I know there are people that react like the dog, that's for sure, but I think it's a mistake to compare people to dogs. There will always be people that will be motivated by such experiences. Some people when faced with a life or death situation will simply give up or freeze in fear, and some will become totally motivated and survive. Some people will search for every way possible to escape that cage no matter what or even before going into the cage. Some people when faced with a hopeless situation at work will strive to do even better, knowing the reward will come eventually.
I think it depends on mind set, previous experiences, personal standards, beliefs or attitude. Some people always rise above it all.
I don't think they consider how a dog is a "lower" form of life. Imagine us being imprisoned by a "higher" form of life. Like being imprisoned on an alien space ship. Would you dare walk out a open door not knowing what the result would be? I can imagine feeling helpless in that situation for a while, but after a while it would be either die a thousand deaths or die once for me. But when the playing field is even, human against human, the results change.