March 31, 2023

Looking into the loving eyes of domestic dogs, one can easily think that they will be lost without their owners. Some people are scared to even think about what would happen if their pets had to survive in the wild. But what happens if humanity suddenly disappears and dogs have to live on their own?

Can dogs survive without people?  Scientists answer


Jessica Pierce, author of the scientific paper A Dog’s World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World without Humans, believes that dogs will undoubtedly adapt to new conditions. They are descended from wolves and still have a traditional behavioral repertoire of their , which includes hunting and gathering skills. Having lost their owners, our former pets are likely to revert to their primitive instincts and begin to live like their ancestors. True, not all dog breeds are equally good at this task. For example, dogs with flat muzzles, like pugs and bulldogs, often suffer from breathing problems that negatively affect their hunting abilities. They also have short tails, which will hurt social interaction with wild dogs.

Dogs that are prone to aggression will suffer more injuries, making it harder for them to survive. But, fortunately for the dogs, people will no longer be able to carefully monitor their reproduction. Different breeds will mix, and the result of natural selection will be the strongest dogs. They will also start mating with wolves, resulting in hybrids. In European countries, such as Italy, this process is already running – the only barrier between dogs and wolves is the people themselves.

Would dogs be subjected to psychological stress without people who love, play with, and reward good behavior with four-legged pets? Scientists think not. Humanity represses many aspects of canine behavior, such as digging holes, because they annoy homeowners. Dogs without owners will not be subject to any restrictions. Therefore, even without the comforts of home, dogs are likely not to suffer psychologically.

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