FunNature & AnimalHow does the survival instinct work in dogs?

How does the survival instinct work in dogs?

A dog, any dog, of any breed or condition, fundamentally has two instincts: survival and hunting. But today we are going to focus on the first one.

The survival instinct is essential to safeguard the existence of a specimen and that of its offspring. In the face of any danger, in the face of any problem, the impulse to survive with behaviors aimed at preserving vital integrity is always activated.

What are the behaviors that are activated by the survival instinct? The following:

· The behavior of flight: it is the one that makes the animal escape “like a soul that the devil leads” in the face of possible fights, or the one that makes it avoid aggression from its own fellows or humans. Through this behavior, he manages to get away and seek refuge in the presence of a storm or in the presence of unknown situations, individuals or objects.

· The avoidance behavior: it is the one that occurs when they cannot flee. Faced with certain dangers, the animal finds its escape route impossible. Faced with this situation, he presents avoidance behaviors, such as looking away, adopting submissive behaviors …

Defense behavior: it is the one that appears as a system of protection of the properties or of everything that in one way or another the animal considers its own: territory, couple, offspring, objects, human herd …

The survival instinct can also put them in danger

Although it seems a paradox, on certain occasions an animal’s survival instinct can be the source of serious problems, the trigger for situations that put the individual on the fine line that separates life from death.

That afternoon, the road to my house, in a quiet town on the outskirts of Madrid, was not marked by the endless and usual caravan of vehicles … I can almost assure that I was enjoying the journey.

Suddenly, a small dog streaked across the road.

I stopped the car as best I could and after catching my breath I headed towards the place where the frightened animal had disappeared.

I was there. He had huddled in a garbage dump.

Some of its parents must have been a correct specimen of beagle: it was tricolor, of medium size, covered in dirt and saturated with fear.

I crouched close to him, spoke loving words to him, extended my hand slowly.

He avoided my gaze, tried to disappear among the tons of stones.

I didn’t have anything to eat in the car, some kind of food that could have given me his confidence. I didn’t want to rush, I didn’t want to try to catch him without spending enough time on him. But he was very scared.

Some of my movements, or perhaps something in my gaze, caused his survival instinct to skyrocket, surely driven by previous situations or experiences that faced serious dangers to his physical integrity.

I couldn’t stop him, he flew off … Towards the road !!

This time he was not as lucky as when he crossed in front of my car. This time it was his turn to lose.

It was a brutal blow. I went over to pick him up without much hope. His dirty and battered body was unresponsive.

Fortunately, the goddess Fortuna was not completely turned on her back: a fractured femur and multiple fractures to her pelvis.

Serums, antibiotics, surgery, antiparasitics, baths, good food, darling … Today she has a wonderful family.

Fly’s survival instinct nearly led to his death. Luckily, the survival instinct that remained in him made him strong and brave, so much so that he recovered again and was able to have a good life.

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