Submission – Behaviour Mod 2
Steve’s first agenda with Meghan was to see if she was smart. Because the last thing he wanted was someone who was totally dependent on him. She was quick, alert, and bright. She showed him how easily she learned when they played the games. Once he taught her the game, he had a real struggle beating her. He had to keep practicing and learning to stay ahead of her. That totally jazzed him!
Meghan was used to following instructions from her big family. She had many above her who had no problem bossing her about. Which kind of worried Steve at first. Did she ‘go along to get along’ or consider if they had her best interests at heart and do what was best for her and the family? She could think for herself, but would she?
Steve picked up a couple of young pets from his local rescue centre and had Meghan help him train them. They planned their diet and exercise, and what rewards and discipline they’d use together. And discussed why they would use these particular strategies. Did the research required in learning what the animal needed. And took them to the vet for health checks and vaccinations. Everything was fine.
Steve had Meghan take the lead with the pets once he was sure she could. Once she knew the rules and the reasons, and he saw she complied with the plan, she was lead pet. He only intervened when she forgot a rule or goal. And only enough to get the pack back on track. Otherwise they were her pets. And the pets understood that.
Meghan was brilliant with the pets. She loved to play with them and was calm, even when they were acting up. She learned to be a good ‘mother’ to the pack. She questioned Steve if he wanted to change things, and if she thought he was wrong (rarely), she challenged him. Which is exactly what Steve was looking for.
Meghan became more assertive, and Steve was thrilled.
Most of the domestic animals familiar to us today were domesticated not long after people began farming and living in permanent settlements, between 8000 and 2500 BC.
to be domesticated, animals must possess six characteristics:
- a diverse appetite,
- rapid maturation,
- willingness to breed in captivity,
- strong nerves,
- and a nature that conforms to social hierarchy
Most domestic animals are naturally social. Their wild ancestors lived in groups, with individuals responding to each other–some led, others followed. In domestic animals, the tendency to submit to others is especially strong. Generations of breeding have encouraged them to let people take the lead.
Animals that make good candidates for domestication typically share certain traits: They grow and mature quickly, making them efficient to farm. They breed easily in captivity and can undergo multiple periods of fertility in a single year. They eat plant-based diets, which makes them inexpensive to feed.
A good thing with herbivores is that while domesticated, they are protected from various carnivores. This can be considered a benefit of domestication for them.
downside is the pet becomes totally dependent on their carer