Genetically, the difference between a dog and a wolf is not much broader than the difference between you and a friend or co-worker. So why is it that dogs are so different from wolves? How have dogs, which began as predatory animals, ended up with floppy ears and other traits not befitting a hunter? As it turns out, years of selective breeding may have had a number of unforeseen complications, including the common appearance of humanity’s friendliest animals. Wolves have pointy ears, but most dogs don’t. Why? According to new research into the art of breeding dogs, selective breeding practices have created a sort of universal malfunction in the majority of dog breeds. Essentially, a biological process that begins during the embryonic phase ends up short-circuited by a unknown factor, which in turn leads to puppies with floppy ears. The trait has become so widespread that most dogs have floppy ears -- even dogs you associate with alertness (take Doberman Pinschers and Pit Bulls, for example). The theory hypothesizes that under-formed cells cause floppy ears, smaller jaws, and even a possible lack of adrenaline that may have been the original reason wolves approached humans in the first place. Scientists note that the genetic changes aren’t necessarily a bad thing; plenty of domesticated dogs live quite happily indoors with or without floppy ears.
Ever Wonder Why Dogs Have Floppy Ears?Dogs
Craig is a lifelong pet owner and dog advocate with a special interest in animal and human longevity. He founded Vet Organics to develop an affordable, all-natural, safe and effective ear infection remedy for his dog, Lucy, whose chronic ear problems could not be solved by the vet.