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Old April 6 2010, 05:53 PM   #1
Penta
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Dog breeding in the age of Starships

Okay. So...For the last 4 weeks, I've been living with a dog that was totally my mom's idea.

That said, for all the annoyances the little fuzzball (only 12 weeks old now) has presented, he's also posed a question.

We've seen Starfleet folks with pets. Data had Spot, Picard had Livingston (Yeah, I know, a goldfish doesn't really count!), Archer had Porthos, though I'm not sure how well a breed like a beagle would do aboard a starship.

So that sparks the question:

Presume for argument's sake you're designing/breeding a dog for life aboard starships, starbases, orbital habitats, etc.

What traits and physical features would you look for?

(I'm not sure whether genetically engineering of our four-legged friends is legal in the UFP, but presume it is.)

I'm not just thinking about results that could be accomplished via breeding...But also genetic engineering.

Simply put, what would you look for in a pet for Starship living?
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Old April 6 2010, 08:25 PM   #2
Admiral Shran
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

I'd just look for a cat, like Data did; or like O'Brien did with Chester on DS9 (Chester never gets any love ). I would think dogs would present too much work, especially on a starship.
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Old April 7 2010, 12:58 AM   #3
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

Yeah, I'm not sure HOW Archer managed to walk that beagle!

But if you DID get a dog, it would have to be a small breed, in my opinion. A cat is a more reasonable choice, or even smaller pets.
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Old April 7 2010, 01:06 AM   #4
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

A cat does seem ideal. Or something cageable (I think I just coined that word) like a rabbit.

If one really wanted a dog, it would have to be a breed that is relatively calm and quiet and doesn't have high exercise needs -- the same ones that are good in apartments. It's more energy levels and personality than size.

And maybe there could be a dog park program in the holodeck. LOL
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Old April 7 2010, 01:26 AM   #5
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

Even the ones that live in apartments still need to be taken for a walk every day though--right?

And one more question...sorry to be gross, but what about the housebreaking issue, if there's no "outside" for a dog to do its business?

(LOL, TZ--we both have versions of Ziyal in our avatars now! Yours is the canon version and mine is an alternate-universe one...though mine is supposed to be ZD at maybe 6 years old. )
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Old April 7 2010, 01:35 AM   #6
Nerys Myk
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Yeah, I'm not sure HOW Archer managed to walk that beagle!

But if you DID get a dog, it would have to be a small breed, in my opinion. A cat is a more reasonable choice, or even smaller pets.
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Old April 7 2010, 02:12 AM   #7
T'Girl
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

Dogs are easier to train than cats, what to do if they hear a red alert signal or if there is a decompression. My former neighbor had a dog (german shepard) that could call 911 if she passed out. As much as I love them, a german shepard would be too big for a starship. Beagles might be perfect, poodles better still. Poodles are the second most intelligent breed and smaller than number one (Australian sheep dog).
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Old April 7 2010, 02:45 AM   #8
The Wormhole
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

If the dog needed exercise, couldn't it just run in the holodeck? Just program a field or something and set the dog loose.
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Old April 7 2010, 02:50 AM   #9
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Dogs are easier to train than cats, what to do if they hear a red alert signal or if there is a decompression. My former neighbor had a dog (german shepard) that could call 911 if she passed out. As much as I love them, a german shepard would be too big for a starship. Beagles might be perfect, poodles better still. Poodles are the second most intelligent breed and smaller than number one (Australian sheep dog).
Giant poodles are intelligent, yes...but the toy poodles--I'm not so sure about that.
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Old April 7 2010, 09:28 AM   #10
Cheapjack
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

What if you had to pick up it's crapadoodles from the deck though?
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Old April 7 2010, 01:57 PM   #11
Penta
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

The ships self-clean.
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Old April 7 2010, 04:45 PM   #12
Penta
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

Okay, so, I'm possibly insane, but I designed a dog breed for space. This is a draft and incomplete.

[]'s are "margin notes", stuff that doesn't fit in a document's regular flow but should be stated nonetheless.

Size: 20-25 lbs max.
Colors: Varies between white to dark brown.
Age: Typically lives between 13-15 standard years. Maturation rate is similar to other small breeds.

Description: This dog breed, a multi-generational mix of a golden retreiver and a poodle, has been genetically engineered and bred for life aboard orbital habitats, starships, and starbases. Recognized by the Terran Kennel Club as the "Orbital Goldendoodle", or "Orbie", it's been marketed mainly towards Starfleet and Federation Merchant Marine personnel, but has also proven popular among dwellers in orbital habitats and other cramped spaces.

[Yes, yes, the name isn't the most creative, but I tried.]

Breed traits:

The Orbital Goldendoodle won't eat *anything*, but it can sometimes come close - it's been bred and genetically engineered to accept more than the usual spectrum of dog food, just in case there isn't a replicator handy with which to replicate your dog's favorite brand of kibble.

[Whether it be a dog who only eats premium kibble or who, worse, insists on canned dog food, this eliminates a major issue with keeping pets aboard an orbital habitat or starship - sometimes there just aren't replicators available for human food, let alone dog food, and so food might vary significantly from day to day.]

Unfortunately, this increased acceptance also means that the breed just *loves* to beg for table scraps - a habit most breeders train their dogs out of, but still something to note.

[If it can eat more than just dog food...Well, it'll try to eat more than just dog food.]

Personality-wise, these are easy-going, independent dogs, unflappable and well-suited to being left alone with little more than a warm bed and a chew toy for up to 12 hours at a time. It helps that the Orbital Goldendoodle was bred specifically to be highly trainable - while Starfleet and the Federation Customs Service have not yet been convinced of the need for working dogs, that is a stated goal of the breed designers. Until then, Orbital Goldendoodles are most often pets and therapy dogs aboard orbital habitats, starbases, and starships.

[The way I see it, Starfleet believes, sometimes too much, in its technology. They haven't used working dogs for centuries, despite the fact that you can often train dogs to do initial scans where tech could be foiled. The exceptions would be therapy dogs - I could see that being a big market for dogs, assisting counselors in their therapeutic protocols - and perhaps for police work on planetside installations.]

The Orbie is genetically engineered to be hypoallergenic.

Issues:

While the Orbital Goldendoodle is excellent around people (especially children) of all species, and other pets, it can sometimes be too obedient. Put simply, this dog breed can in rare cases be attacked and just sit there, not reacting, despite being wounded. Most Orbies, though, are instinctively protective if provoked - it just takes a lot to provoke them, one reason they're so beloved by parents of small children.

About 1 percent of Orbies suffers from hip dysplasia - it is uncommon, but closely watched for by breeders and vets.

[Not something they can edit out with genetic engineering, unfortunately; it comes with the Golden Retriever background.]

While the Orbie does well in confined spaces and smaller living environments like starships and apartments, this comes at a cost: Outside of its quarters, it *needs* to be on a leash for all but short periods. Going off-leash is not advised outside of the "den" - Orbies tend to take that as a cue for playtime, and act accordingly, especially as puppies.

A purebred Orbie is rarer, and more expensive, than a cross-breed - the breed has only been recognized since the 2370s, and so many breeders keep their purebreds for breeding stock. Purebred puppies are available on the open market, but almost never un-neutered.
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Old April 8 2010, 01:49 AM   #13
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Even the ones that live in apartments still need to be taken for a walk every day though--right?

And one more question...sorry to be gross, but what about the housebreaking issue, if there's no "outside" for a dog to do its business?

(LOL, TZ--we both have versions of Ziyal in our avatars now! Yours is the canon version and mine is an alternate-universe one...though mine is supposed to be ZD at maybe 6 years old. )
You could walk a dog in the holodeck or... didn't the Enterprise D have an arboretum? They could play in either location, too. Also, small dogs can be trained to use a doggie version of a kitty litter box.

Hey, where'd you get that old picture of me? Give it back!
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Old April 8 2010, 02:00 AM   #14
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

I'm not sure if the Ent-D should count as a "normal" spacefaring situation...the Galaxies are really floating cruise ships more than anything. Other starship classes aren't necessarily like that.

Oh, and I got that pic in an AU. HER name is Ziyal Dukat. Don't think you want that pic. (Even though the reason she has that name is that in THAT AU, Cardassian and Bajoran positions are reversed.)
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Old April 8 2010, 02:01 AM   #15
neozeks
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Re: Dog breeding in the age of Starships

Penta, I think this is my favorite of your 'worldbuilding' threads.

'Orbie'

Maybe there are even some alien 'dog' genes there? Come to think of it, can animals from different planets breed with each other or is that limited to humanoids?
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