I swear, by the discussions going on in that debate thread (the killer whale one), I wonder if I'm the only one (in this forum) who treats my dog like a partner.
I understand what my dog is thinking, and I understand his complaints. Sometimes he gives complaints that I can't understand, much like how he can't understand some commands (or "suggestions" as he calls them) I give him. But we compromise.
Unlike some owners, I don't freak out when he bites me. When he bites me, I know it means "NO!". And I'll ignore it when I need to. Like when he has a pain in his paw, if it's serious, I'll hold him down and check it no matter how hard he bites or panics.
He knows I'm trying to help, I know that when he doesn't give me an angry look. He just doesn't want me to make it hurt.
...I've even stopped him from literally killing my other dog. Me and him don't like my other dog (me and my other dog don't get along because he was raised by my brother... who I didn't get along with). But it wasn't right for him to kill him no matter how much of an @ss he was (he tried stealing my dog's food right from his mouth -and that was after a series of rude and ignorant actions of dominance he tried on him)... well actually, I thought it was right, but it wouldn't be legally fine.
You know how I stopped him?
Did I get in his way and say "NO! NO! NO!" like a jerk?
Did I chain him up to something and make him foam in the mouth out of frustration?
Did I pin him down until he locked away those feelings?
No. I put my arm between him and the stupid dog.
He bit my arm, and I looked him in the eye.
He didn't let go of his bite, and he didn't loosen it (he never bites anyone hard, except for this time).
I let him keep biting because I knew it let out his frustrations...
And he knew that killing that dog wouldn't have made me happy.
...eventually my dog let go and walked away, giving a feeling of "You're not worth it" to my other dog.
Ever since then, me and my dog really bonded. Now he and I know each other more than we know most other people (other than me to my darling).
...problem is, now he REALLY knows how to get on my soft side so I give him extra treats. :p
Re: My dog
I don't see at all how the argument that an orca killing it's trainer... isn't necessarily entirely the fault of said orca.... Has anything to do with whether or not we feel like our demesticated animals are our partners.
I mean.. I honestly feel like you sort've proved my point in the whale thread even further with this journal. Your dog was just doing what dogs do sometimes. Biting. And you didn't get all worked up either right? Probably because you have an understanding of dog behavior.
I have had dogs that bit for good reason before too. I didn't punish them for it either.
Now, if say, my mothers pitt attacked and killed my kid... Heck even if he just accidentally killed my kid. He'd likely be a dead dog (I could think of very few exceptional circumstances where I'd allow it to live). I still wouldn't entirely blame him though. He is, after all, a dog. There could be soooo many reasons... (especially seeing as how animals can't just TELL us what the problem is) That a dog (or any animal) might kill.
Now, I'm not saying that animals don't have ways of letting us know when they have problems. Or what they like or don't like. Or what they need. I understand messages from animals I've bonded with too. I not only know MY dogs... but I know dogs in general quite well. But that doesn't always matter. It doesn't always prevent the need to intervene. If anything... understanding the NATURE of these animals just holds us, as intelligent humans, more accountable.
Re: My dog
Wasn't talkin' about you specifically, was talking more about the two after you.
And no, I'm not seeing my dog's bite as a "dog behavior", it's his form of communication.
I understand his bite like I would understand a menacing dog that would bite me.
If a dog bit me menacingly because he was overterritorial over an area that wasn't his (due to his owner not teaching him any discipline...more likely given too much dominance), I'd say burn the witch.
My dog fighting out of self-defense or argument, I understand.
And guess what? If he did it in a menacing manner, I punish him for such.
Would I hit a dog if it did something bad? Yes. Is it abuse? No, the dog understands the action. If he does not, then restraint and gestures on a daily basis gives him the idea of what he did wrong.
It would be the dog's fault at that point, just as it were the orca's.
Yes, knowing these things hold us more accountable, but we act as if they can't help it.
And this is where our opinions split:
If a child or even a mentally unstable person were to do something wrong - would you give them full responsibility knowing that they know less?
Why? Because it increases their understanding of the severity of the situation. They develop faster in intelligence and maturity when they are weighted by responsibilities (or crushed emotionally and intellectually if weighted with responsibility with no true instruction). They are forgiven and given another chance but are still punished and will be held accountable for future actions. This wasn't the orca's first kill, as such, he should have been taught at that point that he'd be watched afterwards.
My dog knows nothing of the nature of our laws other than that I don't agree with him killing other dogs. The orca would know the same, more or less.
To that point, I'd give them some leeway to the responsibility.
But if done again, they are given full responsibility.
...same goes for the orca: This WAS NOT his first kill. It was his fault. It was our faults too, but it doesn't make it any less of his fault.
Re: My dog
Just to make it more clear:
I see what you say as "the nature of the beast" or instinct as a culture.
When a dog perceives something as a threat, it growls or whimpers or stays quiet. Its final action is always the bite.
When a dog sees another dog its first "instinct" is to smell where its been, what it is, and what it has done (unless it is a traumatized dog).
When a dog sees a moving object that doesn't seem human or any familiar "friendly animal", it is curious if it is a threat or as a food source.
Nature? Now several animals share these natures, including - at once: Us humans.
But us humans have instincts as well. It's our culture - it's our stereotypes - it's what we're prejudiced for:
How we interact with other people for the first time.
How we react to threats.
How we react to certain foods.
Some cultures find hugs as intimate as sex.
Some cultures find certain gestures offensive while others see it as friendly.
Some cultures react to strangers positively while other cultures react negatively.
Some cultures can't build an intimate relationship with someone without going through some form of trial, and each culture has different trials.
Some cultures see females as dominant instead of males.
One culture is even completely non-violent in every form (even in mind) except for hunting. No real understanding in the need of violence.
We call other people racist for pointing out certain traits amongst us, even for claiming that we like certain foods more than others.
But honestly? It's true. We DO like those foods, some of us ARE naturally bad at driving depending on our learning curve and mental perception, and some of us ARE more intelligent than others in logical reasoning while others are more intelligent through the abstract, etc etc.
Human NATURE-wise, we're just as simple-minded as animals. Our abstract thought processes is what makes us different. We humans have conditioned ourselves to constantly think abstractly, some moreso than others (it IS true that most males within the general United States populace hardly care to think abstractly and would rather run on instinct, but the fact is, they still do think abstractly).
Animals, mostly don't have a reason to think abstractly unless given constant challenges.
When a creature is given constant challenges, their way of thinking must change, opening their mind to things around them that they usually would have thought of and reacted to instinctively, now seeing it as almost new.
However, with time - an animal will constantly do the same forms of action to solve the same problem over and over. Even when put in different angles, the animal will continue to do the same actions, as it solves the equation the same way no matter what.
Overtime, these actions will become second-nature... and over generations, it WILL become their nature.
It will be taught down the generations so consistently that it will be written into the genes.
...which is why animals that aren't even taught by their natural parents how to act - will know exactly what to do when pushed into the situation with no other alternative.
Us humans are less instinctive as we're constantly giving each other more varied problems and often seek extremely different positions in life from our ancestors. We're constantly feeding new information into ourselves. Less instinctive, more abstract.
But we still run on simple instincts that never change.
Could there be a chance that one generation doesn't receive the same instinct? Of course, but there's also a bigger chance that they've received an instinct from a different ancestor. We've learned to do so much monotonous actions over our years here on Earth, that it's amazing we still keep coming up with something new to pass down.
In the same way, animals... dogs... orcas. React the same way to their genes.
Why haven't dogs, orcas, sheep, etc not changed much over their years here on Earth?
Simple: They've stayed in an ever-changing, yet ever-the-same world: The wild.
What's screwed it up? Us humans. We encroach on their territories. Introduce new materials and devices to them unintentionally, and they're reacting erratically towards it as their previous instincts usually put them to death when they use it on these new items and situations.
But still, animals react the same as long as they're distanced from us... we're too different from their instinct, yet ever the same... they get too close to us and they disappear, that's what they've seen over the years, and that's what they've taught.
Either we took them as our own, or killed them out of fear or greed.
Now they fear us... fear us sometimes more than other animals.
But why is it that our dogs are still the same and more or less as puppy-like in almost every breed?
Because we treated them as such.
Treated them as stupid cute little things... babying them over generations.
...and now most of them are stupid, cute babies by nature.
Did you know that Pitbulls were never this aggressive before?
Sure we trained them in things that used a lot of labor, strength, and gusto --- but that only made them more loyal and more hardy. ...but generations of us humans using them to fight other animals and each other for entertainment (it dates so far back...) has caused them to be naturally aggressive. Making them much more hot-tempered than other dogs.
Is THAT instinct? This "WILDNESS" you speak of? Hell no. They used to just be known for their loyalty and strength... years of abuse caused a new instinct to be built in them, much like how an animal learns how to live...
...pitbulls are still wonderful creatures and can still be taught not to be aggressive, but they're harder to worm it out of than most other dogs because of how we raised them. ...just because they were built tough and strong...
That's not the nature of the wild, that's the nature us humans put in them.
WE made that nature of them, much like how animals got their own natures by reacting to their surroundings.
And just as these dogs can be changed with correct training and help, so can any creature- even us humans.
Some don't want to be changed. That's not nature speaking, that's them speaking.
But we simplify it to their breeds, to their species...
Yet it's so hypocritical...
We don't want to be racist, but we judge animals on their species?
That's the same thing! Just because they aren't human doesn't mean we should treat them like things that can't learn or change.
...treating them wild just because we haven't had the need to survive in tougher situations in a long time... we see them wild because they use various forms of "violence" (biting, scratching, striking) to communicate with other animals just because we use imprisonment (zoos, boundaries, leashes), propaganda (food, lures, comfortable living), and indoctrination (raising their children and weeding out the ones we don't like) on animals to communicate over their generations with unfamiliar gestures...
...but just because we were an @ss, does that make them innocent?
Just because we enslaved and mistreated the blacks, they're innocent?
Just because we took away land and dignity from the natives, they're innocent?
No... just as there have been respectful blacks since the beginning, who have fought, yet endured with dignity and humility as a person...
...just as there have been natives who have used diplomacy and even beat the logic of the intruders, but shown they were better than them by not enacting revenge...
...in the same way, there were animals, there are animals who have gone through our hell and kept their sanity, their pride, and a common sense to the environment and people around them.
It IS a trained animal's fault for killing a human, especially more than once - when their brethren, their kind, their species have endured and shown they were better than the humans that treated them ill.
...and this wasn't even mistreatment... this might be described as anything as delinquent behavior or frustration.
And what excuse does he have? Most of the other killer whales have never shown this aggression before. And through our understanding of their gestures, we're pretty darn sure they were happy.
...he has no excuse. It is his fault. If he was fighting for freedom, he would've/should've gone after the audience, after several of the other trainers.
Doing it one by one is a form of assassination, an underhanded technique that are used by those who are willing to take the blame.
But no, I doubt this was a cry for freedom... the trainers of Sea World would have picked it up and would've found a more suitable Shamu.
Playful? I'd blame a child for killing a puppy.
"Doesn't know any better"? No... if you speak of nature, then I speak of soul. We know when things are alive with it, and we know when we kill it. Perhaps it was an accident, but if no feeling of remorse is found within, it could either not care about other beings (bullies show this nature... and strangely enough, child psychology and physiology actually point it to a certain percentage of lead in their blood. That's right, it's mostly chemical) or had done it for its own sick sense of enjoyment.
...funny thing is: If any human shows this form of nature, they're blamed by others (even if their mental state doesn't let them comprehend what was "wrong"), and punished.
Animals bred and taught under us are beyond just "nature" much like how we believe the mentally unstable is beyond his disability of loving the kill of a man's wife... he could've cared if he tried, but he didn't.
The animal could have, but didn't.