|Every human whelp must learn about the world step by step. However, each puppy is a world of its own.
Every human whelp learns wisdom from books. Each puppy carries its wisdom in its blood. People gave a special name to dog wisdom - instinct!
Instincts are complicated in born forms of behavior that are particular to animals of this or that kind. They are elemental in the ongoing changes in the nervous and hormonal systems controlled by hypothalamus. The most important are instincts ensuring the physical survival of the animal to which the instinct of self-preservation comes first.
Dogs of natural breeds do not take well or directly hate being in a place that they deem as unsafe and that they have not chosen as the safest themselves. If they are touched or someone
comes too close to them, with or without the agreement of their master, the acceptable limits of security for the dog may be broken. The response of the nervous dog is usually to either runaway, or in the case of the Central Asian - to make a defensive attack.
Based on the self-preservation instinct an orientation-searching reflex is established. The animal thoroughly studies a new situation and is afraid of unknown objects unless it is convinced that there is no threat. Not only a wolf living in the wilderness but also a tamed wolf balks and runs away when it perceives even the slightest change in the surroundings that most dogs would not even register.
The Central Asian immediately registers the slightest difference from the normal. A puppy is afraid of the unknown (animal, phenomena) but observes it from what is called the run-away distance. A female behaves with the same caution. Mighty sovereign dog-male goes immediately to explore the novelty. Of what, of whom should I be afraid you madcap? Of nothing and nobody!
The wheelbarrow that the bricklayers left on the sidewalk in front of a pub induced terror in small Aura - there is something in the way that has never been here before and therefore it should not be here at all unless it is waiting for us to cut our throats! And so she sat down and waited to see whether the enemy would run away after growling and giving a warning bark. In this case it meant wheel away. Nothing! The enemy stayed atrociously in one place
because the bricklayers had not finished their drinks. It was clear that the bag of cement would not move holding steady as concrete!
With the words: “Aura, you little coward, just have a good look. I’m not afraid,” I moved slowly but persistently so that she would not consider me hotheaded towards the wheelbarrow.
Aura did not feel at all willingly to go towards the death. However, her nature told her not to leave her Human and so she was sneaking crouched down behind my heels. Only when I bravely touched the passively lying sack of cement and NOTHING happened, she decided to sniff the alien. With the expression “Of course I told you there was nothing to be afraid of!” she continued on her journey. The self-preservation instinct is much stronger in
bitches than with male dogs.
The self-preservation instinct is also the foundation for the instinct to economically manage energy (so called energy economy). Thanks to this instinct the animal does not exhaust itself
to the point that it would die but saves its energy as much as possible. The instinct of energy economy is especially particular to animals living in the wilderness, which commonly go through long periods of starvation and their journey for water often means tens of kilometers. The function of this instinct is obvious in natural dog breeds. The Central Asians belong among exemplary savers of energy. When accompanying a herd they use every moment to rest. In environments different from their flock of sheep the dog usually lies calmly and watches the coming person with a calm to phlegmatic expression and turns only its eyes to follow him. While the body of the animal is in an absolutely calm state, its mind works
like a Swiss watch. It evaluates events that are going on and anticipates any coming action. A Central Asian at rest reminds me of a TV switched off but there is a film is being recorded to a videotape. From the electro-technical point of view I am on the level of Zulukafr, which means that I am honestly confounded with each apparatus (beginning with a kitchen robot and ending with a lunar rover). I am literally fascinated by the computer inside of the Central Asian’s head and confused because I have not found a button there.
Before I got used to Aura’s “energy stashing away,” I considered her behavior towards me offensive. I call her and she - madam - does not even bother to turn towards me. “Aura, come here!” and she does not care at all - as she can see and especially sniff I am not going to give her anything to eat, and those banal things I am going to tell her she can hear from the living room as well as from the kitchen, so why should she get up! “Aura, my white dove, you drive me nuts!”
More or less economically acting individuals get segregated in dog packs, “workers” and “idlers,” while the dogs of natural breeds really evoke the image of a troop of loafers. Perfectly accommodated to life in rough climatic conditions they “thoughtfully” manage with the warmth created as a byproduct of their functioning organism. As it is known, the body temperature of dogs of big breeds is 37,5-38,5° Centigrade and the animal tries to maintain
this temperature. It achieves this by producing more heat in cold weather and gives off as little as possible; in hot weather the production is brought to a minimum and the dog tries to dispose as much of it as possible. I consider the so called leather bear mouth muzzles, which firmly presses dogs’ mouths, while the poor dog breaths only through its nose and can not keep evaporating through the tongue an atrocity. In the summer heat you can kill the dog by
this otherwise fashionable muzzle. I do not know who produces this type of muzzles and why they think they are suitable for dogs. I know only one suitable way to use these muzzles, which disables the opening of the chops - to distribute them in the Parliament and
If the temperature of the air is higher than the temperature of its body the dog moves as little as possible; it lies “spread out” on its belly, sticks its tongue out and breaths faster so that it would somehow cool itself down by evaporating the moisture from its tongue. On the contrary it moves more, consumes higher amounts of food and it protects itself against coldness with thick downy hair in the winter. If it lies down, it tries to occupy as little space as possible - it arches its back, draws all its limbs under its itself and hides its nose under its back paws. It coils up into a little firm spot, which prevents warmth from escaping and protects itself from the outside coolness.
The first winter in Prague Aura used to sleep in a glassed in balcony or in the hallway of the apartment. The little balcony wasn’t much warmer than the outside and the hallway, I had the
feeling, was not any warmer than the little balcony. She used to lie curled up like a hedgehog in a little white firm ball and when I spoke to her so that I would find where she actually started and where she ended a little black point of a nose would came out of somewhere and somehow untangled from a wool ball as a wave of warmth passed its breath across me. I was flying away as soon as possible from the frosty balcony with light frostbite all over my body followed by the entertained look of the dog miss from which warmth and good humor was shining.
She spent only a minimal amount of time in the apartment because it was overheated for her taste. She manifested summer dog behavior in an exemplary way - she was breathing quickly and was feverishly evaporating. She was lying flat on her belly or was spread out on her back, which is something that properly brought up dog girls do not do, and she was outright ostentatiously showing us that she suffers like a dog thanks to the fact that we did
not acquire very thick warm downy hair. So that we would not look like sissies and outcasts in her eyes we heated the apartment minimally and with strong colds, slowed down body functions and totally frozen mental processes we survived to see the spring come. My husband acquired a beard for this winter. I do not know really if he succeed because this is unfortunately only snout under fur!
The instinct to deal with the heat economically and maintain a consistent inner body temperature is a significant feature especially of natural breeds.
Also belonging to the group of instincts ensuring the physical survival of an animal are the hunting instinct, the nutrient instinct and the protective instinct.
The second group of instincts consists of zoo-social instincts, which help the animal become a rightful member of an animal group similar to itself. These instincts can be implemented only by living and working together with other individuals of the same kind. In the collective appeal of the pack the animal first finds itself in the roll of a whelp. During this period the mechanism of imprinting is initiated. This is a way of learning in which the whelp at a signifi-
cantly sensitive age (4th-7th week of life) creates the conception of mother for the rest of its life. This learning takes place on the basic sense level of sight, sound, touch and smell. Thus imprinting is an inborn instinct through which the animal whelp very quickly, almost at lightning speed, remembers the image of mother, if it is in touch with her on a natural daily basis. Then it concentrates its zoosocial behavior and sexual behavior on animals of the same kind as its mother. The adult animal finds itself in the role of sexual partner and parent. All parental instincts correspond with the particular kind of animal whether in the role of the master of the territory or as a foreigner, when the territorial instincts come into place, in
the role of a pack leader or as a member of the pack with a programmed in instinct of hierarchy, and also an instinct for maintaining individual distance and an instinct for maintaining maximum distance.
The third group of instincts is created by instincts aimed at the future. The dominant instincts are instincts of freedom and orientation instincts: the need for movement, action, new sensati-
ons, and to learn habits which can become handy one day (opening a refrigerator, pantry, cellar doors). Mon even adopted behavior aimed at the political future: When you greet him, Honor to work, comrade! he gives his right paw to the visitor. When you greet him Hi, my friend! he gives you the left one. He never makes a mistake.
These instincts are acquired by games and by imitating the behavior of adult animals and later those of people. Through games the whelps obtain habits necessary for life. Through games they practice and make them more precise. To be able to develop these instincts you need siblings and contemporaries. If a puppy does not have the opportunity to play with furry friends, their place must be taken by a human, who should be professionally and psychologically prepared for this role as best as possible. Especially during the imprinting stage the dog learns throughout the contact with people to understand and mimic man’s facial expressions and bodily movements. It learns to accept his non-verbal signals (movement of
a hand, movement of eyes, whistling). With the maturing of the animal a nerve mechanism, which is responsible for instinctive behavior, matures in its brain. In connection with the physical development the programs of sexual, aggressive and territorial behavior
mature after puberty.
An intelligent animal is able to learn throughout its entire life. To increase the training of for example a Boxer or a Dachshund after reaching the age of one year or so is very difficult if
not impossible. German shepherds, Labradors, Poodles, Doberman, pinschers etc. possess a disposition to learn new bits, orders and (then especially) entertaining things for their entire lives. They are all and all clever dogs, which are able to skillfully join previously learned practices with new ones. Thanks to your dogs you can comfort yourselves that you are not only surrounded by idiots.