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Thanks Carole. I went to yotube and watched them all. How fascinating!! The silver foxes change in appearance was remarkable. Talk about ability to change for survival of the species. I will definately be watching these again. Thanks again!
 

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I seen this on tv and I love this episode about the silver foxes. I can't watch youtube right now but I know what you are talking about Carole.
 

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That is a pity : (((( Why would they block it ???? I guess some animal rights group protested foxes being kept in cages or something :rolffleyes:

Anyways - it showed how temperament is influenced by genetics more than anything else . In Russia they proved it by breeding foxes in captivity and showing that only by careful selection of breeding animals they were able to produce "tame" foxes at the end.

Practical application of the results would be to pay close attention to temperament in breeding stock of dogs and eliminate unstable dogs from breeding regardless of CH titles and such ...
 

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I haven't seen the video, but last October I attended a lecture by Marc Beckoff, and he talked a lot about this. Fascinating! I find it amazing that we can select breeding stock for something like friendly temperaments in foxes, and get a total physical change. It sure makes me think about breeding for a certain trait, such as brindle coloring, and all of the unintended consequences that follow. Temple Grandin writes a lot about this as well. She tells of chickens who were bred for having big breasts, because that's the part of the chicken the consumers pay the most for. After several generations of this selective breeding, the chickens with really big breasts were running around pecking each other to death. They were just really high stress. (This is just chickens we're talking about here. :)Who knew that was the result they'd get? We just never know what hidden traits come right along with the trait we're breeding for, until it's tried, which is a little scary.
 

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yup, this is a classic example and I found it fascinating when I first heard it too!!

The idea was they had these foxes (bred for fur) and as a test (?) they bred only THE absolute most friendly of the foxes every generation together, culling the less friendly ones. For a start the difference between 'friendly' and 'unfriendly' was really just a slightly more delayed flight response (ie they would tolerate humans slightly more than others) but over generations of breeding the best temperaments to each other, the got friendly foxes. Only, the other thing was that they also became dog-like PHYSICALLY too! Their ears dropped, their tails, coats, markings all changed and they looked more like dogs than foxes! They were NOT breeding for physical appearance at all, yet it so happened that the friendliest ones of many many generations were the more dog-like ones too... :D
 
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