Response to barking in free-ranging dog groups

Manna, Prothama (2019) Response to barking in free-ranging dog groups. Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata.

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Canids display a wide diversity of social organizations, from solitary-living to pairs to packs. Domestic dogs are known to have descended from pack-living gray wolf-like ancestors. Domestic dogs, whose activities like movements and reproduction are not controlled by humans, are known as free-ranging dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Unlike their group living ancestors, free-ranging dogs are facultatively social, preferring to forage solitarily. They are scavengers by nature, mostly dependent on human garbage and generosity for their sustenance. Free-ranging dogs are highly territorial, often defending their territories using vocalizations. Vocal communication plays a critical role between inter and intraspecies and group interaction and maintaining their social dynamics. Barking is the most common among the different types of vocalizations of dogs. Dogs have a broad hearing range and can respond to sounds over long distances. Domestic dogs have been shown to have the ability to distinguish between barking in different contexts. Since freeranging dogs regularly engage in various kinds of interactions with each other, it is interesting to know whether they are capable of distinguishing between vocalizations of their own and other groups. I used a playback experiment to test if dogs can distinguish between barking of their own group member from a non-group member and if their responses to the same barking sound differ due to change in intensity. The intensity of the bark was varied by varying the volume and distance of the sound. Though dogs respond to barking from other groups in territorial exchanges, they did not respond differently to the self and other group barking in the playback experiments. This suggests a role of context in the interactions between dogs and opens up possibilities for future studies on the comparison of the responses of dogs in playback experiments with their natural behaviour through long-term observations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Dr. Anindita Bhadra
Uncontrolled Keywords: Barking; Canid; Domestic Ddogs; Free-ranging Dogs
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Department of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: IISER Kolkata Librarian
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2020 05:53
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2020 05:53

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