BigBecka wrote:I'm no biologist, but I used to have a dog when I was little - he seemed to see himself as part of the family, and was very protective of me. The dog would attack animals that he saw as a threat, and would try to hunt certain animals and give them to us (rabbits). But he would not attack all animals, or other humans. Although I don't think he would have chosen to be vegetarian, he clearly made some sort of choice regarding which animals were food (and it wasn't as a result of us having trained him).
Maybe he was instinctively aware of a need to keep some sort of natural balance?
And, as an aside, dogs try to kill animals as quickly as possible, with minimal suffering - they do not hunt for pleasure, they do not use traps and they certainly don't build farms! This is true of most animals, with the exception of domestic cats (who are evil!) and ants (who farm greenfly).
Dogs are pack animals. Much as a parent or sibling would be protective of someone in their family so would a dog be of someone in their pack. Domesticating a dog then makes them a part of your "family" or you a part of their "pack". It therefore makes sense that your dog would be protective of you. The fact that your dog would only hunt certain animals was not a reflection of his "awareness of maintaining a natural balance" it was an adherence to an accepted set of rules and behaviors put forth by the leader of the pack (you).
And animals do not make the choice to kill humanely...they use the most effective and least energy expensive way to do so--which is usually pretty quick.