March 26, 2008

Dog Breeds and Race

Frank Miele has a fun article in VDARE.com on "The K9 Comparison: What Dog Breeds Can Tell Us about Humans." An excerpt:

The classic study was carried out by Daniel G. Freedman for his doctoral dissertation. Freedman spent every day and evening rearing four dog breeds—Beagles, Wire-haired Fox Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Basenjis—from age two to twelve weeks.

He noticed that as soon as their ears and eyes opened, the breeds differed in behavior. Little Beagles were friendly from the moment they detected him. Shetland Sheepdogs were the most sensitive to a loud voice or the slightest punishment. The Wire-haired Fox Terriers were so tough and aggressive, even as clumsy three-week olds, that Freedman had to wear gloves in playing with them The Basenjis, barkless dogs from central Africa, were aloof and independent….

But what does this have to do with humans? Professor Freedman wrote that

"I had worked with different breeds of dogs and I had been struck by how predictable was the behavior of each breed. A breed of dog is a construct zoologically and genetically equivalent to a race of man. To look at us, my wife and I [Freedman is Jewish; his wife Chinese], my wife and I were clearly of two different breeds. Were some of our behavioral differences determined by breed?"

Freedman and his wife set about designing experiments to test that hypothesis. …

The Freedmans decided to observe the behavior of newborns and infants of different races using the Cambridge Behavioral and Neurological Assessment Scale. Unlike the typical reflex tests performed by pediatricians, these tests, called the Brazelton" after their developer, measure social and emotional behavior.

The Freedmans found that European American and Chinese American newborns reacted differently even though hospital conditions and prenatal care were the same.

White babies started to cry more easily, and once they started, they were more difficult to console. Chinese babies adapted to almost any position in which they were placed. When placed face down in their cribs, they tended to keep their faces buried in the sheets rather than immediately turning to one side, as did the Whites.

In a maneuver called the "defense reaction" by neurologists, the baby's nose was briefly pressed with a cloth, forcing him to breathe with his mouth. Most Caucasian and black babies fight the maneuver by immediately turning away or swiping at the cloth with their hands. Not surprisingly, this is listed in Western pediatric textbooks as the normal, expected response.

But not so the average Chinese babies in the study. They simply lay on their back, breathing from the mouth, "accepting" the cloth without a fight.

There were other more subtle differences. While both Chinese and Caucasian infants would start to cry at about the same point in the examination, especially when they were being undressed, Chinese babies stopped crying immediately, while Caucasian babies quieted only gradually.

The Freedman noted that the film of their finding left audiences awestruck by the group differences.

[More]

This study is about four decades old. To keep it from disappearing even further down the memory hole, somebody should contact Dr. Freedman about putting his film on Youtube.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

11 comments:

mnuez said...

I'm reserving judgment on this for the moment, but the possibilities here are so goddamn fascinating.

I don't mean to say that it's fascinating that there may be innate difference among human beings - such is evident from anyone who's ever spoken to more than one human. But to be able to analyze racial averages for various proclivities (whether on meaningful subjects or not) would be really cool. (Likely not terribly instructive, but still cool

Thanks for pointing us to the article.

mnuez

milam command said...

This dog breed/human race analogy is extremely important.

Anyone who can understand the differences between dog breeds (and almost everyone with exposure to dogs can) can understand, quickly and intuitively, the differences between the human races. Not only are dog breeds "a construct zoologically and genetically equivalent to a race of man ," but thinking about dog breeds vis a vis human races is a tremendously illuminating analogy, a way of understanding the subject at both a gut and intellectual level.

If you say "Greyhounds generally run faster than Border Collies, but Border Collies generally are smarter than Greyhounds," that is easily understood and uncontroversial. Yet insert "African American" and "Asian" into those blanks, and let the fireworks begin.

Much more thinking and writing needs to be done on this subject.

benn franklyn said...

Infants and young kids in the first few years of life are amazing in that so much personality is already active and on display. Some is learning, but it always seems as if it is learning that the child is predisposed to seek and grasp.

Same goes for gender differences. I always get the impression that the kids impose the roles on themselves far more than PC adults do, contrary to what sociologists claim. Little boys will insist things like "That's a girl toy!" or "My smile isn't pretty, I'm handsome!"

And kids definitely react to skin color, sometimes really embarassing their parents. I have seen a 3 year old white boy with a black nanny. Every time the nanny would kiss the boy's infant brother, the child would go and kiss his brother himself. When asked why, the child explained that it was so his brother did not turn black! This is in a very PC household, but the child was apparently reacting viscerally to skin color.

Any other readers have stories about this?

neil craig said...

In science results are expected to be repeatable. Unfortunately in the "social sciences" experiments with politically incorrect results tend not to be repeated, as appears to have happened here.

Nonetheless if this result is correct it certainly indicates a genetic rather than cultural difference & does explain much about Chinese culture & its failure to match western achievements despite their higher IQs.

tommy said...

Sounds like something I've read before from Rushton. Race, Evolution and Human Behavior had a bunch of interesting comparisons of this nature.

Anonymous said...

Just wish our politicians paid more attention to such scientific findings and they would have avoid domestic or international policy blunder.

Neocon's export of democracy is one of exmaple. So are those so called human right activitists and hollywood pretty faces with average IQ.

Only truely intelligent people understand science and make right decisions. Unfortunately, politicians are populists which make desisions appealing to average IQ.

Svigor said...

Yeah, dogs breeds are the king of analogies in this context.

I wonder if anyone can expand on Miele here:

[Human racial differences] are around ten times the difference between the sexes within each race and larger than the differences that distinguish the two species of chimpanzee.

Is he still referring to RtRoHD here, or referring to current research, or what? Does it reflect research since 2004 (which, if IRC, has significantly changed the landscape)?

Basenjis do not lack canine IQ, but they are at the opposite pole from the Shelties in conscientiousness. They don't like taking orders from their owners. They are born canine scofflaws.

Throw Chows right into that mix. Several of my roommates in my school years owned dogs, and none of them had a lick of brains (the owners, not the dogs), so I always wound up housetraining them, sometimes in adulthood. The Chow was the only one I couldn't break. That thing was more wolf than dog. It was the worst-behaved and responded not at all to my (amateur) training.

Truth said...

"To look at us, my wife and I [Freedman is Jewish; his wife Chinese], my wife and I were clearly of two different breeds."

He may believe in racial differences, but he also believes in multiculturalism!

tommy said...

Throw Chows right into that mix. Several of my roommates in my school years owned dogs, and none of them had a lick of brains (the owners, not the dogs), so I always wound up housetraining them, sometimes in adulthood. The Chow was the only one I couldn't break. That thing was more wolf than dog. It was the worst-behaved and responded not at all to my (amateur) training.

Asian dogs are almost invariably hard to train, semi-feral, and unfriendly -- even the smallest ones. Chows are easily among the least pleasant breeds of dog I've ever encountered. I don't understand what anyone might see in the breed: they're bad-tempered (I would even say passive-aggressive), unpredictable, untrainable, and rather ugly.

Terriers are usually aggressive and very difficult to train. Fortunately, most are small. My Doberman is aggressive and territorial but highly trainable. When he was a few weeks old he was very snappy and would draw blood. A few weeks of training quickly stopped that, which is relief because he is now an athletic 90 lb. man-stopper.

By way of contrast, a relative had to find a new home for his terrier because he just couldn't get the dog to stop biting and tackling his young kids every time they ran around the backyard. Nothing seemed to perturb the shaggy little terrorist. Maybe the Dog Whisperer could pull it off. Maybe not.

Anonymous said...

"In a maneuver called the "defense reaction" by neurologists, the baby's nose was briefly pressed with a cloth, forcing him to breathe with his mouth ... the average Chinese babies in the study. They simply lay on their back, breathing from the mouth, "accepting" the cloth without a fight."

This might explain why footbinding lasted for 1,000 years till foreign opinion intervined.

David said...

It's all an illusion. The infants were faking it. Freedman is a con man and an anti-Semite. There is no such thing as race!

Hey, somebody has to represent the other side in here once in a while!

(The above is satire only.)