Man's First Friend (2018) - full transcript

(thunder rumbling)

(dog panting)

The dog.

He has helped us hunt and find food,

helped us travel and transport our goods,

looked after our animals, protected us from our enemies,

saved us from the cold and from drowning,

guided us through even the harshest terrain.

He has found a place for himself in our homes.

He cherishes us, comforts us,

helps us endure loneliness and sickness.

He has become our unwavering ally.

But what do we really know about dogs?

Where did they come from?

How have they made themselves so important to us?

Today, science allows us to better understand our connection

with a species we thought we knew.

The most recent discoveries have been truly remarkable.

(dogs barking)

(water splashing)

(dog barking)

This is the epic tale of the alliance between man and dog,

of how the descendant of a wolf became

man's best friend.

(birds chirping)
Eurasia: 30,000 years ago.

At this time, two formidable species ruled the steppes:

humans and wolves.

They both lived in groups.

They were intelligent and highly organized.

(wolves growling)

And they knew each other very well.

They were the most powerful predators on the planet.

Our ancestors hunted like wolves.

They tracked their prey over long distances

and wore them down.

So, how did they come together?

(dramatic music)


They both liked the same food.

Wolves don't attack humans,

but they are quite prepared to steal their prey.

(dogs panting)


(dogs whining and growling)

This rivalry lasted thousands of years,

until the day that one wolf changed its behavior.

Probably a young female, timid and vulnerable.

(wolves growling)

A she-wolf who couldn't find her place in the pack.

Waiting, always waiting.

One day, the young she-wolf left the pack

to get closer to the humans.

This decision sparked a major development in human history.

It was the origin of the dog.

For a long time, it was believed

that humans have domesticated wolves

by catching and raising their young.

The reality, it now seems to us today,

is completely different.

It was the wolf that domesticated man.


A starving she-wolf, hungry and drawn to our food.

(lips smacking)

(dramatic music)

(wolf whimpering)

To humans, wolves were dangerous and clever rivals.

They preferred to keep them at a safe distance.

And yet, wolves had a great, seductive power over us.



Enchanting eyes.

Such touching whimpering.


Recent scientific research suggests

that this is how the partnership

between humans and wolves began.

(dramatic music)

The she-wolf senses the danger before anyone else.


Thanks to her powerful nose and her ultra-sensitive ears,

the she-wolf protected their supplies.

This was the first quality we noticed:

their ability to warn us of danger

and it raised so many possibilities.

And so, very gradually, wolves transformed into dogs.

They lived side by side with us

and protected us from danger.

They accompanied us on our travels.

They cleaned our camps by eating our leftovers.

In times of scarcity, we even at them to survive.

They kept us warm on cold nights.

Wolves took a long time to choose

between their life in the wild

and a type of dependence on humans.

It didn't happen overnight.

Over time, these animals have become excellent companions.

Their young were born among us.

The wilder ones might return to the forest,

but the tamest would stay with us

and give birth to even more docile offspring and so on.

Over generations, a new species

friendly to humans would emerge: the dog.

This discovery impressed the people that passed through.

Dogs spread among us as rapidly as the news itself.

Soon, all mankind knew that

an alliance with wolves was possible.

But no one could have guessed the extraordinary potential

of this partnership.

We now know that all the dogs on earth today,

around a billion of them, are all descended

from a very small number of gray wolves,

perhaps only a dozen or so.

All of them, without exception,

from the tiny chihuahua to the great Saint Bernard.

Man and wolf would go on to form an alliance

that made them even more powerful

and transformed the future lives of our two species.

(wolf howling)

(dramatic music)

20,000 years ago, those first dogs

appeared in the Northern Hemisphere.

In Europe, we can trace an early breed of dog

whose lineage did not last very long.

In Central Asia, though, while the first dogs

still looked very much like wolves,

after contact with humans, their fur lightened

and their ears and tail changed shape.

Further south, dogs had shorter fur, to cope with the heat.

As they arrived in Europe,

these Asian breeds gradually replaced

primitive European breeds.

In Asia, the number of dogs increased

and some migrated across to North America.

Their appearance changed, but this

was entirely due to their environment.

Humans had not yet discovered they could alter them

by selective breeding.

Around 10,000 years ago, dogs adapted to hotter climates

and spread across South Asia, as far as Australia.

They would also migrate to South America and Africa.

Dogs soon accompanied humans across the planet.

At this point, our partnership

led to a truly surprising development.

Dogs helped us protect our crops.

This is Karnataka, a remote region of India

where rice, peanuts, and bananas are grown all year round.

(birds chirping)

A story that was once so decisive for mankind

is still being played out here today.

(people chattering)

In these villages, an ancient breed

known as the pariah dog lives among humans

without being part of their families.

They live off the refuse.

(dogs growling)

This is the surprising story of one of them,

a yellow dog with white paws.

He doesn't have a name.

He doesn't belong to anyone.

White Paw was born in these streets

and has always had to manage on his own.

If he could, he'd live in a house.

He's always on the lookout for any opportunity

to get some food.

But be careful, there are risks.



Here, it's the law of the strongest.


But there's a better way.

By learning the ways of the owners of the food, the humans.

This is the most spectacular part of the dogs' evolution,

the huge process they made

in understanding human psychology.

They developed this ability

by observing human facial expressions,

working out who is dangerous, who is kind.

Learning people's personalities and gauging their moods.

To survive here, you either have to be the strongest

or the smartest.

(girl screaming)
(dog yelping)

Every day, White Paw leaves the village

for the surrounding fields.

A long time ago, he noticed

the peculiar behavior of the farmers.

When animals invade their fields, the men chase them away.

White Paw is looking for something.

The gray langur monkeys are coming down from the mountian.

In this region that's totally dependent on agriculture,

monkeys have become increasingly abundant.

They live in groups of 30 to 40, they move around quickly,

and carry out raids on the plantations.

Bananas, rice, coconuts.

They're a nuisance to thousands of farmers

that have huge trouble in chasing them away.

To protect their crops, people organize monkey patrols.


But the langurs are cunning.

White Paw has learned to detect them from a distance

and when he finds a group, his predatory instinct kicks in.


(dramatic music)

Although no one's ever trained him to do so,

White Paw takes a strange pleasure

in chasing the monkeys back up into the mountains.

Until the day when a farmer spotted the yellow dog.


White Paw had made an impression, the first step.

(cars honking)

Despite everything, villages offer him relative safety.

Those that live out in the country farms

could be eaten at night by panthers.

All free-ranging dogs know

that in a human home, life is more comfortable.

There's always food, affection, warmth.

But not many are chosen.


This morning, three groups of langurs arrived before dawn.

Numbering more than a hundred,

they attacked the large rice field.

The farmers all got together and rushed to chase them away.

(men shouting)

But this monkey raid was too visible, too obvious.

Something wasn't quite right.

The farmers were completely focused on the coconut trees

without realizing that, behind them,

another group was pillaging their banana plantation.

(dramatic music)


And so, White Paw's future changed dramatically.

He found a home and was given a name: Ramu.

He's fed every day now and he also wears a collar.

More comfort, but less independence,

a trade most dogs make if they're given the choice.

This story of White Paw really tells a much broader tale

which played out a long time ago.

From the moment we began to cultivate the first crop fields,

dogs enabled us to protect our harvest.

They kept away all the wild animals

that wanted our wheat, our rice, or our barley.

There were a few monkeys, but mainly lots of herbivores:

deer, sheep, and cattle.

All over the world, our friend helped us

fill our stores for winter.

And that changed our lives.

12,000 years ago, in Mesopotamia,

humans began to settle around fields

of wild wheat and barley.

To protect their crops, the first villagers

had heavy, powerful, Mastiff-like dogs.

This way of life prospered and in a few thousand years,

the first civilizations appear.

5,000 years ago, ancient Egypt was built on barley and wheat

with the help of the ancestors of the Pharaoh hound.

In ancient Greece, it was barley,

with the ancestors of the Molossus

and their sense of smell, their vigilance to all threats,

and the strength to fight off any pillager.

In India, it was rice, thanks to those pariah dogs.

In China and in Japan, too.

In Central America, the Mayans had corn,

with help from the ancestors of the Mexican Hairless.

In Italy, the Roman Empire grew built on wheat,

with the ancestors of the Mastiff.

By crossbreeding, we began to select them to meet our needs.

Around 3,000 years ago, the first manmade breeds appeared.

Like the Maltese, little dogs,

specialized in fighting rodents

in the ports of the Mediterranean.

They also conquered the hearts of men.

They were the favorite breed of the Roman Emperor Claudius.

Dogs helped us create civilizations,

but who could have imagined the next development

in our partnership?

Another revolution was about to take place

thanks to our dogs: the domestication of animals.

(hooves clattering)


For more than 20,000 years, dogs hunted all wild animals

and chased them away from us.

But then, suddenly, humans had the idea

to keep a few goats closer to herd.

They became herdsmen and used their dogs

to protect their animals.

Predators that protect their prey, how is that possible?

How could the descendants of wolves

become guardians of the animals

they were supposed to kill and eat?

Humans developed a very effective method,

a method that is still practiced today

on the great steppes of Mongolia.

This is the story of a Mongolian Bankhar dog.

His name is Jiri.

Jiri is in charge of a huge flock

that he protects from wolf attacks.

His strength and loyalty make him an accomplished shepherd.

He's already killed more than 10 wolves.

His reputation as a protector

has traveled beyond the mountains.

But that hasn't always been the case.

Jiri became a shepherd 10 years ago

and here's how it happened.


Jiri was just two months old.

He'd just been separated from his mother.


A traumatic shock, but one desired by his owners.

His instincts told him to defend his meal.


It was precisely these instincts

that his owner wanted to overcome.

First lesson, don't bite the hand that feeds.

One day, two men he didn't know came for him,

to take him away, far from everything he knew.

Where were his brothers and sisters?

He needed affection.


And so, he replaced the family he lost

with those he had around him now: humans.

Now it was time for his most difficult challenge,

his natural prey:


The finest food.

But he couldn't touch it.

It was absolute torture.

Every day for weeks.

With the adults, it was a different story.

The black ram knew exactly what he was dealing with:

a young predator.

And he didn't want him in his flock.


That black ram would become his worst nightmare.

Meanwhile, he would have to get used to

smelling like ram's droppings,

one of the human's ideas for getting

the flock to accept him.

Jiri gradually understood

that his family took care of the flock.

He copied them.

When there was a wolf attack, the humans were unhappy.

They didn't like the wolves' scent.

Jiri understood that the wolf must be fought.

On the other hand, when the flock was calm,

his family was happy and he liked that.

All Jiri wanted to do was to please his human family

and receive their affection in return.

By observing people, Jiri learned

what he had to do to make them happy.

Staying very calm when they're performing a ceremony,

not protesting when they baptize you and put ribbons on you.

The people could do what they want,

as long as he got some affection, Jiri was happy.

(light music)

Jiri is now six months old and a series of tests await him

to complete his apprenticeship.

His new job?

Watching over the flock while the humans are sleeping.


(wolf howling)

And at the first sign of danger, alerting his family.


Another of the dogs' incredible talents.

To communicate with us,

they learned to bark, a language that wolves can't speak.

(dramatic music)

Jiri is about to learn the most important part of the job.

It's his first migration, towards new pastures,

to the salt lakes.

No more fences, no more protection,

just wide open spaces and hundreds of sheep

and goats to protect, including the black ram.

He has to keep the flock in a single group,

bring back those that try to escape,

urge on those that don't want to advance

and always, without a moment's pause,

always watch over his flock.

(bird cawing)

In exchange for his devotion, Jiri gets his reward.

He is loved by the leader of his pack.

That's the unwritten contract

that binds the shepherd and his dog.

Now that Jiri has their trust,

he can guide the flock even when the humans aren't there.

His hunting instincts have been transformed

into an instinct for protection,

the flock have accepted him, even that black ram.

Jiri has become the perfect sheep dog.

All that is theirs is his.

In winter, sometimes he spends weeks all alone

without anything to eat.

In rare circumstances, he's allowed

to eat a member of the flock, ideally a black ram.


Our partnership with dogs was crucial

in domesticating other animals

and the advantages have been considerable.

Readily available food, fertilizer for our crops,

wool and leather for our clothes,

bone tips for our arrows, fat for our candles.

Over time, we've decided to keep

increasing numbers of animals with us

and dogs took on the task of protecting them,

all over the world.

Around 10,000 years ago, dogs protected

the first goats in the Middle East,

followed by sheep in Persia.

At the same time, pigs were domesticated in China.

Then came cattle in India and the Middle East.

Then, horses in Central Asia and Spain,

llamas in Peru.

Each time, dogs protected these animals.

The Romans created the ancestor of the Rottweiler

to accompany the herds that fed the soldiers of the Empire.

In the 19th century, some of

today's most popular breeds appeared.

The German Shepherd, the Border Collie, to drive herds,

the Shetland Sheep Dog, Swiss Mountain Dog,

Belgian Shepherd, Pyrenean Shepherd.

(dramatic music)

More recently, we've even discovered a way

for dogs to be adopted by non-human families.

Dogs like the Pyrenean Mountain Dog

are raised with the lambs from birth.

At two months, they're placed in the flock, alone.

Away from humans, the puppy accepts the sheep as family.

They become his brothers and sisters.

While some dogs become sheep dogs

to guard people's livestock,

others utilize their predatory qualities to help them eat.

But let's go back to the beginning.

People have always known that wolves are formidable hunters.

They've seen them in action,

even copying their techniques.

But the wolves' effectiveness is down to one thing:

their collective strength.


And, so, humans created powerful packs of dogs.

Dogs that are obedient to humans,

but capable of transforming

into a group of organized predators.

Tame dogs that are capable of unleashing their inner wolf.

How have men and dogs managed

to create this remarkable alliance?

To understand, here's the story of one of them:

a black and tan hound.

His name is Forbin.

He also has light patches above his eyes,

like all black and tan hounds.

At two months, Forbin was placed in a litter

of tri-color dogs, five siblings,

all older, stronger, and heavier than him.

Unlike the others, pack hounds keep to themselves

their entire lives, like wolves.

Humans give them food, monitor their health,

but they don't try to adopt them into a human family.


Forbin's family is the pack.

He must obey the law of the pack.

But how can he integrate in a group

where he's always the weakest?

This struggle will define Forbin's life.


Forbin is now two years old.

The time has come for him to join the big pack,

a critical day for him.

They number about a hundred

and have lived together for many years.

Forbin is the new arrival, impossible to go unnoticed.

They all want to look at him, smell him.

It's a risky moment.


He must pick out the aggressive dogs

and not rise to their provocations.


And he can't lie down or else they'll attack him.

He mustn't show the least aggression.

If he makes the slightest mistake, he'll get a nasty bite.



They all want to be the first to the meat.


It's been the same story for Forbin since he was little.

He'll eat after the others.

It's more sensible.

He takes up a discreet place,

but it's clear that his place in the pack

is not a very comfortable one.

The night before the hunt, the man's choosing his team.

(speaking foreign language)

They can't all go.

Forbin doesn't know what's happening.

He senses that something's going on,

but he's never left the kennel with the big dogs.

But today, his deepest nature will finally express itself.

Being the descendant of wolves,

his sense of smell, his cunning, and his intelligence

will all be unleashed on the hunt.

(dramatic music)

He can instinctively track the prey with his nose.

He's guided by the scent the animals left on the ground.

But the wild boar's already far away.

(dogs barking)

An ancient tactic comes into play.

The pack fans out to pick up any scent.

The dogs follow the boar's scent for several hours.

Meanwhile, the boar has a plan to scatter his pursuers.

He mixes with the other boars,

rubs against them, mingling their scent.

Forbin knows instinctively how to work as a team

to thwart the boar's plans and tire him out.


Go, go!


But wait, what's going through

Forbin's mind today?

He's giving into another urge even more powerful.

His instinct is telling him to leave the pack now.

He must stay in the forest.

(gentle music)

Why is Forbin doing this?

It's an instinctive reflex passed on from his ancestors.

If a young wolf fails to make a decent place for himself

in the pack where he's born, he leaves.

He's looking for another pack.


But where is he to find one?

(bird cawing)


This morning, his instinct tells him

there's a good meal waiting at the kennel, better go back.

(men conversing and yelling)

Nope, on second thought, it's not a good idea.

He's better off finding his own food.


But there's nothing to eat.

(man shouting)

A nice meal does sound good when you're hungry.

Should he go back to the kennel?

Back to the pack?

(man shouting)

(Forbin whimpering)

For days, Forbin has wandered through the forest

in search of a nonexistent pack.

(thunder rumbling)

He has roamed the area, looking for food he can't find.



Forbin can go a little while without eating,

but how long can he remain alone?

Dogs are social animals, not made for solitude.

He needs others too much.

Eventually, Forbin made his choice

and the man knew exactly where to find him.


Forbin wasn't the first.

The ones that run away always come back.

(speaking foreign language)

Forbin's story helps us understand

how humans joined forces with dogs for hunting.

They simply brought out the wolf the dogs had within.

But dogs are no longer wolves.

They're deeply connected to us,

even though instinct sometimes

calls them back to the forest.

Many years ago, before the invention of fire arms,

hunting with hounds proved to be a tremendous improvement

in capturing all kinds of prey.

(dramatic music)

Thanks to these dogs, we suddenly doubled

the number of animals we caught.

We could feed entire clans and villages.

A huge step forward.

No wonder we considered dogs a blessing.

Thanks to them, we could survive the long, glacial winters.

(bison mooing)
(wolves growling)

When meat became the only food available,

they allowed us to obtain important reserves

by catching these large mammals.

Our hunting partnership lead to many specialized breeds.

By selecting certain characteristics

and breeding the best specimens,

men created dogs adapted to the animal they wanted to hunt.

Fishermen in America created the Labrador,

a great swimmer who could retrieve fish.

It's become one of the most popular

and trustworthy family pets.

Scottish miners created the Yorkshire Terrier

to hunt rats in the mines.

This highly affectionate little ratter

is now found on sofas in smart living Ruems.

Reverend Russell created the Jack Russell Terrier.

Its short legs allow it to slip into foxes' dens.

In France, the poodle was created for hunting ducks,

completely at ease in the water

thanks to its waterpRuef coat.

In Germany, the Dachshund was bred to flush out badgers,

a highly intelligent society dog

that can easily take over a household.

In Russia, a high performance greyhound

for hunting wolves and bears, the Borzoi.

The Babylonians created the ancestor of the Great Dane

for hunting boar.

It would become a gentle giant.

In the Middle East, for hunting hares,

the family of greyhounds appeared:

Salukis, Afghans, Sloughis, et cetera.

They became the hunting companions

of the people of the desert.

In China, the Chow was bred to hunt wolves.

In Japan, the Shiba Inu, for hunting rabbits and birds.

It has become Japan's favorite pet dog.

Terriers, scent hounds, pointers, retrievers,

a wide range of breeds adapted for each type of hunting.

Then, people realized that they could improve

some of their dog's abilities,

starting with their sense of smell.


This nose is, in fact, a very long, moist hoover

at the end of which is a huge mucous membrane,

a pleated sheet of a 120 square meters

situated at the back of the nasal cavity.

The human membrane is only 20 square meters.

Three hundred million nerve cells

capable of identifying every molecule of scent

and a brain capable of memorizing

every combination in existence.

In other words, when it comes to identifying smells,

dogs are true prodigies, even from birth.


(dramatic music)

However, in this field, one dog stands out above all others.

A legendary dog known the world over.

They say it appeared in the Middle Ages,

in Belgium, in a monastery.

Endowed with a majestic, incomparable nose,

the Sherlock Holmes of dogs, the Bloodhound.

(birds chirping)

His name is Lux and his partner, John, is a ranger.

For six years, they have protected the Ol Pejeta Reserve,

one of Kenya's wildlife sanctuaries.

(water splashing)

Today, the reserve is home to hundreds of elephants

and a handful of the last few rhinoceroses in Africa,

animals that have the misfortune

of carrying a fortune on their bodies,

easy prey for poachers.

Traffickers have slaughtered thousands of animals here

without being caught.

They're prepared to kill them and cut off their heads

for the ivory that is so highly prized in China.

For the last six years, Lux has successfully

tracked down dozens of them.

Nowadays, Lux is a tired, old dog.

It's time for him to hand over to a new hero.

For the end of his career, John has planned

an important trek for him.

(crickets chirping)

The operation begins at nightfall on the 25th of October.

(gun firing)

(dog sniffing)

Eight hours later, Lux is on the scene.

The fugitives have left their scent on the ground.

It'll be his reference.

Lux can follow a scent up to four days later.

Eight hours, for him, it's as if they just left.

Everyone depends on his work.

At the rear, a young female

observes Lux's movements attentively.

Her name is Sophie and she's the dog squad's newest recruit.

She learns by watching Lux in action.

This is Lux's last mission

and now he's training Sophie to take his place.

(animal howling)

(dramatic music)


Lux doesn't hear anything.

He doesn't see what's going on around him.

His large ears keep the smells around his nose.

Lux is relentless.

He will follow a scent until he drops.

Sophie doesn't take her eyes off Lux's work for a second.

The team is also accompanied by Diego, a Malinois.

Better to keep him on your side.

Diego has been trained to attack.

He's the one that normally finishes the job.

The trail Lux follows is like a dotted line

in a particular color.

(cows mooing)

But there are thousands of dotted lines of all colors.


(suspenseful music)

Lux comes face to face with his worst enemy: a river.

Now Sophie must learn one of the hardest parts of the job.

There are no scents on the water.

They slid across the surface

and were carried off by the current.

They must find where the man got out on the other side.


They've come 60 kilometers in 40 degrees heat.

Lux is totally exhausted.

(light music)

It's Sophie's turn, her first mission.

She analyzes the molecular composition of the scent

and lodges it in her memory.

She switches into tracking mode,

as if she can see it all in the past.

They're off again.

(dramatic music)

He came through here and left another kind of trace: blood.

And everyone's blood smells different.

(dramatic music)

Sophie's mission is reaching its end,

but there's one last difficulty.

The fugitive escaped on a motorbike.

The scent of his feet has vanished.

But the smell of his blood takes over.

Sophie reprograms her tracking system.

He's close.


(suspenseful music)

(gun firing)

(dramatic music)


The training is finished.

That's it, Sophie's ready, and old Lux can be replaced.

(dramatic music)

Lux is retiring, but he leaves behind an incredible record.

In the Ol Pejeta Reserve, poaching has fallen more than 80%

thanks to him and Diego.

These guys are really good at their jobs

and poachers fear them.

Thanks to them, the elephants of Ol Pejeta

can sleep easily once more.

(elephant grunting)

(dramatic music)

10,000 years ago, humans learned

that they could also use the dogs' strength and endurance

to help them get around.


In Syberia, they invented the first form of fast transport:

the dog sled.

Capable of running a hundred kilometers a day,

lowering the temperature of their paws

and muscle to zero degrees,

these early endurance athletes allowed humans

to transport themselves and their belongings

across vast distances.

Man's world was expanding, but there was more.

Like Hatchet, this young spaniel,

some dogs would show themselves capable

of saving our lives.

(dramatic music)

Nowadays, they're trained to come to our rescue

in the mountains, in the sea, or even in buildings

reduced to rubble by earthquakes.

Rescue dogs.

Still the same motivation: pleasing their humans,

seeking their presence, offering their smell,

their hearing, their endurance, their night vision,

their courage.

But we've also set them to tasks

that have gradually distanced them

from the natural world of dogs.

We've used them like tools.

And this has complicated our relationship with them.

It's six o'clock in the morning,

in the far east of Cambodia.

This six year old female Malinois leaving for work

is called Jellig.

She's a seasoned expert.


She was trained by her partner, Neve.

For many years, Jellig and Neve

have undertaken a monumental task,

clearing the country of the landmines

and unexploded bombs that still litter the ground.

Four million mines and 26 million bombs

are still buried in this rapidly growing country.


Thousands of people have repopulated

incredibly dangerous areas.

This morning, the mine clearing pair

have been called to an emergency.

A farmer has uncovered a cluster bomb.

If one is found, that means others will be nearby.

Jellig knows exactly what is expected of her

and if she finds a few bombs, she might get a reward,

maybe even get to play.

With all these curious bystanders,

it's difficult to set up a secure perimeter.

It's still an extremely dangerous situation.

(speaking foreign language)

(dramatic music)

She can detect the faintest scent of metal in the ground.

Here's one, right here.

But it's buried deep underground.

Jellig can find bombs up to six meters down.

She sits and stays still.

Neve understands.

Her dog would like a reward, but that's not allowed.

Not on duty.

40 years ago, a huge cluster bomb

scattered its explosives here,

for dozens of meters in all directions.

They were buried in the wet ground

and now they've resurfaced.

There's another one.

This one is much closer to the surface, be careful.

These little bombs look like toys.

It's playing with them that leaves

children killed or maimed.

During their career, Jellig and Neve's partnership

has undoubtedly prevented hundreds of deaths

and at least as many horrific injuries.


We can clearly understand Neve's motivation,

but what about the dog?

Since she was a little puppy,

Jellig has spent her days sniffing around

for bits of metal in the ground.

At school, she was rewarded when she did well,

but work is different, no more rewards.

Jellig is giving up.

She doesn't want to work any more, she's burnt out.

She can't go on.

Neve knows what this means.

If Jellig can no longer work, she'll be taken away from her.


In this business, there's no time to wait

for a dog to get better.

Jellig is replaced by a younger female,

still full of enthusiasm.


When we use dogs as tools,

our relationship with them deteriorates.

When the emotional bond is neglected,

the dog loses its reason for living.

Can Jellig keep working?

Dogs who aren't 100% focused

can't be used for mine clearing.

It's crucial for Neve to re-motivate her.

But how do you restore the relationship

between human and dog?

It's simple and beautiful.

By taking time to share affection, play together,

do nothing together, by being there, by each other's side,

present, caring, nourishing the bond

that has united us for thousands of years.

We couldn't have formed this partnership

without reciprocity.

On the other hand, when dogs are aware

of their own usefulness and the loving bond is maintained,

they're capable of doing incredible things for us.

One of these wonders has come

to the aid of people in distress.

(cars honking)

The world has changed since

our first interactions with wolves.

There are more people, but sometimes

there's also more loneliness.

Some people live in isolation from the rest of the world.

We treat them using psychotherapy and medication.

But recently, we've started to help them using dogs.

This is the story of how a young dog

could heal a woman wounded by events in her life.

The dog's name is Rue.

She's successfully treated Brittany's

post-traumatic stress disorder.

Their story begins a year earlier.

It's the beginning of her training

and Rue is five weeks old.

Let's go, nice and easy, let's go.

She must keep her balance and not fall.

The man's voice reassures her.

Let's go across.

Good girl, easy.
She's going to fall.

No, he's there to help here.



Wait, easy.

She must take time to do these tasks properly.

The man's voice tells her she has time.

Easy, easy, got you.

Rue takes confidence.

She'll need it.

Good girl.

Rue is now 10 months old.

She's ready.

Her healing power is within her.

A young woman is waiting for her.

Thank you.
You're welcome.

Thank you very much.

Hey, hey.

The dog's eye contact

triggers the release of oxytocin in her.

The woman feels something, she's touched.

Rue studies her face.

She can feel her tension.

You want to take her for a walk?


Go for it.

Hey, Russo, let's go.

Come on, hey.

We now know that oxytocin,

the hormone that is released

when people have contact with dogs, stimulates attachment.

The simple presence of the dog makes her happy.

And this happiness is transmitted to the dog,

who also produces the same hormone, a virtuous circle.

A bond is forming.

(dramatic music)

An awful story brought Brittany into contact with Rue today.

She suffered a traumatic episode

in her own unit in the Canadian Army

that cut her off from everyone else.

Since then, she's lived alone and speaks to no one.

Rue can't understand the story,

but she is capable of deciphering several emotions

from Brittany's facial expressions.




And shame.

Rue senses her distress.

But remains the same as always.

Ready for a good meal.

Or to share a moment of affection.

Rue's brain is perfectly equipped

to understand Brittany's emotions.

In this woman, she perceives a world of anxiety,

the fear of being attacked,

the need to protect herself from others.

One of the dog's greatest qualities

is that they don't judge.

Rue is happy just to take it all in.

(helicopter whirring)
(woman screaming)

But how far does it go?

Can she hear her nightmares?

(woman screaming)

When you have her step down, mindful--

Back to the training camp, the first test.

(people chattering)

Rue has to balance on these cans.

She can do it, she just has to stay calm.

Okay, go ahead.

Let's go, step down.

But Brittany's worried

she'll fall, she's stressed.

Feet down, knock it off.

Good stand.

And her stress is transmitted to the dog.


Let's go, step up.

This exercise forces the young woman

to control her emotions.

You have to remember that the dog

is feeling our vibration, okay?

Nice and easy, step down.

What affects you will affect her.

That's how Rue calms down

and everything's fine.

It's an important step for Brittany.

All right.


I don't know if I can do it.

You can do it.

The second test is even tougher.


I don't know.
You don't know

if you can get it?

She has to cross the gap to reach her dog.

Talk to your dog.
It's okay, wait.

Slide your palm, talk to your dog.

Faced with the drop,

Brittany's anxieties come flooding back.


Hands first.

(dramatic music)

She can't do it.

Josh, I can't.

Talk to your dog.
It's okay, wait.

I can't.

Yes, you can.
I can't.

I can't, Josh.

You can.
I can't do it.

Rue senses that Brittany's discouraged.

But she just wants to play and have fun.

Every day, Rue needs to play, to be fed, taken out, cuddled.

Simple needs that force Brittany to take care of Rue.

This helps connect her to the real world

and her dog loves it, too.

You want Rue to come to you, show you the way?

Okay, okay.
You want Rue to come?

Okay, Rue.

Nice and easy.

Let's go, easy.

To help her companion,

Rue takes the risk of crossing the beam.


Okay, keep moving, keep talking.

I'm here, push.

Hey, easy, easy, easy.

Rue shows her the way.

Keep moving, keep talking.
She takes on

the responsibility for her.
Okay, I'm here, push.

Brittany can do it,

with a little help from her dog.

Good, wait.


Day after day, her fears recede.

Brittany has a renewed sense of confidence.

Her dog watches over her,

listening out for her moments of weakness

with constant vigilance.

She protects her.

(breathing heavily)


Tests show that a dog's presence

really does have positive natural effects on our health.

It steadies our heart rate, lowers our blood pressure,

lifts our mood, reassures us.

The dogs' infinite patience

and steadfast love for their humans

have a lot to do with it.


You good?

The final test: the foot bridge,

the end of the road.


The goal?

To cross to the other side, across the gap.

Watch your leg there.

Nice, talk to your dog.

Put it back.

You can actually grab the handle, no.

Gotta go back, talk to her.

Rue is in danger.

But she puts herself entirely in Brittany's hands.

For the first time in a long time,

Brittany feels responsibility and she acts.

Good cross, wait.

Good wait, cross.

Good cross, push.

Good push, wait.

Having confidence in herself

will let her love herself again.

(light music)

This experimental therapeutic method

has already had some surprising results.

In a few weeks, Rue has enabled Brittany

to return to a more or less normal social life.


For those in charge of Brittany's care,

the healing power of dogs

has not yet been explained by science.

The connection between humans and dogs

is deeper than we can imagine.

Their powers of understanding are immense.

They're capable of pulling sufferers out of their distress.

They're incredibly strong companions.

A mutual love has grown between Rue and Brittany,

a bond that makes the future look very bright.

Today, we're discovering the incredible

therapeutic abilities of dogs.

More and more of them play auxiliary roles in hospitals.

They provide priceless care to patients.

But there are still plenty of unsolved questions.

Hatchie and Owen's story is yet another part of the mystery.

(dog yelping)

We have an emergency rescue of a dog

who collapsed on the railway tracks.

It begins on a winter night in a London suburb.

Yeah, I can take that.

Can I get the post code?

Yeah, I'll send it over now, thanks.

(dog whimpering)

You're okay, it's okay.

Good dog, really good.

I've located the dog on the train tracks.

I'm gonna see about getting these trains stopped now.

Many thanks.

(dog yowling)

You're fine.

A dog has been abandoned

on a railway track in the middle of the night.

Someone wanted him dead.

(car door slamming)


(machine whirring)

A male, six months old.

He has broken bones all over his body from his mistreatment.

(dramatic music)

And a serious leg injury from the impact of the train.

They have to operate on the dog for him to survive.

An association takes him and gives him a name: Hatchie.

But what can they do with this lame and traumatized dog?

Can he ever trust humans again?

(dogs barking)

Who would want him?

The association posts a photo on Facebook.

We'll take your pulse, first of all.

Just checking you're alive.

You know?

In Surrey, a boy named Owen

is suffering from a rare muscular condition.

Suddenly, he finds himself faced with a new challenge:

a growth spurt has caused his whole face to change.

The other kids at school are teasing him about it.

Owen's beginning to understand he's different.

Love you.

Love you.

He has to struggle with loneliness,

despair, even.

Good night, buddy.

Good night.

And that's when Owen's family

sees that photo of Hatchie and decides to give it a try.

It has its risks.

Hatchie's three times heavier than Owen.

He was abused by people.

Will he be a good dog?

Why would he want to be with a little boy he doesn't know?

Hatchie immediately senses the boy's fragility.


He adjusts his movements so he doesn't knock him over.

Amazingly, he immediately accepts

the little boy's friendship.



(light music)

With Hatchie, Owen's having fun again.

With Owen, Hatchie's rediscovering his love of life.



How can a dog that was beaten and left for dead

by his previous owners give his affection so quickly

to a child he doesn't know?

This story of Hatchie and Owen

reveals an uncomfortable truth.

Even when a dog's been mistreated,

he continues to trust people, to love them, even,

and to crave the least sign of affection.


It's been amazing.

And it won't be the same without you.

I love you, buddy, you're the best.

(birds chirping)

Dogs arrived in our lives

when we were nomads and hunter-gatherers.

They were like us.

(dramatic music)

They won us over and made a place for themselves

at our side.

They protected our harvests

and allowed us to build up reserves.

So we became farmers.


They agreed to protect other animals for us

and we became shepherds.

They were happy to hunt their prey with us

and we became the most powerful hunters on the planet.

They gifted us their many talents:

their sense of smell,

their strength,

their stamina,

their intelligence.

They've come everywhere with us, even into the cities.

And they've even been able to figure out

our thoughts and feelings.

Today, they accompany us from our earliest years.

They teach our children about friendship and loyalty.

They make us exercise, smile, and play.

Loyal in the good times, as well as the bad.

They follow us into our golden years

and console us in the loneliness of old age.

This animal born of our alliance with the wolves,

there's nothing like him in the whole natural world.

With his unconditional love, he truly is man's best friend.

(upbeat music)