs means that the dog may need to be unusually intelligent or have a lot of name learning experience in order to learn new names quickly.
It is likely that a combination of factors are at work in these experiments. It is significant that the most common breed used in studies of this species is a border collie, specifically bred to perform audible commands and very highly motivated to perform tasks and please the handler. Yorkshire terriers also enjoy mental and physical stimulation.
Similar tests have been carried out by other research groups, usually using border collies. In 2004, a dog named Rico was found to know the names of 200 different objects, and in 2011 Chaser learned 1,022 unique objects.
Other breeds may be less interested in playing with or fetching toys. For example, greyhounds such as salukis and greyhounds are primarily bred for hunting or racing and are therefore generally more difficult to train. They may not show any interest in toys at all and be far less motivated to please the handler.
Smart dogs can learn new names quickly.
Both test dogs in this study received extensive training through play and social interaction to pay attention to the names and characteristics of the toys. This could make them more likely to notice the differences between new and familiar toys and to care about the verbal cues associated with them.
While their training was not formal, it was nonetheless positive reinforcement training, a powerful method of teaching animals and people. The dogs have undoubtedly learned their skills to a great extent.
It is entirely possible to train all dogs to perform tasks, including learning the names of objects. However, the degree to which they are willing and able to learn and perform the task depends heavily on the breed of dog and the motivation of the individual dog.
If your pet is an Afghan or Saint Bernard, don’t expect them to be interested in spending hours getting toys for you. On the other hand, if you have a border collie or poodle, their abilities can only be limited by your imagination and commitment to playing with them.
10 Most Challenging Dog Breeds That Are Full Of Love
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All dogs need love, attention, and training – but some dog breeds need a little more than others. Every dog breed has its strengths and weaknesses. That doesn’t make any particular breed less loveable, but these 10 dog breeds may need a lot more patience and obedience training than others.
These breeds tend to be intelligent, independent, and stubborn, making then the least obedient dog breeds. Successfully training one of these breeds should win you an award!
00:00 – Intro
00:30 – Afghan Hound
01:19 – Chow Chow
02:04 – Basenji
02:45 – Bulldog
03:24 – Bloodhound
04:08 – Pekingese
04:45 – Dachshund
05:22 – Welsh Terrier
06:03 – Beagle
06:37 – Borzoi
07:10 – Outro
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