March 26, 2010

From Alexandra Moffat:

Re: It seems we’re all more human than average (March 14): In that article, it was mentioned that courtesy, politeness separates humans from animals. Sorry, animals display courtesy. You might say that an animal showing “courtesy” is only acting in a self- preservation way, to avoid altercations. But Isnt that, basically, why humans are often polite?

I have dogs that try not to step on each other if one is walking around a sitting or down dog. Also, If a dog is on my bed and wants to jump down, will not do it if there is a dog lying down on the floor unless she can find an open spot where she would be sure not to touch or disturb the dog on the floor.

Also, dogs honor a food bowl out of which another dog is eating.

These are just 3 anecdotal personal observations, there are many many more and I am sure canine courtesy is often noted by thousands of other dog owners. I also read somewhere that some expert said that dogs do not learn by imitating. Wrong! Experts are often not. Having said that, I am totally in awe of scientists and science - but sometimes it is a bit too removed from its subject!


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