Dogs Decoded

Dogs Decoded

2010, Nature  -   124 Comments
Ratings: 8.28/10 from 158 users.

Dogs DecodedDogs Decoded reveals the science behind the remarkable bond between humans and their dogs and investigates new discoveries in genetics that are illuminating the origin of dogs - with surprising implications for the evolution of human culture.

Other research is proving what dog lovers have suspected all along: Dogs have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emotions.

Humans, in turn, respond to dogs with the same hormone responsible for bonding mothers to their babies.

How did this incredible relationship between humans and dogs come to be? And how can dogs, so closely related to fearsome wild wolves, behave so differently?

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124 Comments / User Reviews

  1. A lot of tough-talking keyboard warriors around here, no? Take a deep breathe & and a giant step back. And slowly exhale…

  2. I can relate a lot to the idea of dogs being "frozen" in their development - that full grown adults are still very much the same as this younger counterparts. My current dogs are going onto five years and I still can't believe that they aren't puppies anymore.

  3. How the hell do you think it's ok to keep hundreds of foxes closed in cages for their whole lives?! This is animal abuse and calling it "science" is an insult to scientists worldwide.

    1. They will probably do stuff with the foxes in the name of science.

    2. What do you mean Vaffanculo if you actually knew what you were talking about you would know they save the foxes from being killed and they didn't take them from the wild. The took them from a fur farm which they breed animals for their fur and most of the time they are killed. Oh and also they are already in cages at the fur farm. A fur farm is animal abuse but the scientist are actually taking car of them.

  4. What process do the scientists use to get the desired trait in the foxes. How does it work ?

  5. Hi All Pet Lovers,
    These dogs are good but the close contact with these animals create health problems as it carries rabies. So Dog owners, "Beware of Dogs" LOL. Especially keep these animal away from kids. Best Regards.

    1. Seriously? What conspiracy theories do you believe in too? Only ignorance would say something so absolutely ridiculous. Oh and by the way, I have some land in the Sahara for sale. Are you interested, by chance? On a more serious note: Beware of Philip's post. Get your dogs vaccinated and neutered and all will be well in the world.

    2. Perhaps in some countries rabies are a problem, but in the US and other developed countries dogs are required to be vaccinated. Some 30 years ago, I started working at an animal shelter, we boarded dogs that were under quarantine after biting a human. I asked the official who was in charge thru the local health department about his experience with rabies. He told me it had been over 40 years since there had been a case of rabies in the county, and that had been from a dog brought from another state. I know there hasn't been any cases since I talked to him, so that makes it over 70 years.

    3. No dog rabies in Australia

  6. I have my doubts that you are ready and willing to volunteer yourself or family to be deliberately given cancer and tested on. So as respectable your opinion may be, with all the best intent, you are mistaken.

  7. I have dogs and cats and love them both but have always found that the CATS respond to hand gestures better and faster than dogs!

    1. You must have a pretty special cat. Cats in general don't know body language. You can point to something and they are likely to look at your finger. A dog will look at where you point. A baby until a certain age will look at the finger too.

    2. I don't think my cats are different than most. They have all been rescues, are not allowed outside and are treated (like the dogs) as a member of the family. Which partly means in order to get a treat, they must obey a command. So maybe it is more nurture than nature in our case!
      Thanks for writing back!

  8. Dogs Decoded is my favorite show. It tells me why I love my dog so much -- because he understands me. I watch this, I've watched this about five times, and it never fails to bring me to tears, knowing what it means and how it highlights my dog's understanding of me and communication with me.

  9. isn't that evidence that criminals cant be re-socialized??? its there faulty genes that make them behave violently. Lets just kill them then.

    1. Depends on Nature/Nurture (and any underlying Mental illness)--I'd argue that Prison's today, are simply modern day "Mental Health" wards.....they've even turned prisons into "Elderly Homes"---Prisoner's up for release, families ask "Please don't parole them"---as other "Trustee" prisoner's take care of the Alzheimer patients ie, shaving, bathing, changing diapers, even "Protecting" them from "bullies" that would steal their food without their ability to care for themselves....SAD SAD state of affairs in America...

    2. Now that you mention it kinda. Didn't think about it, but it does speak eugenics a bit. However we have an upper brain and dogs and foxes do not so maybe the relationship works because the base mammalian brain is responsible for emotion. Humans with our upper brain are capable of suppressing our actions based on information.

  10. He said humans are carnivores... we are adapted omnivores... and dogs are also omnivores. Deal lord...

  11. I think this is great research. We have 6 dogs in our family and I can tell you without doubt that they are a blessed addition. Their ability to from a psychological standpoint alone makes them a person's best friend. There is almost a positive energy that exudes from your pet and you can tell them anything and never worry about them being judgmental. As someone who is going into the therapy area of medicine, I would really like to see more dogs paired up with our returning soliders. I am sure that there must be a study or should be a study that would show the positive effects of returning the VETs back to everyday life secondary to the help of a dog.

  12. dogs are mans best friend, loyal, intelligent etc etc...YES OF COURSE but not all Dogs were bred as pets, what about the 'OTHER' not talked about history, dogs attack and kill people and always have done, Globally speaking its not as rare as you might think, War Dogs of the Spanish wrecked terrible havoc on the South American Indians...THESE MASTIFFS WERE BRED FOR WAR NOT AS A PET and had none of this BOND NATURE to Homo Sapiens, just the Owners if they were Lucky (one of many types bred as NON PETS).
    The Romans were so impressed by the size and ferocity of the Ancient British WAR DOGS compared to the Roman WAR DOGS they became a big export so why do people see all Dogs as pets and rescue dogs and not as Pets, Weapons, Food etc????? it goes against ALL Historical Evidence, packs of dogs in Eastern Europe (as in now) attack people and kill some and are a massive problem for some countries, in WWII MILLIONS of cats and dogs were eaten to stave of starvation also Dogs have been eaten in ALL Countries Homo Sapiens have them as Archaeology shows us and not just in times of famine, what about the NEGATIVE effect they have had on the Eco system? ...., all facts that are never discussed...Dogs in asian markets being hung up?...some places yes but so are all other types of Animals but thats ok because they are food, the same tests to show a dogs intelligence are applied to other Animals..guess what an Octopus is as clever as a dog and pigs more so but its ok to 'hang' them up as they are food not Animals, there is a saying that goes ....'there are two sides to a coin', I respect and appreciate the Bond between Dog and Homo Sapiens but most people only see what they want and as any Pig farmer will tell you the bond between pig and man is just as strong. Modern Dogs have been selectivley bred and are in all purposes MAN-MADE and some breeds are colour blind and have other defects and suffer problems caused by selective breeding that are not in any true wild Dogs i do not think that is RIGHT either, in that way they are not natural like say a Wolf and that also will have a massive effect on the way Dogs are.

    1. I hear this comment often and I want to add something about how many people feel about eating dogs and cats. I understand the argument about eating other intelligent animals and whats the difference? Its a good point but what many are missing here is the way they torcher and kill the dogs and cats. These animals are stuffed in cages so small one wouldn't fit yet ten are stuffed in them on bikes riding to restaurants to brutally butcher them in a dirty back alley. They boil them alive, bludgeon them stating their meat tastes better when the Adrenalin saturates their body from fear and pain, they say it is more tender and tastes better which is total bull. Their skin is ripped from their body's while alive and their life from start to end is a brutal bloody horror story. Not to different from factory farming. (more on that later) The denial is everywhere that is for sure when it comes to eating other animals maybe because the industry has named the meat- its not a pig its bacon! Its not a cow its a steak. The only one that isn't named of the big 4 is chicken and for some reason thats ok. Dogs have been domesticated over thousands of years they have been by our side protecting us, loving us unconditionally and living in our homes. It is appalling to see our best friend beaten and boiled alive. Cows, pigs, chickens, birds, fish, etc.have not been sleeping in our beds eating in our kitchens and protecting our homes. No argument that pigs are smarter, that isn't the point. They don't deserve the treatment they get either, nor does any animal. Dogs and cats have a special place by our sides and these are some of the reasons why the thought of eating them is so disgusting and almost a betrayal. All animal should be treated with respect, they should be well fed, kept clean and if they are being raised for food when it is time that too should be done with the utmost care as not to cause pain and suffering. Sadly most disagree with this because of money and hatred for the animals. Some people just hate animals, who the hell knows why? I don't I think it's the animals they really hate but their own lives and sad existence. The point is all the animals deserve to be treated with respect. I personally gave up eating meat because of all the reasons here. Once you know what goes on you can't go back. I wouldn't want too either. It's If you were a farmer and had a special pig that was your pet, I assure you when it came to slaughtering him it you would have a hard time. This is why eating dogs and cats is so awful to most Americans. We were raised with them as our pets, not food.

  13. ...Putting a fox into a small cage is going to cause neurosis in the animal, and will change their bodies. Le duh.

    I love this documentary but I don't see how this study can be taken seriously.

    1. Putting any animal in a small cage will cause neurosis. They weren't trying to "cause" anything, the point was to find out how many generations until foxes responded like today's domesticated dogs. You should Google the actual experiment and read about it. I'm not for "animal testing" per say, but this is how we look into the future and find out how to understand our canine partners scientifically and behaviorally. :)

    2. Did you, or did you not see the tame fox?

  14. When ever a scientific test comes out on an wild animal that was not kept in its natural environment, its not accurate. If you cage an wild animal its going to be snappy out of self defense. This leads to inaccurate results because if you are trying to see if its going to be compatible, it may be having a rough day to say the least after you essentially kidnap it from its home and lock it in a cage. Is that not how you would act if that was to be done to you? But in order to get an wild- animal to respond to us like this film proved dogs do; we must have as a species, globally adopted the concept of attaining dogs as hunting tools. We most likely saw and observed the great wolf, (which this film also proved was the domestic dogs only ancestor)hunting and been intrigued by their teamwork and coordination and somehow got the idea to capture and force dogs into a natural partnership with us. So if you think the treatment of these foxes was bad, imagine what the treatment of primitive humans capturing and forcing wild wolves into cages and forcing them to bred. We wouldn't have dogs if we had not done that. Although I find it cruel to the species it was a great decision for mankind although this film made it sound like dogs are the second coming of Jesus. But they were a huge influence on our society and progress into what we are today. You can now buy pet foxes in Europe it was in National Geographic about 3-4 months ago. I find it strange that what we all deem as unacceptable tests for humans to do. We can easily dump on animals, including a creature that is essentially our brother (chimp DNA is 98.9 per cent identical to our DNA) So its not just rubbing a little cream on a smiling chimp. Its going to a dogfight to watch two heavily abused and tormented to the point of insanity and bred to fight creatures fight each-other to the death. That is what is inhuman and wrong. Tests can happen, but a system of rules needs to be established and regulated accordingly.

  15. I want a tamed pet fox

  16. God damn it, whenever they show cats or dogs in Documentaries someone always has to go and make a big thing out of the way they are treated if they see anything remotely wrong! Thats why we don't have many great documentaries on the most common of animals!
    Stop trying to be a hero, instead of saying something about it just go do something if you think its wrong and stop ruining things for everyone else!

    1. Ah yes, thank you Jesse.

      These guys really need to remember that you DOCUMENT in a documentary, which means keeping a neutral point of view and not interfering with the flow of events.

    2. Maybe some people CARE about other creatures apart from THEMSELF!You have absolutely NO RIGHT to judge the compassion of another being. Perhaps you could also learn compassion and make this world a better place instead of spreading your anger through your judgemenatl attitude.... or you go sit in a small cage for EVER and see how YOU like it. Ofcourse then you'd have an issue... NOT IN MY BACK YARD.... another case of NIMBY

    3. Kind of seems like all you're doing is being judgemental of when and how he should feel compassion. Jesse has made a pretty good point here and all you've done is get angry with him. I'm sure Jesse wouldn't like it, but a fox, which has no idea what it wants, just suffers; It doesn't think about the life it's losing, it's family, friends and interests. Maybe Jesse's idea of compassion is testing on animals instead of humans so then we don't cause human suffering; maybe it's so that we can test drugs that will save thousands of lives. Your idea of compassion isn't the only one; be a bit more open minded :). Jesse - be less angry ;)

  17. Very informative--logical. I was impressed at all the knowledge we can get from the study of genetics, etc.

  18. Am i the only one who was disgusted at the conditions and experimenting with the foxes? Sure we all "love" dogs but no one cares to mention the poor foxes, i dread to think of the experiments this documentary did not show.

    1. Do you realize how du*b you are, just because an animal "looks" like it has a sad face doesn't mean animals even know wtf is going on, plus to further our understanding of animals you "feel so bad about" we have to keep continuing research such as those. I just don't get why people get so worked up about sh*t like putting some make-up on a monkey? lol, just look at how fuc*ed humanity is and you wonder why these people don't focus on themselves and the world more.

    2. Why don't you look at how chickens are raised in USA and you will see how great the conditions for these foxes were.

    3. Yeah i know how they re raised and it also disgusts me, i spoke about The Foxes as i was keeping to the Topic. It' s a shame you probably won't get the opportunity to live in those "Great conditions" yourself for a while, eh?

  19. Loved this documentary!!! I feel proud of having my own dog pack. Dogs and wolves are certainly amazing creatures. XD

  20. good doc, cute dogs ... i want a puppy!

  21. Dogs are the most spread domesticated animals, there is no land on earth where dogs are not present. Where ever you go you will find a barking dog. They replace a gun for protection for many people walking in the wild, specially here where there are bears and cougars. They are great company, helper for the blind, best friend to many kids, assistant on farms and unconditionally loyal.
    ...and yes still in many countries, mainly Asia, you'll see them hanging by the neck at the market, ready to be cooked.

    1. lol, do they sell human baby meat too? sounds tasty.

  22. Brilliant doc, really enjoyed every moment of it. Some great research going on, some great conclusions being drawn, too!

    ...I want a fox.

  23. So wanted to watch this, but drawn a blank! Can anyone reload?

  24. Really enjoyed this. It explained a LOT I once had a Siberian husky part wolf and indeed from a puppy he was a huge problem.
    Tried the pointing with the dog I have now and it worked WOW!!

  25. Awesome documentary, loved to watch it!

    Dogs are the most awesome creatures on the world:D

  26. @ Lyn
    I really loved you heart felt honest words to Vlatko.
    i hope you don't mind me jumping in and tell you I would not wait any longer to go find your best friend. I am sure he or she is waiting for you to come find them.

    Life has its uncertainties no matter what situation you are in. you could own a home and have lots of money and stocks and suddenly wake up and its all gone.
    You could come home to your perfect mansion and find it burnt to the ground.
    Why wait for love go get your puppy.It sounds to me like you are a very responsible person and even more so than Mothers and Fathers who have children when they are not ready.
    Somehow you have always survived the rentals and I am sure you will continue.For me I am even more protective of my Chester then I am myself. Sometimes I can honestly say for his sake I am protected by the strength I have from my love for him. Sometimes I would of given up, but I have to protect him and so I push on and am even stronger. For his sake I find a way when I feel there is no way.

    Perhaps you might think things need to be too perfect. You know I have seen dogs who are just happy to be loved, fed and played with even living in a boat or car. They do not care about things or worry like we do. They just want food and love and a job . Chester does not like all the hours we spend in a car, yet he begs to go cause all that matters to him is being together. He is definetely a pack dog and cannot stay home alone. He is happy just being with us.He doesnt care if the dishes are done or what color the carpet is or if the towels match.

    although I own 5 acres he cannot run free because of wild animals and occasional stray dogs. So he has a fenced yard and his Daddy walks him.He is happiest when Daddy walks him on the leash rather then run his fenced yard.He really prefers it.

    The very dog you bring home could be the dog that you save from horrid abuse or have a life chained to a dog house. I would not make your puppy wait any longer. Go bring him home and give one more dog in this world a happy and safe loved Doggie :-)
    Love always finds a way !

  27. @ Vlatko.

    I want to thank you for allowing people to give their opinion on this website without the restrictions, for example, of being unable to post unless certain words are removed, or without having to worry too much about posts being removed.

    AND I want to thank everyone else on this website for not abusing this sort of leniency by keeping, for the most part, within fairly civilized boundaries. It's very easy on the internet to troll and say terrible things just for the sake of upsetting another and it's very easy to take the bate for anyone finding things offensive.

    I know none of this is very relevant to the documentary, but it's relevant to the comments. I feel that TDF comment boards are very welcoming places to have discussions, not arguments. Thanks everyone, for that!

    And, with regards to this doc. I haven't had a dog since I lived at home and was quite young, due to living in rentals, but this documentary makes me want a dog just as much if not more than ever. I've always felt this strange and deep connection with dogs, and when I was little it drove my parents nuts that I would go up to almost any and every dog. Even dog owners were sometimes shocked by how I could approach dogs who were almost unapproachable. I've always had too much respect for dogs to commit to getting one without all the elements in place so I could properly take care of it. They're incredible creatures and this documentary certainly helps to prove that.

    Thanks Vlatko!

  28. Half way through and really enjoying this documentary.

    I just watched the blue bowl experiment, with the pointing and the eye movement. I'm very sure dogs respond to pointing, but would they not also be able to smell the treat, given that it's sitting on a carpet with a bowl over it?

    Just puttin that out there.

    1. I thought that too actually, so when I tested my own dog, (a 1 year old golden retriever,) I sometimes pointed to the one with the treat, and sometimes the one without the treat. I even tried to trick him by letting him see where the treat was and then pointing to the other bowl, but every single time he went where I pointed.
      For the last time I tried with my eyes, and he got that too, but was definitely more hesitant.
      I had a lot of fun with the experiment actually, and I'm going to try the word recognition of object too, like the boarder collie.
      This documentary is amazing!

    2. I taught mine to look where I point, I used the command "look" which meant he was to look at me, then I used the laser light as I pointed, he would follow the light with his eyes and eventually he would look the direction I was pointing without the laser. Dogs really are amazing. I wish people would be more responsible with them.

  29. On my 4th birthday, I got a pup. It was a little terrier... thing. Much loved. She died when I was almost 23.

    Susie was kickin' around pretty flat out right up until the end, when her kidneys FINALLY packed it in. I had 2 'failed' visits to the vets in the following days, in which a juicy saline shot somewhat pepped her up for a bit each time. In preperation for the 3rd 'visit', I dug a hole in the back yard for her.

    Sometime in the middle of the night, the household was awoken to mournful howling coming from outside. After venturing out, it was discovered that Susie had found the hole and plopped herself in it. Pretty clear message.

    We had another dog, 17 or so, who was OLD for like.. EVER; who within days of Susie's rest - wandered off somewhere to die. The large paddock across the road, we asume.

    As 'odd' as all this is, Susie was diagnosed via blood test at age 1; with bone marrow cancer. The vet offered an 'experimental' vacine (free, guinea piggage), but still with 0 chance of recovery.

    My childhood memories may be a little distorted on that (BM Cancer confirmed though), but all the same - 'hmmmm'.

  30. My wife is always barking at me but I can't understand her. Thank god for my Rottie, Samson, he seems to get it.

  31. @Achems Razor; Yep you do seem the dobie sort lol. Sory for your loss. The loss of my long time companion dog was harder for me to stomach than the loss of grandparents. Perhaps that makes me a bad guy but it's the truth.

  32. I want a Border Collie.

  33. @ Vlatko
    Ok ..Done

  34. @Vlatko

    Okay, okay.

  35. @Vlatko

    C'mon. Its outright ignorance. You cant have this running around the joint screaming for animal rights.

    It stops things getting done. For the animals.

    1. Ignorance equals standing up for animal rights??? Oh okay.... now that is ignorance....

      "For the animals" LoL - oh what next....

  36. @Connie #55


  37. @Connie


    However, I DO take action on peoples opinions. Most are passed off as relatively harmless in the wider community, yet are in fact extremely damaging to such.

    I am paid to do this. It needs to be done.

  38. FLuffy Animal

    I did not see your last post as I was writing mine.

    Now that I did, You have two choices.

    1 apologize or 2 discontinue any conversations with me.
    I do not like you or care to talk to you.
    You discust me in both of your statements.
    i give you benefit of doubt that you might be over reacting and give you one chance to change your coarse of response.

    1. All right enough there. Disengage @Fluffy Animal and @Connie. That is way off topic.

  39. @ Bronte
    @ Fluffy

    Maybe I need to aplologize I just caught something.... When I responded to Bronte I must of been tired.. Cause I Thought Bronte says he exterminates them. As in He kills them.

    Seeing that he did not say that and only made a personal statement , Then I owe Bronte an apology for reading wrong and over reacting. I am glad I had not yet called or emailed my friends. LOL

    That leaves Fluffy Animal who might have over reacted to me. Cause of coarse no one will take action on only someones Opinion.Now if he had said he kills everyone he sees Like I thought I read him to say. Then perhaps they would.

    My apology is out there. To take or leave Fluffy and Bronte

  40. @Connie

    A wall. Indeed.

    Here is your 'substantiation';

    How do you KNOW that Bronte actively seeks out dogs and abuses them? Perhaps he was seriously attacked by one as a child? Perhaps he is a park ranger and despises what wild runaway dogs do to his beloved eco-system.

    Your Internet Policeman plug was lame, unfounded and petty. It smacks of delusional power-tripping.

    P.S. I actively seek out cats and shoot them. Guilt free. Care to add a bit of light as to my pedophilia status?

  41. Just logged in to comments, I love dogs, had a beautiful full grown fully trained ears, tail, cropped, big warlock breed male doberman.
    Dobermans are my forte, matches my temperament (LOL)

    Loved kids, but hated other dogs, smart dog, I swear that the dog was smarter than some humans, he was told to wake me at a certain time, used to stick his snout under my arm and flick it up to awaken me.

    Alas, died of a heart attack many years back, but still miss him.

  42. @ Fluffy Animal

    Let me tell you something. Unless you can porve anything, never call someone a lier.
    I may be alot of things but a liar I am not.If I was gonna lie it would be to keep from hurting someone.

    I never said my Internet Police officer friend can positively do anything about Bronte. But I know he also loves dogs and raises them and trains them for his use as search and rescue Dogs for the police department.

    It is also a well known fact that animal abusers are tightly linked to pedaphiles and domestic violence. The behaviors are common links. These studies have been done right here where I live and another friend who owns a huge santuary for animals of all kinds Get funding from Government levels and Educates people on exactly that as mentioned.

    Your behavior calling me a liar is completely unsubstantiated and ignorant to make such claims without any reason or knowledge to make such a charge.

    Don't ever falsely accuse anyone of being a liar without any basis to back up that claim.

    As far as I am concerned you dont need a break from anything except yourself.Let alone Vlatko.

    Vlatko is no dummie He knows and has caught liars on here before, If I was a liar he would of been the first to tell anyone.

    I will except an apology from you anything other you might as well be talking to a wall.

  43. @Bronte @Connie

    Puh-leese. BOTH of you. Lies all round.

    Bronte; you should probably take it out on your father.

    Connie; your Internet Policeman is likely FAR more interested in pedophiles.

    Vlatko; gimme a break man.

  44. Just recently in a Beetle Bailey comic strip it showed Beetle saying I wonder what dogs think and Otto the dog said you wouldn't want to know. And they showed in a thought bubble a fly infested garbage can, bone, a girl dog with her tail raised, and so on. Just thought a little doggy humour could brighten our day.

  45. @ Bronte
    Your response does not shock us. You probably won't be able to get off because you probably will not get the negative hate responses you are looking for to feed your mentality .

    You see there are so many children and adults like you that kill dogs annually that the dogs are not any where even with your kind yet.

    But dont worry.. I will report you to animal cruelty and see if they can catch you at it.
    Thank goodness I have a friend who is an internet police officer.
    Thanks for your response, have a nice life.....

  46. Special bond. I hate dogs, dogs kill scores of children annually. They are a pest that should be exterminated.

    1. What is with this "hate" thing?????? When will people GET IT that we are ALL..... yes all....... ONE. Open your frozen hearts and learn to love and respect ALL creatures!

  47. @Sky; Your welcome. And yes it is strange and awesome how it's all linked.

  48. @ Reasons Voice: I actually live in Sweden but Im glade that you noticed the difference.

    Thanks for the answer. its strange how everything works and are linked.

  49. @audiophile And others,

    I would not add thoughts to the sick minds who might try to make Dogs communicate verbally. less the thought of knowing the poor guinea pigs our doggy friends who would be strapped to tables and cages with brain surgerys and the cruel likes for the supposed sake of science and supposed benefits for man kind. Mankind needs to learnm to give back and stop taking from Life.What kinda worth is humans anyway if we continue these oerverted actions against Nature. Thats not humane as we difine humane, That barbaricism.Just a black Hole Sucking up everything good and pure and good light.

  50. another fascinating docco Vlatko.

    kinda reminds me of a sci fi novel i read years ago .... 'city' by clifford d simak, where dogs end up becoming the dominant species on planet earth, after mankind buggers off.

    by the sounds of things such a thing may even happen. who can tell ....
    anyway, i thoroughly enjoyed this docco as much as the novel
    thanks again Vlatko

  51. Wow, phenomenal doc. Definately looking into a border collie. There were two things that they didn't mention that I thought definately needed elucidation.
    1. They didn't mention if there were any morphological changes in the agressively bred foxes like the color changes/tail size changes seen in the passive bred ones.
    2. When showing the relative skulls of dog and wolf the speaker mentions the sloping shape of the wolf skull and the compacted shape of the dog but didn't say anything about the possibility of a more developed frontal lobe. That is exactly what they would need to interact with us on such a socially accurate nature. Plus they look similar to the comparrison of modern human skulls to earlier homonids.
    I think that in a thousand years or so they will be able to fully communicate with us, through some kind of implant of course. The potential is already there and moving in the right direction. Think of what a border collie could turn into in a thousand more years of selective breading. Interesting

  52. @Sky. The color ("colour" you must be brittish) change is most likely attributed to domestication. Since dogs no longer are subject to natural selection, the recessive genes for white or other bright fur colors can come out. Wild animals, outside of the frozen north, rarely survive if they are born white. That is due to the fact that they are easier to spot by predators and prey. Domesticated dogs have food provided for them and no natural predators so they don't face that threat. Also active selection is used. People like a white dog they breed that dog to get more white dogs and so on down the line.

  53. About ''Dogs Decoded'' Vladko, Thanks For making it available to us!

    Im realy curious about how and why the Dogs started to change colour to white and varaites of other colours after being domisticated?

    We seem to learn more and more about everything including ourself as a human being.
    But understanding Nature and all living beings on the planet will also make us understand ourself better!

  54. @ Reasons Voice


  55. @Connie; Well said! P*ss on them.

  56. @ reasons Voice

    (LMAO) You said: The day you show me a photo of a wild animal wearing a fig leaf for modesty I will retract that statement.
    My reply is then you havent seen me in my "Air port Detector Panties" LOL

    I do not disagree with Science part of Certain drugs used to fight diseases as such that 3rd world countries have. But there are some unnecessary ones and the Extreme of modern medicine where maintainence and natural remedys can be applied.
    There is no need to use the animal tested Beauty aids that so many use. That is a choice mostly by those who dont even care to know or change.(selfish ignorance) There are plenty of things that can be used for beauty and medicinal needs.
    Most woman do not know they are even putting urine on their face.All I can say is P*ss on them :-)

  57. I know many many people who devote themeselves to the disaprooval of animal abuse and research. Most of those people are women. None of them will forgo their cosmetics, shampoo, perfume, etc. even when confronted with the facts. Those items are made and tested by the manufacturer on Animals. You want younger looking skin? check the lable of your skin cream. Placenta. They are not following wild bears into dens and sneeking afterbirth out of the cave.

    1. You wanna know about live animal testing???? It is RIFE! I KNOW this as I am an animal rights activist and make the EFFORT to do ALL the research. You would not BELIEVE what happens on a HUGE scale behind closed doors. People should look for the Cruelty Free Logos on the label of products and stop buying into the huge companies that capitalise on the back of pain, torture and suffering. About time people woke up to the REALITY of what is happening and get their heads out of the sand on such issues. Humans have ABSOLUTELY no right WHAT SO EVER to claim the arrogant "right" to use the body of another organsim for their own selfish purposes. If you REALLY believe this then beware that your arrogance doesn't lead you into your dark karma one day!

    2. I have no concerns with my Karma. To date I have rescued a dozen dogs, a brood of ducks, two opossums, at least 20 squirrels, and got shredded to ribbons transporting a hawk with a broken wing to a professional to rehabilitate. On top of that I work in the medical field where I help to heal and comfort people daily. But if sacrificing some captive bred rats can lead to a cure for Malaria, cholera, Ebola, etc, etc. I say so be it. And if certain animal byproducts are needed to test for and treat a wide array of sickness I am all for it. The fox does not feel bad for the field mouse it had for dinner, I ate it to survive. I do not feel bad for the pig I had on my ham sandwich. Loving animals is possible without going overboard.

    3. Thing is, those things don't need to be tested on animals. It's just myths thrown at you by the whackos who test on animals. Animals need protection, not to be stabbed and prodded like test subjects. It has been proven when chemicals and meds are tested on animals the result is different then if it is tried on humans. there are also many alternatives to testing on animals.

    4. I get what you are saying Mandy, but I have my doubts that you are ready and willing to volunteer yourself or family to be deliberately given cancer and tested on. So as respectable your opinion may be, with all the best intent, you are mistaken.

    5. Keeping it real.

    6. Yeah! What right have we to kill viruses to make vaccines. How intolerable.

    7. Megan, ANIMALS DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS. Give a dog the right to eat, he will starve to death. Humans have responsibilities. It is the responsible human who will feed the dog, keep it safe, give it love. Animals can not have rights as they can not defend them, protect them. Give a dog the right to live, you will not be able to end his suffering when cancer has taken his body, yet he can not tell you when he wishes to die, if he could, guess what, he would still need that responsible human to carry out the task. Domestic animals depend on us. Giving them rights, takes away our responsibility. It is our RIGHT to own pets, they are our responsibility. Look up "rights" and "responsibility". Rights are something you have to protect, fight for, deserve. People need to be more responsible.

  58. You may well "not put much stock in modern medecine" but take some time and go to a third world country that has no access to modern medecine. While you are watching children fall like flies to polio, scarlet fever, measels, disentery, and any number of diseases all but erradicated by modern medecine, I doubt your thoughts remain the same. I am not referring to the flip flop over medication society of modern meds. I am talking even a simple throat culture to diagnose strep is cultured in sheeps blood. Animal byproducts are essential in medecine on all levels.

  59. Ohh and Connie; while I do agree that animals are smart in their own right, I truly doubt the understand the concept of clothes. So to them the woman just had a hairy neck. The day you show me a photo of a wild animal wearing a fig leaf for modesty I will retract that statement.

  60. Not to be argumentative but I dont put much stock into modern medicine either.Nor forced vaccines.
    And they change their minds like the weather with their supposed solid data conclusions.

  61. Reasons Voice
    I gotta hunch that for same comfortability and saftey reasons they are still suppose to make even the test cage comfy.

    1. Agreed... those cages don't even have a floor in them... very very cruel .... (and get off your judgements those who love animal torture - go strangle yourself!)

  62. The broader sense is what I mean though. Animal testing for medical advancement etc. is essential. Many people rage against it but put very little thought into the fact that, at base level it is largely due to animal testing that we have most of the medical advancements of today. Would you trade the lives of the bred in captivity white rats for the hundreds of thousands of children who survive to adulthood thanks to vaccines? It is a tough world and it all boils down to the lesser of two evils.

  63. @Waldo; Agreed. Though I am not sure that the foxes in the doc were being kept long term. If the cage were just for temporary housing while blood samples were taken it really is no huge issue. Even if these are kept animals we can't say from the doc alone that they do not have more hospitable enclosures when hot being tested. I am an animal lover whole heartedly. However I do see the necessity of things like this. If we collect enough DNA from a diverse test group of any species we would later be able to reproduce the species in the event of an epidemic. Contrary to what some believe knowledge can definitely be used for good. Imaging if someone had done this for the Tasmanian Tiger? Or any other now extinct species?

  64. Poor baby foxes... No wonder they were so scared . Did you see that womans fur collar on her coat? That is plain mental cruelty.

    I'm beat Good Night all.

  65. @ Reasons voice

    In a larger sense I agree with you, but in this particular case- that is the question of having something soft for flooring as well as drainable so they are not standing in waste, in my state at least this is a state wide law enforced by the humane society. The law outlines the conditions you can keep a dog or other four legged mammals, like a fox or coyote if you have permission and a license. Any way, it warns specifically about making the animal stand on a wire bottom cage, and making sure the bottom can drain as well. With a little imagination both can be accomplished cheaply and the animal can have something in its cage that holds warmth and premotes comfort while not tearing its feet up. I suppose its a state by state thing, but here in Alabama it is a fairly seriouse charge, intentionally or neglegently harming animals.

  66. The biggest thing of this documentary for me was the realization that: Adults are just big kids XD

    I felt sad when I saw the foxes... poor things. It's ironical how humans feel the urge to dissect everything's essence and by doing so often times rob many of those things and even them selves of the essence of what they are. We are leaping to far to fast it seems. But in the end I try to be positive maybe it will save us in the long run... I hope so.

  67. It was really interesting! Thank you for posting!

  68. @Connie; That is the difference between selecting the lesser of two evils by necessity and idealism. You are promoting idealism and thats fine, however when you do manage to find an ideal situation let me know. Because honestly I just dont think it exists. Anyway Good doc about a good subject.

  69. @Connie
    Hah, I don't think dogs will ever 'speak' english, they may manage some guttural tones at some point that sound like words tho. As for humans learning to speak to dogs in barks, yes.. very possible. I myself have barked at a dog and it immediately and fully understood... seriously.
    I dunno where it came from, but I barked... surprised me as much as the dog I think :P

    The ability for us to communicate is definitely hardwired but the ability to understand is trained. The human trains the dog, the dog trains the human and we both conform to each others lives. A person with a dog develops a more active and energetic lifestyle while the dog will slow down to meet their owners at a halfway point.

    The one thing we can look forward to is that they will only get better, smarter and more lovable as we continue to breed dogs with favorable social traits, intelligence, and with genome mapping, eliminate genetic flaws which cause diseases.

  70. @ Reasons Voice

    I disagree and say wrong answer. It is not either humane to be kept on a wire nor have a filthy cage.

    They should not have to suffice a comforatable bed and living quarters for cleanliness.

    They have a right to have both.Poor things as it is in those cages.Not to mind being poked with needles just to satisfy the idiot minds for proof of what Dog and fox lovers already know.
    Why wasnt the recordings good enough or the breeding? Nope instead now we are gonna do all kinds of lab experiments on mans best friend. And see how it started so simple? Oh yeah lets see if man can detect the voices dogs make into an understandable language.. yeah and now its Gene time !

  71. I originally saw this on cable and was so impressed that I purchased the download.

    We have highly underestimated these wonder animals. Give me a canine pack any time over most humans!

  72. @Mitsy; You are correct that small cages are bad, but the wire botom is so that any waste can fall through. It would be far more inhumane to have them standing in their own filth.
    @Nigel; Absolutely! Dogs are the best companion any man can have. I have two myself and my roomate has two. His girl has one and our friends bring theirs over too. When we go for a hike it is usual for there to be 3-4 people and 6-7 dogs. We are a happy pack when we are rampaging through the mountains.

  73. Okay. Next day. Managed to watch the whole video this time.

    Just one important additional comment:

    Just look at the size of the cages those poor foxes are being kept in. Not only too small for any movement, but wired bottoms, not solid. This is criminal abuse of animals imo.

  74. Some good science in this doc.

    As a dog owner though, and I think I speak for most; no real surprises though eh? (;

    I own an American Pitty, and she is spooky intelligent (common in the breed). She can problem solve more than any other dog I've known. Well, except that ridiculous Border Collie in the doc. Far out.

    My other dog is a Bullmastiff. She is... placid - Oozy big dwoofus. Oozy oo - etc etc etc etc.

  75. Excellent, both in presentation and subject matter (and I'm a "cat person").

    I follow any science that's going, and I have to say this is among the most inspiring new work I've come across recently. And like many big ideas, the new perspective makes so much sense it seems obvious in hindsight.
    Seeing dogs as partners in the formation of the human story, rather than just one of our inventions presents a fascinating new picture.

    @mitsy We have to test these things scientifically to make sure we're not fooling ourselves, which we do all too readily.

  76. Vlatko come on post a new doc when there is nothing new i have to watch hulu and everyone knows thats sucks. i hope u dont just take a day off when ever u want like u have hundreds of people waiting for u to post new stuff. you are goingto have to post 2 new ones next time, since its taking so and they better be good ones with valid nonblocked links we all are waiting.

  77. @ whoopi goldberg
    I am sure they are already speaking back in Human Language Just as they are hearing it. The Question should be Can we hear them when they do?

    The next question should be. Will dogs get humans to bark and whimper in Doggy language?

    We are supposedly so smart yet we want the Dog to understand us Yet we dont understand them half as well.

    We need to do more listening instead of teaching.They think we are the dense ones.

  78. do you think that in like 1000 years that dogs will be able to speak english? cause like dogs and humans r already so good at communicating

  79. @ PS Waldo
    Donna taught Maverick to hide under her desk so when the insurance man comes he isnt seen or heard.

    Its unreal he listens to her and doesnt come out till she says the coast is clear.

  80. @ Waldo

    My Chester is 1/2 Pit- Bull and 1/2 miniture mexican chihuahua. My Girl friend raises Pit Bulls and they go to work with her at the Lumber mill. The custumers love them Esp. Old Maverick. He stands on his hind legs like Scubby Doo and helps her push the heavy lumber carts around.

    Over the years I have seen where pit Bulls are super smart dogs.

  81. One year old Pitt Bull, sweet as can be. The only place he doesn't go with me is college. His favorite food is cruch and munch, and he loves to play freesbie. My best friend for sure, pitts can be real sweet hearts if raised correctly.

  82. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Thanks Vlatko.

  83. My dog is smart and we understand each other, the only thing is he can't speak English lol

  84. Great Doc. I have a Duchshund,a little love, always happy...
    I love them all.

  85. Great Doc ! I am glad to see they are studying dogs and Human relations If only to prove and show others who do not believe Dogs have certain capabilities; However, as Mitsy mentioned I am afraid of the dark side of testing dogs and am concerned how far some might go in testing and being raised in kennels.

    I have an exceptionally smart dog. I have often thought for science sake he needs to be tested and used as an example of what dogs can really do.And their capabilities.I would never leave his site though or allow anything that would harm him mentally, physically or spirtually.

    My dog has a vocabulary larger then I know and is always shocking us even though we have been shocked so many times.
    He actually ease drops on every conversation and is actually spooky as to how much he really understands so much.

    Just like the black and white Australian Shepard in the film My dog Chester knows all his toys and things by name. He will go get whatever I ask.
    He even has quadruple sets of toys and when ever we are playing with one of them he will go gather all of them and keep them together. If he doesnt I tell him no go get the other one. Where is it? And he goes and gets it.

    Or he will go and come back pretending he cant find it. Then stares at it and tells me where it is.
    Seriously, this is something beyond anything I have ever seen Chester actually plays the games in reverse. He takes turns in the roles of the game. He will tell us to go fetch too. I am not joking.... he will play hide and seek on me just like I do him.

    He will do anything for a laugh or joke. His favorite past time is jumping in the air to catch a ball. But he doesnt stop there. He has to catch it and do a backwards summersault and land in the opposite direction. He always is improving his game like an athlete. I purposely have to keep the ball at a lower level so he cant have time to do double flips. He wants to push the envelope and sometimes land straight on his back and is empty of wind. I am afraid he will get seriously hurt.

    He reads people like a book. My sister hated dogs, I don't know why, but she come over one day and was so distressed and she let me keep Chester in the room so he wouldnt have to be in the bedroom all day while she was here.
    She laid on the couch and Chester got in her face and started talking with his eyes. That very moment she fell in love with him. It was so profound to hear her suddenly recognize what I knew all along. She is connected to him deeply after that. She knew that he knew she was in distress and talked to her it and she feels so bonded to him.
    I wish I could write all the things he does, But it would be rude to hog this blog.
    But I tell you , If I made a video of all he does it would shock so many.
    It still shocks me. We are learning more and more to learn what he tries to teach us.We find him always trying to teach us things. Like he wants us in a pak.
    I disagree that dogs have not good eyesight. Maybe they are not like ours but it works for them. Chester has spotted the smallest of spiders on the wall near me and has woken me up to warn me.

    More than once he let me know I have a fire in the microwave.

    He wakes me up when the alarm goes off,But I have caught him purposely ignoring it if I had not much sleep. I have seen him pretend he is sleeping so as not to wake me up. But as soon as he thinks I woke up he will pretend he just heard it. Those shifty eyes LOL.

    There are so many thinking processes that this dog does that I have never seen in any other dog.Gary says he is a reincarnate of our old faithful Trogan Horse we once had in Battle. and his next life he will be a Human.

    I almost believe him cause he is so special.
    Another area where he shines so peculiar shows up in his habits. He loves regimentation and doing the right thing. If we do something thats not how we do it, he tries to get us back on track but once he knows thats what we want then he will do it.

    Why did he always know the difference between our stuff and his stuff I will never know. But he will never touch our socks. Yet he has his socks that was ours we gave him.

    He will do commands by body signs and by words. He even throws the ball to us.
    He is just amazing. Lassie has nothing on Chester. It took several lassies to make a film but it would take only one Chester to make a movie.

    He even purposely tries to cheat. LOL He has such an Atheletic attitude of competition. When it comes to play he takes it seriouly.

    I'll never forget the night I let him go potty out back and the neighbors dogs attacked him. He was so small and still a puppy but he fought them off with me.

    We were working as a team, but then I realized he wasnt gonna back off till I was out of harms way. I saw as I retreated closer to the house so would he as soon as I got on the back deck. He jumped right up in my arms , as though to say... Dang Ma lets get inside! That was the first time he ever jumped in my arms. Another one of his ideas...
    He was so scared yet was so brave.

    He is 8yrs old this year and still comes up with new games and ideas And I am still learning the games and language that he shares with me. As much as he is pampered as a baby he never lost his toughness and Pak type behavior.

    He still is hand fed by his choice, He thinks it is done out of love. He doesnt want to change that. So we dont. I often wonder if that bonding makes a difference.
    Trust me he is no sissy and is courageous even when in fear.

    Sorry I better not ramble any further. I only meant to share this so unusual Dog.

  86. This was one of the last docs aired by kcet before it separated from PBS, I was great then and it was awesome here, Thank you, as I have three dogs and everything said here is 100% true, I think my positive attitude kept the whole doc in sync.

  87. @Reasons Voice
    haha watch out for low flying canine appendages!
    so you're a politcal activist AND a dog lover??
    I knew there was a reason i liked you!
    I've got a Staffy Lab cross & he's a fine friend who often makes my day.

  88. Very good quality documentary, very informative.

  89. Some notes:

    1. I do not like to see dogs - or any animal for that matter - being used for expperiments. This can all too easily cross the line to cruelty.

    2. Dogs do not depend their eyesight. They have comparatively poor eyesight. They are much more dependent on sound and even more so on smell.

    3. Any dog owner, that lives with his dog in his home, can tell you that the dog has a variety of sounds, not just barks, for different situations. This needs to be checked out by so-called scientists? Any person sensitive to dogs will be able to understand the different sounds and interpret the dog's emotions at that time. This is not surprising to anyone that knows dogs.

    Neither is the opposite surprising. Of course our dogs understand our emotions. We are two different species but have lived so closely for so long that it is an essential ingredient in out relationship. Perhaps it is even the base reason for the relationship - perhaps it was the ability to understand each other preceded the forming of the relationship, caused it and encouraged it.

    Then I got cut off :(
    Something about technical difficulties not allowing the film to load.

  90. @Dr. D; I have a Boxer myself. Love that dog. Just be prepared, as a breed they can be attention hungry and clingy to a favorite in the family. I personally did not have his ears cropped since Boxers are even cooler with droopie ears. But get the tail bobbed or say goodbye to anything brakable at waist level (including you).

  91. this was a great doc! very informative

    thanks a lot

  92. Another Netflix doc!

    I enjoyed this and it just furthers my urge to get a boxer, knowing now that they've had their genome mapped.

    I had a problem with the daily motion player: I couldn't get out of full screen mode without bringing up the task manager, however this might just be a problem with my flash version or IE.

    The doc does repeat after it finishes, too. I watched 5 minutes of the first part over because I thought it was a different episode, hah.