(1/11. Sir R. Schomburgk has given me information on this head. See also 'Journal of R. Geographical Soc.' volume 13 1843 page 65.)
The main argument in favour of the several breeds of the dog being the descendants of distinct wild stocks, is their resemblance in various countries to distinct species still existing there. It must, however, be admitted that the comparison between the wild and domesticated animal has been made but in few cases with sufficient exactness. Before entering on details, it will be well to show that there is no a priori difficulty in the belief that several canine species have been domesticated. Members of the dog family inhabit nearly the whole world; and several species agree pretty closely in habits and structure with our several domesticated dogs. Mr. Galton has shown (1/12. 'Domestication of Animals' Ethnological Soc. December 22, 1863.) how fond savages are of keeping and taming animals of all kinds. Social animals are the most easily subjugated by man, and several species of Canidae hunt in packs. It deserves notice, as bearing on other animals as well as on the dog, that at an extremely ancient period, when man first entered any country, the animals living there would have felt no instinctive or inherited fear of him, and would consequently have been tamed far more easily than at present. For instance, when the Falkland Islands were first visited by man, the large wolf-like dog (Canis antarcticus) fearlessly came to meet Byron's sailors, who, mistaking this ignorant curiosity for ferocity, ran into the water to avoid them: even recently a man, by holding a piece of meat in one hand and a knife in the other, could sometimes stick them at night. On a island in the Sea of Aral, when first discovered by Butakoff, the saigak antelopes, which are "generally very timid and watchful, did not fly from us, but on the contrary looked at us with a sort of curiosity." So, again, on the shores of the Mauritius, the manatee was not at first in the least afraid of man, and thus it has been in several quarters of the world with seals and the morse. I have elsewhere shown (1/13. 'Journal of Researches' etc. 1845 page 393. With respect to Canis antarcticus, see page 193. For the case of the antelope, see 'Journal Royal Geographical Soc.' volume 23 page 94.) how slowly the native birds of several islands have acquired and inherited a salutary dread of man: at the Galapagos Archipelago I pushed with the muzzle of my gun hawks from a branch, and held out a pitcher of water for other birds to alight on and drink. Quadrupeds and birds which have seldom been disturbed by man, dread him no more than do our English birds, the cows, or horses grazing in the fields.
It is a more important consideration that several canine species evince (as will be shown in a future chapter) no strong repugnance or inability to breed under confinement; and the incapacity to breed under confinement is one of the commonest bars to domestication. Lastly, savages set the highest value, as we shall see in the chapter on Selection, on dogs: even half- tamed animals are highly useful to them: the Indians of North America cross their half-wild dogs with wolves, and thus render them even wilder than before, but bolder: the savages of Guiana catch and partially tame and use the whelps of two wild species of Canis, as do the savages of Australia those of the wild Dingo. Mr. Philip King informs me that he once trained a wild Dingo puppy to drive cattle, and found it very useful. From these several considerations we see that there is no difficulty in believing that man might have domesticated various canine species in different countries. It would indeed have been a strange fact if one species alone had been domesticated throughout the world.
We will now enter into details. The accurate and sagacious Richardson says, "The resemblance between the Northern American wolves (Canis lupus, var. occidentalis) and the domestic dogs of the Indians is so great that the size and strength of the wolf seems to be the only difference.