Which mammal species are suitable to be kept as pet?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    My first dog was a golden Labrador. Much the same nature as a retriever.
    Although I love all dogs and all breeds, my two Rotties were exceptional.
    The last one lived till he was 13.5 years [a great age for this breed] and would lay at my feet while I was watching telly, and lick my toe jam constantly and thoroughly!

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    We sometimes would have problems with AG people doing the rounds and distributing the Watchtower: If I ever saw them coming, I would sit Rocky at the front screen door, and when they attempted to walk up our path, he would give just one almighty loud bark, and stand up!
    It did the trick all the time.

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    ps: Whenever I hear on the news etc about any dog attack, I feel like grabbing the owner and throttling them!
    Most breed of dog treated with the right amount of "firmness" and plenty of TLC, will not be a problem from my experiences.....including the poor old Pit Bull and the fearsome reputation they have.
    Never looked like having any problem with either of my Rotties.
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  3. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I have said no such thing.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    It does seem to be the gist of your first few posts:
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I have no idea how you could get "all pet ownership (including your own) is bad" from what you quoted. If I say I wouldn't want to own a mini-van, does that mean mini-van ownership is bad?
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    no marsupials?
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I'll take your word for it that this was your intention. But the effect is not what you intended.
    All over the world, there are people who treat animals cruelly--even animals which they themselves would identify as "pets" rather than "working animals" or "livestock."
    If they live anywhere near a city or town, any pet that runs into the street has a high probability of being killed by an auto or truck.
    Since dogs have almost no bare skin to soak up the sun's rays, daylight is not a requirement for their health. Many people live in apartments with small dogs that rarely go outside, and have no medical problems because of it.

    As I've noted before, dogs have been bred over the millennia to regard humans as their leaders and benefactors. If their owners take that duty seriously (which in most cases requires merely companionship and a doctor's checkup twice a year), both species will be quite content with the arrangement.
    paddoboy likes this.
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    The question then becomes: is the pet being mistreated by being sequestered from its pack for an undue duration? I've had my share of dogs that howl at the door the moment it is closed. And howl for hours.

    True. Although dogs (unless they're old) tend to have more energy than their humans. Dogs do need exercise, and they do need to get out of the house for it. I've never heard of a human champing at the leash to go for a walk and their dog saying no thanks, I'm too tired.
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Yes, it's nice to have a two-acre yard where the dogs can run around by themselves.

    Nonetheless, I've had quite a few dogs who were not athletically oriented. A couple of laps around a rather small yard, and they're ready to come back in and watch more TV.
    That's a cliché. Dogs spend more hours of their day in sleep than a human of working age. The average American gets about seven hours of sleep per day. I've never had a dog that got by on less than ten, and a few seemed to think their primary job was to test the mattresses.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    I wonder. Is that cause, or is it effect?

    Pets adapt to their lifestyles. They are fed amply, without needing to do any work, and they are often exercised only at a human's whim (even if it's three times a day, that's still not much for a grown animal).
    I would say, in relation to what they evolved for, dogs are over-fed, under-fit and poorly-stimulated. I'd sleep too.

    OK, maybe not cats. But their carnivorous metabolism makes a difference.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    A lot of wild animals spend much of their time doing nothing in particular - resting, sleeping, hanging out. So do wild humans, btw - non-agricultural people who have been the subjects of time and motion studies seem to average no more than four or five hours of dedicated effort per day in even hard environments (the bushmen of the Kalahari, say). The men, anyway.

    I don't know whether that's true of wolves, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that pet dogs are awake and "active" (in a far more sedentary way, naturally) for durations not that radically different from many populations of wild dogs and wolves.
  14. mtf Banned Banned

    How do we know that??
    Other than by anthromorphizing??

    Now this is anthropomorphizing!

    I suggest perusing Nagel's "What it is like to be a bat."

    You've never had pets?

    Anyway, the issue seems to be that you understand freedom as in 'not being held captive', not as in 'freedom to choose which member of the human family to cuddle with' or 'freedom to choose which basket to sleep in' etc..
    The latter appears to be typical for many animals.

    Not at all. It takes much more for happiness than just food for the stomach.

    Depends on the prospective owner.
    Not every human (who meets the material requirements for having a cat as a pet) is suitable to have a cat as a pet.

    In which case, if we are to strictly avoid anthropomorphizing: there can be no discussion.
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    What are you talking about? We know aniamls have a different capacity by studying them.

    A dog can't find a biscuit under a towel.
    An adult cat must be trained to find the litter box.

    No. It isn't.

    We know that wild dogs are social animals. They naturally form packs with leaders - they have alphas amd omegas.

    The meaning we've been discussing is that of captivity.

    You are miusing the term.
    The folly of Anthropomorphisation doesn't mean 'we can't understand animals'; it means 'we can't think we understand them by simply ascribing to them what humans do':

    'My cat pees on the carpet because it's angry with me.'
    is Anthropomorphizing, by attributing a human behavior to the cat with no evidence to support it other than analogizing with human behavior.

    We can certainly understand animals (to a lesser degree) by studying them.
    To wit:
    Dogs don't have a high capacity for finding a biscuit under a towel.
    Adult cats forget where the litter box is.
    Wild dogs are social, form packs, and have hierarchical structure.

    These are objective studies.
  16. mtf Banned Banned

    This "studying them" amounts to a fancy kind of projection.

    What do you mean?

    In cat terms, a litter box doesn't seem to be the ideal place to do the business, and "training the cat to use the litter box" basically means convincing the cat that it is good enough for doing the business. Such convincing may take a while.

    Alphas and omegas? heh.

    When I see a pet not doing what I think it should be doing, my first idea isn't to think that the animal is stupid, or that it forgot, or that it is in some other way deficient, but that it is currently not interested in doing things the way I think it should be doing them. I don't see myself as the animal's master or as superior to the animal.
    Interestingly, this attitude of mine makes it very easy for me to peacefully coexist with animals.

    Note: You _project_ that the cat _forgets_ where the litter box is.
    You also _project_ that dogs _don't have a high capacity_ for finding a biscuit under a towel.
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    No, it doesn't.

    We can study dogs like we can study bees. We don't have a pretend they're human to be able to understand their behaviors.
  18. mtf Banned Banned

    What you get this way is an "understanding" of animal behavior, but it's an understanding on human terms.

    The anthropomorphization isn't in pretending animals are (like) humans. It's in insisting that _particular_ _human_ terms are the objective, neutral, universal terms.
  19. mtf Banned Banned

    What can be objectively observed, for example, is that some cats don't always use the litter box appointed for them. _Why_ those cats do that is a matter of human speculation. Do they forget, do they don't like it, do they think it's not clean enough -- that's for the empathetic owner to figure out, with careful observation and testing.

    Another example: Some cats don't like particular colors for their blankets, for example some cats don't like white blankets and refuse to sleep on them. If the owner only ever gives them white blankets, this can look like the cat doesn't want to use cat blankets, or forgets to use them, or some such. Such things can lead to quite a bit of strife between the owner and the cat, as the owner is trying to force the cat to do somethig it doesn't want to do. But if the owner tries to figure out what the problem may be, and carefully observes and tries this and that, such problems can be solved with no strife, to the satisfaction of all involved.
  20. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    I'm speaking of dogs and dogs only: I have never owned a cat.
    I said it in a previous post, dogs certainly need you as a responsible owner, to assert yourself as the "alpha" with firmness and plenty of TLC.
    This particularly applies with large breeds such as the Rottweiler of which I have had two.
    Again, I have never had any problem with any dog of mine and cirrently own two miniature smooth-haired Dachsunds.
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    I must disagree somewhat with that. Perhaps with some breeds of dogs that may work......Other more independent and assertive breeds, need a firm hand without cruelty and plenty of TLC as I just said.
    My parents bred minny Dachsunds, my own first dog as a kid was a cross Dachsund/Fox Terier, later in life a Golden Labrador, a German Sheperd, two Rottweilers and now two Miniature smooth-haired Dachsunds.
    Labradors will eat until they burst, but one must control that urge with the breed to give it healthy as possible life: Dachsunds must be prevented from jumping off lounges/sofas etc [as much as possible] as the breed has that long back and is prone to problems leading to paralysis, larger breeds such as Rottys need to be aware of their strength particularly with young children.
    All breeds need at least one daily walk or run along a beach etc.
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Agree. And this is all about understanding animal on its own level without having to Anthropomorphize it. It has its own cat-reasons for what it does, and they're not the same as human-reasons. But that doesn't mean that, with some careful observaton and research, we can't usually understand their behavior to a good extent.
  23. mtf Banned Banned

    I know full well that I am not suitable as a dog owner and I wouldn't have a dog. I just don't have it in me to regularly assert myself as the alpha.
    I get along fine enough with other people's dogs in random encounters, but this is an entirely different situation than ownership.

    It's strange that some people try to come up with a list of animals suitable as pets -- without considering the propensities of the prospective owner.

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