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Thread: Do Dogs Recognise Their Own Breed?

  1. #11

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    well not all but I think many do but they do not always like each other.

  2. #12

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    Miley recognises her own breed and pugs

  3. #13
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    Thanks for all the responses guys... from what many have said, I think we might be on the right track... not that we actually have any ability to study this formally, though I'd very much like to...

    So, our theory has two aspects; 1) Familiarity, and 2) Body Language Translation. So, it is usual that a pup spends the first extremely formative weeks of his or her life surrounded by dogs (mother and littermates) who look just like him/her. While there may indeed be other breeds in the household, the ones the pup sees in those first few weeks will look like him/her. (I would love to hear of anyone who knows of a pup raised entirely from birth by another breed- I think this could be extremly informative, but to reproduce for study would, to my mind, be a bit unethical and probably throw up too many confounding variables). Thus, visual familiarity plays a part and probably lead to the next bit, that is, body langauge and the ability to read it;
    Dogs are incredible translators of body langauge- far better than humans, so it seems like dogs of the same breed probably speak the same "dialect" when it comes to body language... and the dialects are subtly different (probably unnoticeable to humans). Thus, take my Dobes for example: Floppy ears, docked or thin tail held low(ish), smooth coat giving streamlined appearance. Contrast with, say, a sptiz breed: pricked ears, tail held up (and usually curled), big, bushy coat. To a Dobe the spitz might initially look like he or she is displaying aggressive posture even though for the other dog it is how they just...look (for want of a better word). So, physical appearance initially might present to the dog like speaking a foreign language.

    So, if I were to interview Villain (or Flirtt) it might go like this:
    Me: So, Vill, I see you like to hang out with Dobermanns when they're around. Why?
    Vill: Well, Gee, mainly cause they look alot like my Mom and brothers and sisters, and like Flirtt, too. They're easy to understand, they do things just like me and I dont have to really think too much about trying to figure it out.
    Me: So, what about German Short Haired Pointers?
    Vill: Well, they're alot the same, but there are some differences in how they do stuff, I'm not always completely sure. Sometimes we have a bit of miscommunication happening.
    Me: And what about a Husky, or Akita?
    Vill: Oh, those guys... well, until you get to know them they always look angry... Like, I'll play if I know them, but if there's an alternative, like a Dobe, I'll go play with him/her because it is easier and have more fun just playing and not thinking too much.
    Me: So, I know there were Jack Russels where you grew up... what about them?
    Vill: Yeah, they're pretty good, too... I'm sorta bilingual, Jack Russel is my second langauge, I still have to think a bit, but not so much as others. I still find my native langauge easiest though.

    So, we think that it has nothing to do with how the dog thinks he/she looks but more about how the other dogs look, the familiarity of physical makeup and the subtle similarities of body language that make it easier for the dog to translate and thus preferable to be around.

    Jucealala wondered if this "breed preference" might lead to being able to identify breeds in a mixed breed, and I think it just might... although it might be a tad more complex because puppies rarely spend alot of time with the dad... it still bears some consideration, though.

    The other thing is that in play, dogs often choose to play with other dogs of similar size or activity level, and I think this might be to do with just having a good game with a friend who can "keep up".

    Whaddya think guys?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydog View Post
    I think some do for sure. My TM's treat each other different than other pack members & Bubba seemed to hate Malamutes no idea why though.
    Our poodles also seem to rather their own kind.
    They all get along with other breeds but it's just different.
    I think it might be pricked ears like wolves,dogs with a history as herd protectors hate dogs who look even remotely like wolves, and yes, I am sure dogs know their own breed have seen many instances of this.

  5. #15
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    Sure makes sense, V+F. Especially about the thing with the spitz and the dobes, it does make alot of sense.

  6. #16
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    Yes they do, and they can be racists I noticed (but it's not just me) that some breeds like or dislike (even hate) other breed more than another. I had german terrier, and yes she was in general dog aggressive, but she adored dalmatans, no mater what sex they were and hated poodles. I have never ever seen her even trying to acknowledge poodle, as soon as she'd see it she'd go berserk.

    One of my dogs dislikes pugs because of the sounds they make. He wouldn't harm them but he keeps his butt away from their sniffs
    Respect and you shall be respected. Animal is always right.

  7. #17

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    I will never forget the look of enthusiasm when Clover flew to me at 8weeks, and then she met my other border terrier, Mac. She was like, "I know what this is!" It must've been a daunting day so she was very happy to recognise a border.

    Working in boarding kennels, I used to see some dogs that I would describe as 'breedist' - they would actually be aggressive or otherwise untrustworthy with breeds that were not their own. I remember in particular one beagle who very much only liked beagles.

  8. #18
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    aw I replied and it musnt've gone through

    I think it has a lot to do with shape and fur etc. Roxie freaks out at a range of different things for the same reason. They're different to what she knows.

    V+F, I understand that an experiment along those lines would cross boundaries, but what if we look at other breeds that have adopted? Eg, cats and rabbits, dogs that raise cats, and tigers etc. What happens to those animals when they meet one of their own? If a kitten is raised by a dog and with other pups, will they be more inclined to like a cat of their own breed or a pup of the same breed they were raised with?

    And what about animals introduced to the wild from captivity? How do they react when meeting their own or meeting other animals?

    I have never met a dog snob. Rox plays with anything, and any dog we've ever had visit is the same. My sister has a 'purebred' spoodle, I say 'purebred' because it's really just a fine mix. Not a true pure so I can't make any judgments.

    Dogs can find cancer in cells, drugs, money, coffee, feathers, all sorts of things so I wouldn't be surprised if they recognize themselves.

    If only we could have real conversations with them!

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jucealala View Post
    I think it has a lot to do with shape and fur etc. Roxie freaks out at a range of different things for the same reason. They're different to what she knows.

    V+F, I understand that an experiment along those lines would cross boundaries, but what if we look at other breeds that have adopted? Eg, cats and rabbits, dogs that raise cats, and tigers etc. What happens to those animals when they meet one of their own? If a kitten is raised by a dog and with other pups, will they be more inclined to like a cat of their own breed or a pup of the same breed they were raised with?

    And what about animals introduced to the wild from captivity? How do they react when meeting their own or meeting other animals?
    All exceptionally good questions... I'm off to do some research...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jucealala View Post
    I have never met a dog snob. Rox plays with anything, and any dog we've ever had visit is the same. Dogs can find cancer in cells, drugs, money, coffee, feathers, all sorts of things so I wouldn't be surprised if they recognize themselves.
    Maybe, maybe!! We know certain monkeys can recognise themselves... I'm pretty sure the level of "breedism" if we may call it that, in any dog is likely to be unique to each individual and is possibly impacted by a range of things including confidence, experience, temperament etc


    Quote Originally Posted by Jucealala View Post
    If only we could have real conversations with them!
    Oh, god yes.... or maybe Oh, God no!

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minibulls mum View Post
    I think it might be pricked ears like wolves,dogs with a history as herd protectors hate dogs who look even remotely like wolves, and yes, I am sure dogs know their own breed have seen many instances of this.
    So true I had never thought of iot like that but when I was torturing Bubba by showing him(he so hated it) I would have no aggresion issue exsept between him & the Malumutes & Huskies(but not as bad). Nothing bad ever really happened but if you got pulled in next to each other Bubba would just rumble & the Mal howled at him twice, lol................
    With the regonizing family Bubba & his sire regonize each other but are very hard to have together as his dad see's Bubba as a threat to his pack & standing as Bubba grow to be much larger than him.

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