Is a Dog a Wild Animal?

Updated in May, 2024 | By John Robert
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When it comes to owning a dog. There is a common misconception that:

Dogs are just domesticated mammal animals, not natural wild animals. This is because dogs were originally from wolves and then dogs have been bred by humans for a very long time which makes them domesticated mammals.

This couldn’t be further from the truth since they are still in fact, wild animals due to their predatory instincts. They are also territorial creatures which means you will need to teach your pup boundaries early on.

wild dog in jungle

This article strives to educate people on why dogs are still domesticated wild mammal. because owning a dog can have many benefits in terms of companionship and affection. However, due to the fact that they are wild animals, it does hold some responsibility when owning a dog.

People should own dogs, but they should also know from the very beginning that there is a certain degree of duty that comes with the pet.

People need to understand that it is their duty, as dog owners, to teach their pup boundaries and show them where they can or cannot go within the house.

The evolution of dogs into domesticated mammals

Scientists believe that our earliest ancestors began domesticating dogs from wolves sometime between 15,000 and 40,000 years ago in China’s Yangshao culture. John Bradshaw describes that early domesticated dogs were not much different from wolves. So, why did humans create something so similar to wolves?

There are many theories on this subject. One theory about how and why people began domesticating wolves is for companionship.

Also it was possible that these early domesticated dogs helped in hunting prey to feed the people.

Why Did Wolves Become Dogs?

The Stories Behind Dog Evolution this was because wolves eat rodents which are carriers of dangerous diseases like bubonic plague, typhus fever, and leptospirosis which is why humans may have begun domesticating them for their own protection. So, if wolves were very similar to wild dogs and they still are, why aren’t there a lot of wolves living in the wild now?

That is because early humans took these wolves and by selective breeding made them into all kinds of different companions. These include herding dogs, scent hounds, sled dogs, hunting dogs, livestock dogs, small terriers, and so much more. They made these dogs into what they are today because not only did they need to be able to find food or help hunters but also to protect themselves from predators that wolves didn’t have any resistance to like tigers, bears, and lions which is why now there are modern dogs that can still do this job. The purpose of this dog was to protect its owner and the owner’s livestock.

The wolves weren’t likely to attack other animals if they were together with humans because it is easier for them to take down prey that are alone. This is why dogs are considered not natural animals but rather domesticated ones because they evolved from their wild ancestors.

What are some other dog breeds?

Now, let’s take a look at the most popular dog in the United States: the American Pit Bull Terrier. This breed was originally bred to fight and kill other animals which is why we don’t need them anymore because we have domesticated dogs and cats to do this work for us so we use them as companions and pets now.

When was the last time there were wolves attacking livestock or humans though? They are only known to attack when they feel very threatened and if their owners are in danger, not because they want to prey on us like typical wild animals. Another example is the Doberman Pinscher which was originally bred for protection of people mainly from other dogs who were used for fighting. Depending on the time that it was bred in, this breed has been involved with wars and police work because of what they are capable of.

The last example is one I know a lot about since I have two Doberman Pinschers, which are my personal pets. This breed dates back to 19th century Germany and was originally bred as a guard dog. He’s mostly known to be a very loyal companion but also is capable of being used as a guard dog, police dog, search-and-rescue dog or even can serve as a war dog.

Why do people use the same breed for so many different jobs?

Well that is because they are very talented and intelligent. According to Doberman Pinscher Club of America, he is a “medium-large, squarely built dog with a compact, muscular body.” Despite his intimidating features he is very loyal and loving towards his owner which is what makes him great as a guard dog or companion.

What are some other jobs dogs have done?

There are many other jobs that dogs have done throughout history. Some examples include hunting, hauling carts, guarding people and property, herding livestock, pulling sleds which is why there are different types of breeds like Siberian Huskies , Retrievers , German Shepherds , Boxers , etc. As it has been said before this is due to selective breeding by humans for certain traits.

If this is what has happened with different breeds of dogs, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be able to happen again. A dog named Chaser was taught by its owner, John W. Pilley Jr., to understand 1,022 words which makes her the world’s smartest dog . Not only can she learn words, but she understands how they work and even the concept of ‘none’ which is pretty amazing. If we could teach dogs other things like this then maybe one day we could have them do all kinds of other jobs that we need done that don’t involve violence. It would not be like selective breeding though because there wouldn’t be any kind of in-breeding if we were to do this.

What are some other examples of domesticated animals? 

Of course there’s your typical cat and dog but there are also farm animals like cows, pigs, chicken, etc. The main point I wanted to make with the article is that:

Dogs are not wild animals because they have been domesticated for a very long time.

If we were to look at them as wild animals then there would be no reason why people like me (and maybe even you) couldn’t train their own guard dogs or work with search-and-rescue.

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John Robert

John Robert is a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). Owner of the most gorgeous dog on the planet, developed an interest in dog nutrition after finding the best food for his pet's allergies. The most impactful motive of his life is educating dog owners about dog nutrition and improving the lives of pets.