German Shepherd

Improved Essays
Canis lupus familiaris, the domesticated dog, is continuously undergoing artificial selection in order to possess certain physical traits and behaviors. Through this selective breeding, various dog breeds now exist, many of which have been bred to carry out desired functions. For example, the Border Collie has been bred for herding, the Dachshund for hunting, and the Siberian Husky for dog sledding. Another breed, known as the German Shepherd, was originally bred to herd and protect sheep. However, on account of their innate strength and intelligence, German Shepherds have also been widely known to be trained as military and police dogs (The History…). Due to being readily accessible, a seven year-old female German Shepherd named Trixie …show more content…
Four individual, one hour observations were conducted throughout the day, each spaced three hours apart. Each one hour observation had thirty time checks, which were done at two minute intervals. An initial observation, which took place indoors from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, was carried out in order to establish categories that would later be used to group the displayed behaviors into. A total of six categories resulted, which are communication, sensory systems, inactivity, physical activity, consumption, and reflexes. The communication category involves both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication, such as barking and tail wagging, respectively. The communication category may also include cowering, submissiveness, aggressiveness, and other related behaviors. One possible purpose for this communication is to convey emotions, needs, and wants. The second category, sensory systems, includes the use of the five senses, or smelling in this case. Smelling behaviors could potentially be exhibited by dogs as a way greeting when they sniff each other’s rear, or as a way of showing curiosity. The inactivity category includes behaviors such as …show more content…
One example is an ethogram completed by Roger Abrantes, author and division director at the Ethology Institute of Cambridge, who observed social and agonistic behavior in canines. While the studies discussed above strictly involved the observation of displayed behaviors and recording them, Abrantes analyzed canine behavior in terms of evolution and natural selection. Abrantes stated that behaviors exhibited by dogs today are a result of natural selection, benefiting their survival and reproductive success. Abrantes examined several behavioral categories, such as agonistic, social, mating, and alien behaviors (Abrantes). The ethogram on the German Shepherd, in conjunction with Roger Abrantes’ study, shows the complexity of behavior in Canis lupus familiaris. A single ethogram is not adequate to gain sufficient knowledge on the behavior of dogs, or of any animal. However, this ethogram could provide a basis upon which additional studies on canine behavior are

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