The Dog and the Clarinet

Stephanie Wilson (swilson@BIGCAT.MISSOURI.EDU)
Fri, 4 Feb 1994 15:18:33 -0600

Without considering whether J. Wilson's dog has "culture" or dogs in
general have culture, I think I would consider the dog's behavior and
learning of "dog tricks" from humans as acculturation. People can
acclimate to other cultures not their own without ever becoming a full
participant in the second culture. You can learn the languanguage, some
customs, etc. without being able to learn how people in the new culture
think in every situation. The dog example points this out...he can learn
that by rolling over he will get praise and/or a treat without knowing why
or more than a few words of the human's language.

As for bitches being able to teach their pups to go outside to urinate,
do they do this in the wild? I've noticed that some other pets, even
outside, will designate an area of the yard for such purposes. Or at
least try to keep feces away from general activity areas. Whether this is
culture or not, is another question.

Stephanie Wilson