BETWEEN A HUMAN AND A BEAST: Between myths and scientific proofs. Defining interspecies relationship in dog training
Michał Piotr Pręgowski 1 1 - Wydział Administracji i Nauk Społecznych Politechniki Warszawskiej MAeS 2014; 15 (1): ICID: 1122751 Article type: Original article IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The bond between human and dog, the first domesticated animal, is a unique one. No other species is involved in such deep and multi-faceted relations with humans as dog; such relations include work, cooperation, sport, assistance in therapies, and companionship. Contemporary dogs often live among their humans, while enjoying care previously reserved only to same-species family members. Canis familiaris, “man’s best friend”, transcends the boundaries of Nature and Culture. In this article I present the field of dog training as one of few in which dogs are still perceived, by some, as the representative of Nature and a metaphorical Beast that needs to be tamed. Such vision is present in the socalled traditional training philosophy, dating back to the first decade of 20th century, as well as in the training programme of the contemporary TV celebrity Cesar Millan. At the same time, this vision is also in conflict with scientific reports and research outcomes of behavioral, cognitive and social psychology, ethology, as well as ethics.