Ethology is a term that particularly revolves around the behaviour of animals. It has a significant role in defining the limits of every society. Society is a general term and it means the group of animals living together. Hence, it would be wrong to say that only humans create a society because every animal lives in a society. It is very important to know the attitude of every individual living in a group. The flaws and gaps in the society can just be filled by pointing out the behavioural issues within the culture.
Moreover, ethology involves the adaptation of behaviour, genetics and psychological elements that produce a behavioural response in animals. Knowing the psyche and attitude of an animal toward anything can be a simplified form of ethology as well. Moreover, it is also concerned with the necessity of heredity and revolutionary elements that alter the behaviour anyhow. Hence, this article is about animal behavioural changes that affect social factors. Moreover, some of the theories will also be discussed like Charles Darwin’s theory that specifies the nature of animals. In the end, we will relate the ethological theories to illustrate the behaviour of dogs. The dog is one of those animals influences the human civilization as well.
The term ethology is originated from a Greek work ethos that means behaviour. It is a behavioural study of every type of animal on this planet. Moreover, this term has penetrated after authentic details and some experimental progression of the behaviour of an animal under natural environment and conditions. Though, it is pretty different field as compared with the field of behaviourism that specifically focuses on the importance of atmosphere on behaviour. Contrary, ethology is a method to identify the inherent and physiological techniques that control behavioural process.
For this purpose, different theories were proposed in the past. The basic objective of these theories was to discover some key points related to behavioural changes in animals. Moreover, the theories also illustrated the evolution of animals and the heritage properties. The attributes altered with time because of the minor changes in the overall behaviour of animals. One of the best theories that have its repute in studying human behavioural and alteration with time is Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. This theory is based on the concept of ethology and it clearly explains different notions of it.
Ethological Theories by Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin was a British naturalist and he was born in 1809. In 1859, he presented his theory of evolution in “The Origin of Species” that was merely focused on the development of the child. Moreover, he managed to closely inspect the struggle for survival of different animals in the natural and suitable environment. The potential risks and survival were from some predators, natural disasters, diseases, availability of food, atmosphere and shelter to live. It was one of the major propositions of Darwin that only those species will live longer and reproduce that have a tendency to deal with these factors. Moreover, the diversity of attributes amid species also increases the chances of survival and they will be more prone to any attack. Darwin also performed a unique experiment on different species of animals. He fetched extensive data in order to predict the behaviour of any species.
Ethology is a study of development and attitude in revolutionary imagination. It plays a significant role in identifying the chances of the existence of an animal in a specific environment. By using ethological theories, the methodology to discover behaviour patterns become easier that helps in future prediction as well. In this regard, the theories developed by Niko Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz have been treated as best of all. Lorenz proposed this theory in 1937 in which he defined the inherence pattern.
He stated in his theory that, the behaviour of a species follows a pattern that is very similar in between two generations. The physical structure of the two generation is the best example for it because it totally has a 100% match. Native behaviours are typically in the form of fixed patterns and reflexes. Reflexes are built-in responses that simulate the required action. For example, infants usually grasp finger when you pass into their palm. That is a fixed pattern that is executed accordingly.
Moreover, these fix actions are very essential in the survival as well because it defines the capability to perform an action. These fixed patterns consist of complex behaviour but they are essential for inflated chances of survival. Searching for food, attack, search for mates and running are some of the fixed actions.
John Bowlby also proposed an ethological theory and the main focus was an expression of emotions. The theory included that how new-borns develop an emotional attachment to their mother. He proposed that child have fixed patterns that generate the feeling of affection for mother and it forces to stay close to her. This promotes the relationship between infants and parents that is the reason behind the transmission of attributes from parents to the child. Moreover, it increases the chances of survival when parents are with the infants and it promotes their qualities to deal with it my self. It saves them from any predator attacks and accidental injuries.
What does Ethology Mean in Dogs?
Everyone knows the closeness amid dogs and humans but people know the reason rarely. It is because of their behaviour and attitude that makes them a human-friendly pet. Is it really the main reason behind it? No, it may be yes up to some extent because the fixed behavioural patterns in the dog are quite favourable for humans.
As dogs mostly have a sense of numbers that is because of their mental ability. Moreover, they have the capability of recognizing and rejecting any unequal behaviour from their owner. It is what ethological theories have tried to explain. The inclination towards anything is not just because of the affection due to living together. It is because of the predefined actions and arrangements in their mind that are transferred from the last generation. That’s the major cause behind their attention towards humans and emotions connected with them.
Moreover, dogs also can distinguish between different perspective. For instance, every human has a different point of view on an issue so dogs know that human’s perspective also alters from person to person. How do they know that? It is an advanced cognitive expertise and dogs have mastered it from time to time. The ancestors generated the pattern that was transferred to the next generation and now we are having a generation that has mastered this proficiency.
This expertise also allows human to interact with the dogs and they learn different things from humans. They have the aptitude to memorize a task and can do it any time. That’s why human can teach different cognitive skills to their dog.
In the end, like every animal on this planet, dogs also adhere to a specified pattern. This pattern has all the reflexes and action in accordance with the situation. It is the behaviour of dogs that have strengthened the relationship between dogs and humans. Dogs can generate patterns and can update their previous experience as well in order to adopt the new situation. They also have the tendency to help humans because they have been taught to do that a long time ago. It is their ethology that has made the difference and surely it is important for developing a prosperous society.