Dogs Decoded

Dogs Decoded

2010, Nature  -   126 Comments
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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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Pato Gigante
Pato Gigante
3 years ago

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

Erin N
Erin N
4 years ago

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.

VAFFANCULO
VAFFANCULO
7 years ago

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.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago

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

Philip Verghese Ariel
Philip Verghese Ariel
10 years ago

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.

Halloween dog costumes
Halloween dog costumes
11 years ago

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.

yohello
yohello
11 years ago

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!

helpingmankind
helpingmankind
12 years ago

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.

Juan Carlos Morano
Juan Carlos Morano
12 years ago

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

Mandy
Mandy
12 years ago

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

Cynthia
Cynthia
12 years ago

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.

urban deadite
urban deadite
12 years ago

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.

Ashley Boone
Ashley Boone
12 years ago

...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.

Ryan Fulford
Ryan Fulford
12 years ago

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.

Jesse
Jesse
12 years ago

I want a tamed pet fox

Jesse James
Jesse James
13 years ago

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!
YES YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS ITS CRUEL!
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!

Pam Thomas
Pam Thomas
13 years ago

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

shivthespiv
shivthespiv
13 years ago

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.

Misa Amane
Misa Amane
13 years ago

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

Rachelnico
Rachelnico
13 years ago

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

Guest
Guest
13 years ago

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.
az

Tipsy
Tipsy
13 years ago

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

...I want a fox.

DaftAida
DaftAida
13 years ago

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

Diane
Diane
13 years ago

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!!

Remco
Remco
13 years ago

Awesome documentary, loved to watch it!

Dogs are the most awesome creatures on the world:D

Connie
Connie
13 years ago

@ 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 !

Lyn
Lyn
13 years ago

@ 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!

KFF
KFF
13 years ago

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.

Fluffy Animal
Fluffy Animal
13 years ago

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'.

Richard Best
Richard Best
13 years ago

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

Reasons Voice
Reasons Voice
13 years ago

@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.

Fluffy Animal
Fluffy Animal
13 years ago

I want a Border Collie.

Connie
Connie
13 years ago

@ Vlatko
Ok ..Done

Fluffy Animal
Fluffy Animal
13 years ago

@TDF

Okay, okay.

Fluffy Animal
Fluffy Animal
13 years ago

@TDF

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.

Fluffy Animal
Fluffy Animal
13 years ago

@Connie #55

Why?

Fluffy Animal
Fluffy Animal
13 years ago

@Connie

Almost.

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.

Connie
Connie
13 years ago

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.

Connie
Connie
13 years ago

@ 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

Fluffy Animal
Fluffy Animal
13 years ago

@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?

Achems Razor
Achems Razor
13 years ago

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.

Connie
Connie
13 years ago

@ 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.

Fluffy Animal
Fluffy Animal
13 years ago

@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.

toddy
toddy
13 years ago

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.

Connie
Connie
13 years ago

@ 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.....

Bronte
Bronte
13 years ago

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

Reasons Voice
Reasons Voice
13 years ago

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

Sky
Sky
13 years ago

@ 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.

Connie
Connie
13 years ago

@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.

roland gopel
roland gopel
13 years ago

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