Unwritten contract over 10,000 years old between dog and human

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There is an unwritten contract between dogs and humans. There’s one for cats too. They were both agreed over 10,000 years ago. If the dog ‘contract’ had been written down it would have stated that if the dog carried out certain tasks for us, we in return will provide food, water, shelter, companionship and care. Dogs were very utilitarian and still are to a lesser extent. Dogs have been required to guard homes, protect people, help when humans hunt (e.g. for mountain lions – horrible pastime), destroy vermin such as rats, and pull sledges to name some.

There are other more specialist jobs for dogs such as collecting birds’ eggs in their mouths without breaking the shells, sniff out truffles (very profitable for the owner today), sniff out drugs or money at airports, guide the blind, support witnesses at criminal court proceedings where allowed [link], rescue avalanche victims, track down escaped criminal, run races, travel in space, become animal actors and actresses on stage and screen and if purebred compete at dog shows. Phew, a long list and it is not complete.

Through the centuries the dog has been unwaveringly loyal to their owner and to their ‘contract’. If they break the contract, you can usually trace the underlying reason back to human behavior of some kind or another. For instance, the XL bully dog has been banned in the UK as they tend to attack humans. But they were breed to be docile and friendly [link to an article on this]. It is people who turned this ‘breed’ into a ferocious animal through various means including giving them steroids which can make then aggressive [link to an article on this]. The XL bully story which is all over the news headlines recently is actually about human behavior. This is hardly mentioned. The truth is that small dogs can often bite more than XL bullies. Problem dogs are about human behavior at root not dog behavior. The same applies to domestic cats.

RELATED: Training XL bullies to be weapons.

Dogs are more loyal, trustworthy and reliable than human beings. Most of the time dogs stick to the unwritten contract with devotion. Sometimes by force dogs are reduced to human levels of barbaric conduct. The original ‘dogs of war’ now used to describe human mercenaries, were real dogs trained to attack the front lines of an enemy army.

The famous Star Trek line: ‘Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war’ was first used by Shakespeare. They are the words of Mark Anthony. The Gauls used ‘armoured dogs’ with heavy collars with sharp blades attached. They were terrifying and they lacerated the legs of horses.

We still have fighting dogs but thankfully they are outlawed in most countries. They are an excuse for gambling.

In China the dog is extensively eaten. The culture is that the dog should serve the human up to an beyond their death [link]. Historically, in China the dog is exclusively utilitarian but things are changing. To eat your companion animal is to break that sacred, unwritten contract which does not exist for farm livestock which is why you can’t argue that there is no difference in eating dogs than cattle.

A great failing on the human side of the said contract is the huge number of stray and feral dogs wandering loose around many conurbations across the planet. They, too, are not part of the contract. There should be none if humans had kept up their part of the agreement.

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