I remember stumbling upon thought of when and how toy dog breeds came to exist. Did people pluck them from the wild and render them tame and docile? How would they have survived in the harsh environment, independent of human’s care and kind love. It was a curious noetic gap until I watched this documentary.
It’s interesting that in Man’s stride to perfection, he would mix and stir the genetic quintessence of another earthly species, particularly of the canine variety, to befit his lifestyle. In the case of the dogs, seemingly a genetically versatile sample of the animal kingdom, we’ve selectively bred them in various permutations, reshaping and repurposing the canine existence to cater to so many of our human needs: hunting, companionship, aiding the blind, etc…and consequently bred and birthed a conglomeration of canine species that were not extant until the past several human generations.
As interesting as it is, the search for the one breed presents a few questions. As we’ve invested in the past few centuries dictating the somatic and temperamental dimensions of the dogs, can this canine genetic alchemy be held as a violation of nature, in which we’ve bred and will breed more dogs with the disavowal of the dogs’ natural course of evolution? Is it a moral quandary that we’ve denuded some species of its human-independent survival traits, or cause illnesses in some that are not intrinsic to the canine flaw? Can this be seen as the dogs’ natural evolution?
The way I see it, the modern canine evolution is as “natural” as the evolution of the human intellect. The recent proliferation of canine strains is the corollary of human intelligence. The evolution of a species is a reaction to its ever changing milieu, such as the blind organisms in caves and caverns, or the bioluminescent fishes of the deep sea. In this context, the wolves, ancestors of the dogs, reacted to an autonomous, intelligent, reactive and rapidly evolving property of its environment: the human civilization. And so the canine evolution is shaped and molded accordingly by human intelligence to satisfy human needs. And as human needs grow and diversify, so does the canine variety.
Therefore, in my long and winded perspective, the modern canine evolution can be regarded as “natural” as long as the human intellect is regarded thusly in its coming to be. I think it is perhaps nature’s intent that the dogs should be fated to be divvied up into so many kinds and categories as the result of human intelligence. Whether or not if it is right, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, I do not know. But this is just my perspective, which I do not express with the encouragement to transmute and hybridize canine DNA willy-nilly.