Do Free-Ranging Dogs have the Tendency to Hunt?

Pyari, Muhzina S. (2016) Do Free-Ranging Dogs have the Tendency to Hunt? Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata.

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Artificial selection is the selection of advantageous natural variation to meet human needs and is the mechanism by which most domestic species have evolved. Most domesticates have their descent in one of a few historic centers of domestication as farm animals, but Dogs (Canis familiaris) are an exception. Tameness and emotional processing ability make dogs man’s best friend. Domestication is understood to have caused several behavioural changes in dogs, and the tendency to play in adulthood is one such character that is observed in dogs, but not in their ancestors, the wolves (Canis lupus). Free-ranging dogs in India present us with a condition which is intermediate between pet dogs and wolves, and hence are interesting models for understanding domestication in dogs. The current study investigated the tendency for hunting in free-ranging dogs, as opposed to playing, when presented with mobile novel objects. Both adults and pups were tested for ‘play’ and ‘hunt’ behavior using a moving food and a static toy. The Adult dogs show more tendency to play than hunt. They are averse to novel objects and show interest in familiar tasks which make them neophobic. But pups are less neophobic and have more tendency to ‘play’ than ‘hunt’. It is possible that dogs have an innate tendency to play and explore novel objects, but they develop neophobia during their development, being exposed to threats from humans in the urban environment.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Dr. Anindita Bhadra
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dogs; Free-Ranging Dogs; Hunt; Pups
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Department of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: IISER Kolkata Librarian
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2016 10:15
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2016 10:50

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