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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm gonna post this again, managed to delete it last time.

The more I read about the program, the less I like it. But here's an interesting display of behaviors from silver foxes...

First some background:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tame_Silver_Fox

Then the primary research site:
http://cbsu.tc.cornell.edu/ccgr/behaviour/Index.htm

Then finally, the videos. The stark contrast of behavior here is pretty amazing to me. The "tame" foxes, I have to admit, seem like a lot of fun. The "aggressive" ones are obviously scared out of their wits.
http://cbsu.tc.cornell.edu/ccgr/behaviour/Fox_Behavior.htm

They're trying to isolate particular genes in the fox genome to learn more about aggression. It just got some criticism as one of the "scariest science experiments around."
http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/b142d534cba30110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd/6.html

Again, I kind of understand it, but I don't really like it. Particularly the part about selling hides from the foxes (including the cuddly ones that love humans) to fund the thing. Next stop, BYBs.

Don't know if this study is old news in the dog world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
From NYT, 1999:

''Recently we have sold some of our foxes to Scandinavian fur breeders who have been pressured by animal-rights groups to develop animals that do not suffer stress in captivity,'' she wrote. ''We also plan to market pups as house pets, a commercial venture that should lead to some interesting, if informal, experiments in its own right.''
Link
 

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First time I saw this was 5-6 yrs ago in the book "Dogs" by Raymond and Lorna Coppinger.
Still one of my favorite books devoted to yet another theory on the history/evolution of dogs. A bit different than the wolf at the campfire theory.
Amazing how we can breed for one particular behaviour and how many turns it can take.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hah, yeah, sorry about that...I found a random link to it and started digging and putting together a post which I then erased and rebuilt and then posted...before I realized the damn thing was from 99/00. :lol: Thought I had already seen all the post/repost dog stories in my long year on dog forums. :lol:

I will never, ever post the Rainbow Bridge here thinking it's new. That much I promise.

I will not post the Rainbow Bridge, regardless. :twisted:
 

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Woody Taylor said:
Hah, yeah, sorry about that...I found a random link to it and started digging and putting together a post which I then erased and rebuilt and then posted...before I realized the damn thing was from 99/00. :lol: Thought I had already seen all the post/repost dog stories in my long year on dog forums. :lol:

I will never, ever post the Rainbow Bridge here thinking it's new. That much I promise.

I will not post the Rainbow Bridge, regardless. :twisted:
The Rainbow Bridge? That sounds good. What Rainbow Bridge?



JUST KIDDING! :lol:
 

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From my perspective, the results of this study give some credibility to the study of morphogenetic field theory, pioneered by pseudoscientist Rupert Sheldrake.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphic_resonance I see an evolutionary example of "form following function", as the feedback of morphic resonance guides epigenetic development toward environmental stablity. It's notable that there seemed a tradeoff between adrenaline/serotonin levels between the wild/domesticate specimens.
''Behavioral responses,'' Dr. Trut wrote, ''are regulated by a fine balance between neurotransmitters and hormones at the level of the whole organism. Even slight alterations in those regulatory genes can give rise to a wide network of changes in the developmental processes they govern.'' Changing a complex system of genes (or a ''polygene'') by selectively breeding for some trait like docility is not necessarily beneficial, she said. Even a slight alteration of a polygene like that presumed to lead to docility ''might upset the genetic balance in some animals, causing them to show unusual new traits,
 

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I've had too much coffee again. :lol: Think of it as the metaphysical parallel akin to the physical explanations for building muscle by excercise, "repetition builds tissue" or "use it or lose it". There are definite interminglings between the easily perceived physiology and more obscure psychology of our makeup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bob Scott said:
Woody, that's priceless! Definately going in my save file! :lol: :lol: :lol:
"Sparky had character, but God likes obedience."

Quite possibly the greatest line about dog training ever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Daryl Ehret said:
I've had too much coffee again. :lol: Think of it as the metaphysical parallel akin to the physical explanations for building muscle by excercise, "repetition builds tissue" or "use it or lose it". There are definite interminglings between the easily perceived physiology and more obscure psychology of our makeup.
I think that's mostly due the resolution of our microscopes, doncha think? I don't know that you're seeing a lot of Jungian archetypes here...this kind of struck me as your basic, aggressive breeding-to-trait kind of exercise. Or did I miss your point? You may have out-dorked me here. It happens.
 

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No point really. Only that when you start selecting for some things, you start altering other things as well. Some genes are "earmarked" to affect other qualities, not all of them so easily evident. The form/function relationship meaning "behavior affects structure, structure affects behavior." I am a bit of a dork :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh, okay. That's what I thought was so interesting about that rat experiment I posted a few months ago...rats that were heavily bonded with their mothers "turned on" particular genes that neglected ones did not. That's what's really interesting to me about early neurological stim for puppies, I don't know much about it, but it seems like you could be enhancing what genetic potential you have...at a genetic, not just a behavioral, level. Seems like an interesting tool for breeders to use to get the best return on their breeding.
 

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Who's going to be the first person to take one of these foxes to SchH III? I've seen a small Mali bitch with a long coat that could have passed for a fox...... :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ian Forbes said:
Who's going to be the first person to take one of these foxes to SchH III? I've seen a small Mali bitch with a long coat that could have passed for a fox...... :lol:
Heh. They're pretty cute. I guess I've only seen Fennec Foxes as exotic pets? But Minnesota has an estimated big cat population in the thousands, I hear, so maybe some nut in the Northwoods with a white tiger has a few.
 
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