I am not a biologist, so sorry to anybody for misinformation in this post.

If I understand correctly, dogs evolved the ability to show emotions through various sounds and tail-wagging in order to better communicate with their symbiotic partners, humans. Is it possible that recently, dog breeding has disassociated this with the communication of emotions due to the fact that humans like dogs which are more naturally happy? Considering that they have been tamed, and therefore their actions wouldn't be a good indicator, it seems plausible to me.

Please correct me on misinformation.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.Beta. Just to make sure I understand your question: You ask whether it is plausible (or whether it really happened) that dogs do not feel anymore happiness but still waggle their tail because they are selected to make humans think they are happy but not to be happy per se? $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Sep 25 '14 at 3:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I am asking about plausibility, unless there is some accessible source of knowledge to answer definitively. Other than that, yes- that is what I am asking. $\endgroup$ – David Ball Sep 25 '14 at 4:59
  • $\begingroup$ Well...yes that sounds plausible to me! I guess one answer should incorporate some elements of the additive genetic covariance between traits and how such covariance evolve in order to address whether it is likely or not to have first evolved both traits together because they were correlated and then correlation fell down (eventually because being always happy is not a good thing) so that traits could evove independently. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Sep 25 '14 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Evolution of the G-matrix is still poorly understood today. Hopefully we won't have to discuss too much about the M-matrix. If I feel courageous I may try to give an answer along these lines later. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Sep 25 '14 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ Dogs are very cunning. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if they evolved tail-wagging without being happy, just to get another biscuit. $\endgroup$ – Dan Horvat Jun 8 '15 at 0:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.