chapter  7
28 Pages

Sports Animals: Breeding Gladiators

Breeding the animal gladiators is a game of skill and chance. The primary breeding goal is to produce an animal that wins races but it is the human owner who actually wins, not the horse or dog. It is fair to assume that horses and dogs have not evolved to understand the concept of winning a race, much less a monetary prize, and it seems unlikely that they spend the night before the Gold Cup worrying about whether they are going to win. Humans have capitalized on the animals’ evolved and selected motivation to run fast: they run to escape a predator, to keep up with a running herd, to catch and kill prey, or merely for the enjoyment of exercise or of obtaining praise from owners and handlers.