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lord_hevonen
New Member

30 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  01:30:21  Show Profile Send lord_hevonen a Private Message
I was just thinking about the behavior of my cat, wondering if its constant meowing and fondness to humans are traits of its Russian Blue breed. Then it occurred to me that i may be guilty of some pseudoscientific BS here.
Are cat/dog owners too wild in attaching all kinds of behavioral traits to breeds? I mean, characteristics like short feet and huge ears certainly don't carry secondary characteristics like "loyalty" with them? Is there sheer rubbish in the common descriptions of animal breeds?

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  02:30:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Edited out 'cause I suffer from 5:00 AM incompetence.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 10/16/2004 02:38:17
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  02:36:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Greetings lord_hevonen, and welcome.

Yes, for the most part, they do. The close ties we have with our cats and dogs are the result of tens of thousands of years of association. Our pets don't love us in the sense that most of us believe. Rather, they regard themselves as members of a society that includes us at the top of the hiarchy. If they were running in a pack, it would be the same, but without another species in that society. A cat or a dog can easily go feral, revert back to it's natural state. Of course, a great many breeds would have no chance of survival in the wild.

Individuals within a breed will have different, for lack of a better word, 'personalities.' Your Russian Blue cat might be as sweet as can be, while your neighbor's, from the same litter, could be a nasty, little bastard that makes you think of reaching for the rifle every time you see the wretched thing.

My own, very old cat is pretty much of just another, common moggie. We and a 'possum (NOT tame or confined) get along.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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lord_hevonen
New Member

30 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  03:44:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send lord_hevonen a Private Message
Here is what "Dogbreedinfo.com" says about the Afghan Hound breed:

"Dignified, somewhat aloof, but very sweet, loyal, affectionate and sensitive, with a low dominance level...Majestic, elegant, noble and courageous, suspicious of, but not hostile to, strangers. Although tough, they will pine if they are deprived of attention. They will do best with older, considerate children."

I wonder how much of this is complete hokum. I mean, differences between individual Afghans MUST be stronger than that...
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  05:58:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by lord_hevonen

Here is what "Dogbreedinfo.com" says about the Afghan Hound breed:

"Dignified, somewhat aloof, but very sweet, loyal, affectionate and sensitive, with a low dominance level...Majestic, elegant, noble and courageous, suspicious of, but not hostile to, strangers. Although tough, they will pine if they are deprived of attention. They will do best with older, considerate children."

I wonder how much of this is complete hokum. I mean, differences between individual Afghans MUST be stronger than that...

Of course. My son-in-law has what must be the ugliest pitbull in the world, and the above pretty well describes him (except for the majestic and noble part). I have little experience with dogs, but I seem to recall reading that Afgans, like many if not most of these tightly bred types tend to be a little high-strung. But, having never even seen an afgan up close, I don't know for sure. And what I read might have been describing individual animals and was not really representitive of the breed.

However, the site's name, Dogbreedinfo.com, might be a guide as to the slant of it's contents. I have little doubt that an investigation would show that it's owner is also a breeder, perhaps of more than a single breed, as are most of his contributers.

But really, it's no more of a scam than any other advertising -- IMO, that sort of thing amounts to advertising. Caveate emptor, eh?

If I were interested in a certain breed of dog, I would ask folks who keep them as private owners, as well as look at the literature.

I'm sure that afgans, like any other breed show a lot of individuality. But remember also that much of an animals 'personality' will stem from it's relationship with it's owner and his/her personality; and no my cat and house 'possum do not get loaded and sing old Redd Foxx songs all night!.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  10:08:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
While individuals within a breed vary, there are some general characteristics of a breed that are likely to be seen in individual dogs. These are characteristics that they have been bred to have. Border collies, for instance, are extremely active and take to herding like a duck to water (some better than others). Retrievers tend to have a somewhat mild disposition and are easily trainable (I guess you don't want some goofy dog scaring all the birds away before you get a chance to blast 'em to kingdom come), hence their adaptability as guide dogs. While the stuff about nobility and such is just puffery, it is worthwile to research the traits likely to be found in a breed before getting one.

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  11:06:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
Yeah, I wouldn't say dog breeds have similar "personalities." I think I would prefer the term similar "dispositions," and even then think in terms of broad generalities rather than hard and fast rules.

And welcome, lord_hevonen.

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 10/16/2004 11:08:13
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  13:14:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
Welcome!

When one says majestic, elegant, noble, etc, etc, etc, it means the overall appeal and bearing of the dog. If you look at a well-cared Afghan, it does look majestic, elegant, yadda yadda.

Some breeds were created for specific purposes that infer a certain behaviour trait to be sustained or eliminated. For instance, there's a hungarian breed called Kuvasz.

Kuvaszok were created for flock guard, especially sheep (which explains the white colour). Since they were meant to be with the flock, sometimes for long hours without human company, they were selectively bred for independent personalities. A dependent lap doggy wouldn't give a good flock guard, now would it? They are also quite dominant - thus needing a very strong owner or trainer, otherwise the dog will 'boss' the owner around.

My point? Some personality traits are enhanced from a selective breeding, but behaviour can be 'molded' according to the training and care you give the said animal, as well as the individual personality. Note that the terms used to describe the dog's breed are very general; by saying they aren't particularly dominant, it excludes the Afghan's capability to, for example, being a successful alpha sled dog (ignoring the obvious physical inabilities such as long, flowy hair, etc).

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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