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Are dogs just your ordinary pets?

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Written by   50
1 year ago

OK, so before I fully commit to this, the post might be a little bias to our fur friends, but I can't help it. I'm a fur parent and I wanted to share how important my babies are and... OK fine! I'll create an article for cat mommies and daddies as well, don't worry, but for now, let me feed you, with your hunger for literature! :)

Your dogs are not just your pets (There you go, I said it).

Dogs share DNA with other species, they were raised as pack animals by their wild ancestors' thousands of years ago, and today they have evolved to fit in our homes and lifestyles.

Dogs are more than just bodyguards who will protect you from every bad guy on the block; they also have the ability to provide a unique opportunity for humans to observe nature up close, teaching us how animals behave in the wild. They’re therapeutic companions who can help improve your mood when you’re having a tough day or help reduce stress caused by chronic health issues like PTSD or OCD. And they’re constantly learning from each other and from us, even if they don’t realize it.

The more dogs we let into our homes, the more we can learn about them in their natural environment. Without a dog in your life, we may never know that dogs find a way to bury bones or track wolves’ scat. Our knowledge of dogs is limited to what we have observed firsthand or what has been published in scientific journals, but there are many other things that can teach us about our canine companions – things you might not know unless you’re willing to get out of your own dog-crazy brain and stop paying attention to your favorite hound all day long. Let’s start off quickly with some basic and accidental findings that might make you rethink what your dogs are capable of. According to a Wall Street Journal blog post, a simple case of mistaken identity was so compelling that even the researchers didn’t grasp the significance of their own findings until years later. It all began with the discovery of a gene dubbed “doofus.” In 1997, a team of archeologists led by Takashi Yoshimatsu at Arizona State University was excavating the remains of two mummified dogs in Egypt when they discovered a mutation on the FOXL2 gene that seemed to be responsible for a bone condition called “dachshundism.” The FOXL2 gene produces a protein responsible for proper bone formation, and dachshunds with the doofus mutation have also been found to suffer from osteochondritis, a painful joint disease.

So, Scientists made a mistake, they thought that dogs have the doofus gene, according to Wall Street Journal blog post (by Christina M. Austin). It was a mistake that was easy to make since these Japanese researchers were studying the genome of a mutant dachshund. It’s funny that a mutation in one single gene could have such a profound impact on the health of an entire breed, but ultimately it’s not important, because the doofus case is still valid.

So what was the reason that confused scientists? The mutation was discovered by comparing the genome of a dachshund with the genome of a chihuahua, which is known to have the same FOXL2 gene variants. It might sound like a complicated way to identify a genetic mutation, but in reality, the research team simply used a list of FOXL2 variants that they had created for dogs.

Come to think about it, it is not very unlikely that we have already encountered dogs with mutated FOXL2 genes because they’re just like us, they have just been bred and domesticated for thousands of years, so mutations are quite normal in them, just like us, they have just been bred and domesticated for thousands of years, so mutations are quite normal in them. So, that’s it for the case of "doofus". Let's continue our education with finding mutations:

On The Case of Mutant Dogs!

Your dog is not just your pet. Your dog might not have any genetic mutation in its genome and still be a superior creature capable of remarkable things.

1. According to the Pet Detective, dogs with this mutation might be the ones who can easily track down foxes and other animals from a distance. This mutation was discovered by Olfactory Research International, a company that runs scientific tests for perfumes. The company wanted to test fragrances for animals to accommodate the snouts of canines and, of course, they tested their own as well – to see whether dogs would be attracted to their own perfume.

To their astonishment, the dogs responded to only one: the control sample. It was the fragrance of the urine sample of Roxy, a dog that a few months ago was brought to the clinic. Normally just their own smell would attract dogs, Roxy’s smell was different. She had an unusually strong sense of smell. An odor that dogs usually detect with 98 percent accuracy could reach Roxy’s nose with 99.5 percent accuracy.

The director of the research company, Claire Dalton, used her own dog to conduct a test, preventing the dog from having anything to smell, collect its urine sample, cut it with water, and put it back in a jar. She was surprised to notice that Roxy identified the urine of her own dog by immediately standing on her hind legs, sticking her nose over the air as if this scent was very important. This test was repeated for 15 species of the canine family, and the control was Roxy’s. Dogs with wet noses identify the smell of their own species, but the control of their own strain detected only a little smell.

2. A very common mutation in dogs is the "black mouth mutation" - a trait in which an animal's mouth turns black when it’s a puppy. It doesn’t affect the health of the animal, but it's an interesting example where a dog's color is functional and dominated by a single gene mutation, according to some sources.

3. According to WebMD (Andrea C. Newman), dogs with a special mutation in their genes don’t feel pain as humans do.

A new study in the journal Science found that dogs, a wild-living species, have evolved a way to avoid feeling pain. The mutation inhibits a pain receptor linked to a function that humans have lost. The study was no accident. Duke, a (pain disabler) dog lived with his owners, the Mobley family in California. They were participating in research on the effects of chronic pain at the University of Washington, reported CBS Los Angeles. Dr. Jon T. Wilkes says Duke can chew on his own legs and doesn't show any sign of discomfort.

The study in the peer-reviewed journal Science is the first to report how dogs have evolved their own version of a gene that helps regulate pain. The knock-out gene doesn't affect pain in dogs. It's actually the opposite. The mutation causes dogs to have an under-developed "pain" gene (POMC), which produces the hormone called pain inhibiting neuropeptide, said the study's co-author, Mutsuo Shinohara, director of the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Okazaki, Japan. Humans don’t have the POMC gene. This is one more example of how dogs are a model of what's normal in the animal world.

So, there you have it. Your dog isn’t just your pet. That’s a definite no. Dogs are highly social animals. They live and grow with their own kind (When they live with a pack). They have a complex sense of the territory where they live and play. They are very expressive and friendly and they have a big responsibility to humans, they are our pets and protectors. They are our companions and they have to help us when we need it most. But, they have their self-language. They know us. They understand us. They trust and love the one, who takes care of them. This is true and proven. But, don’t forget that they are superior.

Thanks for reading my post!!!

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Written by   50
1 year ago
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