So only get a wolf if you can stomach putting a bullet in its head after it brutalizes your kids.
Also, if their pack leader looks sick or injured, the wolf will take that a signal to make a move for top spot. I've heard of owners twisting an ankle and hobbling around and the wolf starts looking at them very differently.
Finally, they have a very strong prey instinct. Stories about the wolf being exposed to children and not taking an eye off them. Practically waiting for an opportunity to pounce.
That's not to say wolves can't be pets, but it take a ton of time and constant vigilance to keep their instincts in check.
Is it just me, because everything you've just said seems to suggest that wolves can't be pets.
I'm really against most types of exotic pet. Large cats need a lot of room, as do wolves. There are many cases of exotic pets turning on their owners. It's really unfair to the animals.
Unless you really know what you're doing and have a significant amount of time to invest, avoid exotic pets. They can be very dangerous and turn on you. Humans have spent a lot of time domesticating the animals we keep today.
It’s probably just not very appropriate according to your particular personality, and perhaps slightly offensive to typical sensibilities.
But there’s something admirable about a companion that requires a degree of vigilance, and expects domination in exchange for honest respect. In a sense that sort of presence does you the favor of keeping you sharp for your own sake, according to the rules of the harsh world that produced its kind.
It’s a somewhat clear contrast worth tuning into, to consider what uncivilized nature requires from a predator, as compared to what genteel society rewards.
Could it be a pet in some suburban cul de sac? Nah, but a tract of hemmed-in, woodland terrain might work, such that ordinary folk are protected from it’s advanced husbandry requirements, both by remoteness, and possibly some engineered physical barriers.
Would it still be a pet, if you offer it free movement within a zone larger than it’s natural range? Yes, but only by fostering conditioned dependence, which is what being a pet owner is really about anyway. Pets are not peers, but sometimes they believe themselves to be.
Pet is a more open term, and represents the concept of an enjoyable living possession, retained without enslavement.
Enforcing submission may carry the possibility of punishment, but an equitable game can be achieved, even amid power differential.
Is the animal’s environment engaging and enjoyable, yet perhaps limited? Then congratulations, it’s your pet.
This makes sense, and it makes me wonder if an even more 'subservient' human creature should be, or is being (unintentionally) created. Individually, the wolf is greater than the dog. However, a pack of dogs could easily take down a wolf. Wolves are to dogs as the Heroes are to us.
Collectivization is not a strategy for 100 years but for 10,000 years. Are we today just going through the painful process of a genetic local anesthesia towards domestication?
Slavery, including slavery where attempts to breed slaves for particular traits has existed in various forms, and there doesn’t appear to be a situation like dogs where people live to serve.
Our social conditioning is strong enough that I would guess that it slows down genetic changes. Why bother with eugenics when marketing works just fine?
So, basically, if I'm sick instead of my dogs taking it as an opportunity to spend all day in bed with me sleeping, my wolf is going to look at as an opportunity to take me out? Great.
If your parents did that, you would do the same thing.
You see this kind of prejudice against pitbulls too. They're some of the sweetest dogs.
How do you figure that? The entire article basically talked about how you can never domesticate a wolf.
People live with tigers. You'd never say that they were domesticated. The majority of the time, this works fine. you only hear about cases where they turn on their owner, which is rare.
I've spent a long time thinking about this question, and it seems like the ultimate truth is that we humans are uncomfortable with anything that can possibly threaten us. If we can't win in a fistfight, we classify it as subhuman.
We don't really classify dogs as subhuman. We treat them like family. We love them. They love us.
If you think back to when gay people were oppressed, and are still being oppressed in Uganda (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2W41pvvZs0), the rhetoric against them is pretty similar to the type of thing you'd say to convince you that wolves are randomly and uncontrollably violent. It's at least an interesting coincidence.
It's not fair to label them. "Only get a wolf if you can stomach putting a bullet in its head after it brutalizes your kids." Are you sure it makes no difference in how you raise them? The article seems to support this.
Again, the specific wolf matters. But there are certainly wolves that don't have a high adrenaline response, meaning they are genetically predisposed to being nicer. They're not dogs, but they're not mindlessly violent.
It's important to realize that the comments in this post suffer from selection bias. Obviously, if you make a post about how wolves become nasty, you're going to get ten thousand stories about all the wolves anyone has ever seen that were remotely nasty.
I have no experience with wolves. I don't know one way or the other. Maybe you're right, and literally all of them will bite your kids. But almost no one here is speaking from first-hand experience, except this top comment. And that wolf owner was more interested in having a killing machine than having a new member of their family. It's important to be actively skeptical in that context.
So, there you go. I've tried to be thorough and intellectually gratifying. I will say that I've been teetering on leaving HN lately because no one seems to be willing to engage with controversial ideas anymore -- they want to shout them down. I try not to generalize like that, because HN isn't a single entity, but there are a variety of ways to stomp on intellectual curiosity without breaking the rules. Maybe if I just attach that disclaimer to the bottom of all my long comments, things will turn out differently.
The wolf in the story wasn’t randomly violent. It was vying for a better spot in its pack’s hierarchy. It was exhibiting ambition. Unless you’re willing to be seen as an equal by an ambitious animal willing to rationally dispense violence to obtain its short-term goals, you don’t want a wolf. You want a nice, subservient dog whose competitive instincts vis-à-vis humans have been bred out.
Not from this anecdote, but there is research on the topic.
Studying puppies at 3, 4 and 5 weeks of age: “compared to wolves, dogs tended to display more communicative signals that could potentially facilitate social interactions, such as distress vocalization, tail wagging, and gazing at the humans’ face. In contrast to dog puppies, wolf pups showed aggressive behavior toward a familiar experimenter and also seemed to be more prone to avoidance. ”
Approach avoidance through biting and other behaviours are discussed in the same paper’s “discussion” section.
Later, they find wolves are worse at yielding to humans, keeping eye contact, sensing changes in vocal intonation or context when multiple people enter the room, et cetera .
Research into the question of whether wolves are different will discover that wolves are different.
I appreciate the cite, but it isn't evidence that wolves will maul children just because they're ambitious. Maybe they do; maybe you're right. All we can say for certain is that we don't know.
I think you could make the same points about lions, yet there is evidence of lions loving their owners and treating them with the same emotional bonds as a family member.
I agree, the research doesn’t say this. It says wolves offer a lower tolerance for making mistakes, a higher cost when things go wrong and fewer aids (e.g. picking up on intonation, instinctive subservience) to help you along.
You can do it. (Our ancestors did.) You’ll just have an animal vying for your seat in the pack, because it honestly thinks (warning: anthropomorphising) it can do a better job than your weak, debilitated ass in promoting the survival of its pack. Which it sees as much as its as much as it is yours. If someone is okay with that, fine. But understand the risks, that lots of people who thought they understood the risks didn’t, and that the worst-case outcome involves your animal killing someone’s kid or having to be put down because of your hubris.
I just think they can love you in their own way. If someone wants to explore the question, and they're doing so safely and only risking themselves, then it's probably no one else's business.
On the other hand, it's hard to imagine how that could be done safely, so I concede. Thanks for the interesting debate.
Yes. In the same way your sociopath childhood friend might love you. They will prioritize you over others (probably because you're known and they can anticipate your behavior), and use you or allow you to use them when they think it is beneficial. Don't expect sacrifice or compassionate understanding though, and don't expect your feelings to have much weight beyond how they affect your attitude towards them (or how you can affect the attitudes of others).
I had two indoor outdoor cats, neither of which were neutered. I couldn't bring myself to do that to them. To my surprise, I found that none of the stereotypes were true, at least with one of them. He was the sweetest, most caring thing. He didn't care to assert dominance, he didn't try to fight, he didn't spray. He didn't do any of the things that people said cats will do unless neutered.
After an experience like that, you start to think differently about the world, and about people's unqualified opinions.
The fact is, you can't know. You are (and feel free to correct me) speaking based on no experience. I think there's at least one wolf in the world that would surprise you and defy your stereotypes.
But yes, you're probably correct in the general case.
Usually it's not a good idea to anthropomorphize wild animals.
domestication is determined by a collection of genetic features that essentially stunt an animal's physical development as a juvenile, and it's not environmentally-instilled (or at least, not for the most part). you can treat a chimp or a bear like a pet from the day it's born, but one day it's almost invariably going to cause serious damage. people treat this as a proxy battle for racism but it's not even slightly controversial science.
i would also recommend reading about the effort to domesticate silver foxes. it was doable in about fifty years via culling of aggressive foxes, allowing the friendlier (ie, more juvenile) foxes to survive and breed.
Depending on the animal, but yes.
>People live with tigers.
We're talking about wolves.
>we humans are uncomfortable with anything that can possibly threaten us.
Maybe. In general one should have a healthy amount of respect for wild animals.
>And that wolf owner was more interested in having a killing machine than having a new member of their family.
You're drawing lots of conclusions from an online, off-hand remark.
>"Only get a wolf if you can stomach putting a bullet in its head after it brutalizes your kids."
No. The right answer is: never get a wolf to keep as a pet. This person you're talking about was acting unethically by having a pet wolf.
As for your comment further up the chain: No, pitbulls are not sweet. Pitbulls are unpredictable monsters. Where I live, they are prohibited, and for good reason.
Do you have any direct experience with a well-loved, housebroken pitbull? In all my experiences with the breed, the only thing they're aggressive about is snuggling. /anecdata
They are bred for fighting. Not all that bright, and with fuses that are known to blow without apparent reason. Too many cases of owners suddenly attacked and maimed.
It's an American thing which has spread to the rest of us. Thirty years ago, we never saw these muscle- and fighterbreeds. I don't believe we were the poorer for it.
Pitbulls as a general category have been around for hundreds of years and originated in Europe.
It's difficult to explore the question, though.
Darwin famously observed in the first chapter of On the Origin of Species that not one of our domestic animals can be named which has not in some country drooping ears.
Darwin himself attributed it to "muscle misuse", the rationale being that domestic animals are not frequently enough on high alert, but genetic causes are more likely.
The bizarre (and still running) experiment of Dmitry Belyaev who has been raising wild silver foxes for over 60 years to turn them into a domestic species by selecting the friendliest individuals at each generation seems to show that domestic characteristics, including droopy ears, appear "naturally" during this process, hinting at a genetic cause.
Which genes is a tough question, but there are several programs looking for them.
Neither cats nor horses have drooping ears, except for ones that have serious birth defects or mutations.
And there has never really been any kind of long-term eugenics project for cats; they mostly domesticated themselves, which had different results. There are no "work cats" that we've selectively bred with other "work cats" to improve their demeanour; there are purebred cats, but they're basically assholes and we basically don't care. (Why this is, I'll never know.)
Horses have been bred to be larger and more docile. The natural size for horses is a large pony.
It's unclear how this started. Przewalski's horse, the last remaining feral horse breed, is not the genetic ancestor of the modern horse, but a diverging line.
(Horses are somewhat different in the Americas than in Europe and Asia. They're not native. Feral horses in the Americas are descended from ones brought over from Europe by early Spanish conquerers. Amusingly, the pedigrees are known; the Spanish expeditions were Government operations and there's surviving paperwork. Most were good Andalusians.)
I guess I'm using "docility" a bit differently. There are two somewhat different commonly-used meanings, and it'd be helpful if they were different words:
• the animals everyone tends to commonly use the word "domesticated" for, which usually have specifically eusocial behaviours, like coming and laying down beside a human. Dogs are the central example; but numerous animals, from ferrets to hamsters to pigeons, are actually like this.
• the animals that aren't afraid of humans, and will tolerate their presence, and maybe learn skills from them. Horses, cows, sheep, chickens, etc. Farmers and breeders call these species "domesticated" (compared to their wild cousins), but they're not called that by lay-people. "Able to be livestock" might be what the average person would call these. (Oddly, some common "pets", like guinea pigs, are actually more in this category.)
One of the major differences, in my mind, is that the animals everyone calls domesticated, like being around humans enough that—if raised in a human environment—they'll often defend their human "family member" against their own kind. But this is not a behaviour you see with the technically-domesticated species; a wolf, or a fox, or a cow, might defend its territory if it's feeling territorial, but it won't specifically defend you, even if you raised it. It knows humans are a sometimes-helpful thing, but its instincts haven't been hacked enough to consider them "kin."
I'm not actually sure where horses fall on this measure, having not had much personal experience with them. Your input?
Also, fitting into neither category, there are a few extremely-intelligent species that, by this measure, we might call "domesticated" without having had much human-mediated human interaction at all. Corvids and chimpanzees both understand human social behaviour well enough to "befriend" individual humans, but this doesn't translate to them having a default-positive association with humans in general.
Also, under this distinction, I'd say that most wild animals that have assumed a "city habitat" like raccoons, skunks, squirrels, increasingly foxes in Britain, etc. are "technically domesticated." They're pretty much as docile if raised as pets as a horse or a cow would be. Definitely less unpredictable than a "pet" monkey. These species are doing the same thing cats did to get where they are; they just haven't spent as many generations evolving under the constraints cats have yet.
(My current horse is possessive of me. I recently turned him out in an arena with another horse he likes, and the two played around a bit. Then the other horse came up to visit me. My horse ran over, ears pinned back and teeth bared, to chase the other horse away. But he wasn't "defending" me; the other horse wasn't a threat and my horse knew that. He was just showing the other horse that I was his human.)
I was of the understanding dogs, our friends, are omnivores.
Unlike obligate carnivores, dogs can adapt to a wide-ranging diet, and are not dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level of protein in order to fulfil their basic dietary requirements. Dogs will healthily digest a variety of foods, including vegetables and grains, and can consume a large proportion of these in their diet, however all-meat diets are not recommended for dogs due to their lack of calcium and iron. Comparing dogs and wolves, dogs have adaptations in genes involved in starch digestion that contribute to an increased ability to thrive on a starch-rich diet.
By comparison, zebras are very hard to work with.
http://theconversation.com/why-zebra-refused-to-be-saddled-w... "In many ways, zebra appear very like horses (or ponies, given their size). Yet underlying differences in behaviour have meant that while horses and donkeys have been successfully domesticated, the zebra remains predominantly wild... Horses were initially kept as a food animal."
(The problem is keeping cat fans from feeding the working cats. The cat people got out of control at the Stanford barn years ago, and the cats got fat and lazy. The overweight cats had to be traded out for more useful semi-feral cats.)
Draft horses and other working horses beg to differ.
They're generally calm and docile, and don't spook easily. Especially draft horses working in cities, they're gentle giants, because they have to be when working on traffic and noise. Police horses too.
As for cats, they don't give you the unconditional love that you get from a dog. They need to respect you first.
It feels disingenuous to exclude breeds based on mutation / selective breeding, as the quote refers to the effects of breeding on domesticated animals, which are by definition going to be mutations of other species.
This episode of radiolab goes into some theories about the process of fox domestication and hypothesizes that something similar might have occurred in humans.
I don't remember it in enough detail to summarize, but it's a fascinating listen.
I suggest that - if humans associate e.g. droopy ears with being more friendly, this creates a positive feedback loop whereby those animals with droopy ears receive more positive interactions, show less fear and are modestly more likely to be selected by Belyaev's research for breeding, all other things being equal. Human bias has become a "selection pressure".
This has no implication within genetics, neither genetics of the foxes nor genetics of the humans: it could simply be (increasingly) customary in society including Belyaev's. So, I strongly doubt any genetic cause.
In addition to the ears drooping, others morphological differences manifested - the friendliest animals had distinct coat patterns, curlier tails, and then later generations additionally showed shortened legs, tail, snout, upper jaw, and widened skull.
That is, with a small enough sample, if it just so happened the nicest cubs had (some traits) in common, you can easily end up exaggerating those traits in later generations.
The Russian study is heavily inbred. They only ever had a maximum of 2000 foxes - now bred for a few dozen generations.
It's been theorized that this has to do with the neural crest, which is an embryonic structure that the adrenal medulla develops out of. The adrenal medulla produces hormones involved in stress and fear, and so an animal with a less active adrenal medulla would probably be more amenable to domestication.
Several other things also develop out of the embryonic crest, so it could be that which ties together domestication and those various other traits that seem to go with it across many species.
Do people see droopy ears as more friendly? I guess it indicates that the animal is not particularly alert, and so unlikely to be on the verge of aggression.
What do you find bizarre about it?
As someone who has owned a pregnant mare, and observed (and been involved where appropriate) in the birthing, raising, and, with time, subsequent breaking of the foal, I think horses may be born in a more 'wild' form--- but only in the loose, as-it-were sense of the word.
This all said, domestication should probably be discussed in a way that's wholly specific to a species since, with the horse-dog comparison, it goes without saying that their cognitive development, experience, functional relation to humans, and genetics (unlike the wolf/dog in this regard, a premise of the article) differ in such profound ways.
They are domesticated.
Sometime during the second year his independent nature became more and more pronounced. He also began to be more assertive around other dogs, sometimes even treating them as prey (it attacked one of my parents smaller dogs on a couple of occasions). Dog parks were a no-go and late-night walks became routine.
No amount of professional training could curb his instincts. I went as far as taking him to a trainer who specialized in working with aggressive breeds. No change.
Then one day he bit my dad out of the blue. My dad was petting him and suddenly stopped and the dog wheeled around and bit my dad on the wrist – I guess indignant that my dad had stopped showing him attention. It was bad enough that my dad had to go to the hospital.
By chance, I was able to find a home for the dog, a retired man who had worked with both Malamutes and wolves. He took him to his ranch and we kept in contact for about a year after. The man a couple of times said that the dog was one of the most feral-minded Malamutes he had ever come across and exhibited traits of a dog that had been raised for fighting.
It was a terrible experience. I really cared for the dog in spite of his tendencies. I learned a lot from him about the importance of breed selection and the perils of living with an un-vetted animal. Many years later, I now own a mixed-breed Newfounland / Golden Retriever rescued from a high-kill shelter. He is the polar opposite of the Malamute behavior-wise (still very handsome, though). I couldn't be happier.
It was actually odd, in that my parents, being from India, saw big dogs as "security" animals, so didn't spare the rod with the golden initially, and had to unlearn the tough love quickly through the obedience classes with him because he thrived on affection. But with the mal... that girl brought back the mantra, "a dog is a dog. people are people".
Oddly once we made that shift, it was a breeze. Giving her medicine or brushing her teeth were still a chore, but less scary. The only thing was this -- make a decision and commit. You want to take her food? You damn well better walk over it and, despite any teeth or growling, take it. No half-efforts. And dominance wasn't yelling or hitting or screaming. Everything was presence.
We've had many dogs since, none arctic breeds, but it's changed my view on dogs. Every one is calm, well behaved and trained. But we stopped "obedience" training since the mal. Dog, be dog. Walk on the leash. Know sit and down. Try and master "come" but don't stray far in general. Enjoy your safe-space in the yard/crate/bed. Come for affection when you want it. Leave when you don't and that's OK.
I can't imagine a wolf...
Particularly the attitude towards dogs. Dog is dog human is human and everyone is happier for knowing their place.
Dogs get babied a lot in the US and get very confused as to their role.
We get gushing admiration of how well 'trained' our dogs are. The dirty secret is they've had barely any conscious training from us, it is an attitude, energy, "I'm the leader here" approach that they respect and understand.
Dogs will train dogs too, if you have one older, well behaved dog the others will copy.
This goes very far, the copying, we had a new puppy who's only other dog to copy in the house was old and had gone deaf thus he didn't bark at random noises, even thunder and lightning he barely reacted to, walking past other barking dogs etc., no probs - he couldn't hear them!
The puppy copied this - she could hear of course but she saw the I didn't react, the older dog didn't react and we calmly continued thus that was what she did.
The older dog has now passed away (aged 16!) and she is the oldest dog aged 2 now, we have a 1 year old rescue we just got from the hurricanes here in Houston and he whilst skittish at first from mistreatment by humans (had to dock his tail someone had put a rubber band round it and cut the blood flow off, regrow all fur from mange) he picked up the way to act from the older dog and from us.
A third 'generation' displaying the behaviour started by a dog dead a year.
Nothing we did could get him to stop - it was intolerable. One weekend we went to visit a friend of ours that owned an older shep (actually a cousin of our shep's, from the same breeder.)
My dog went for one of the owner's shoes. The older dog gave him a nip on the muzzle, and that was the end of it. He never again, even after we came home, went after a shoe.
When they start to get old and hip trouble is setting in, I get a new one and the old one teaches the puppy. I've done this for years, though my first weren't working dogs. It's always a Golden and only a Golden. I've never had any other type of dog.
It's neat to watch the pup learn from the older dog. They have retained a number of behavioral characteristics over the years. I'm not sure if it is breeding or nurturing.
At the time they lived in the country and had a hiking area directly behind the house. My father would just put a leash on the dog and then let him lead the way around the mountain. He mentioned that it felt like a good experience for both of them, since he managed to see new parts of the mountain, due to the dog guiding him off the trail every now and then, and the dog was happy to lead. However, things went a bit south after my father had to leave for several months and it was my mother's turn to look after the dog. He would just pull her behind him like a sled and she had no control whatsoever over the dog.
Eventually, she went to a dog trainer with him, which improved things significantly, so that she was at least able to walk the dog without being dragged behind him. However, everything went out the window as soon as he smelled some kind of dead animal, or when he saw a deer or porcupine. Nevertheless, there were no major incidents with the dog, apart from some growling when you were trying to get him off an animal carcass.
It was definitely a much more difficult dog to handle compared to other domesticated breeds I've had or met so far, but at the same time he provided some of the most unique experiences I've had with a dog whenever you would hike with him through the mountains.
I used to own a beautiful GS, the first year he was like any other dog, he was really intelligent, playful, obedient.
I used to train him every day, so I was shocked when he started to misbehave, he wouldn't listen to other family members other than me, he would even growl at them. When I arrived home he would get exited, but instead of coming near for me to pet him, he would go around the yard, over and over. It came to a point where it was dangerous to have him around the family, so I had to took him to a shelter, that was really sad. I used to think a well trained dog will never be a problem, maybe he needed a more specialized training program.
Aggressive does not work well with herding - they're surrounded by prey all day.
Looks like you just had bad luck.
No assholery there.
>When They Grow Up
>And what are socialized wolves like when they grow up, once the mysterious genetic machinery of the dog and wolf direct them on their separate ways?
This is the title of the last section, after some suspense from stating the answers were seen as a "long shot."
Left without anything to say, the author departed the title of the last section and talked about the play pens, the interns, how much the author likes wolves, and the ethical considerations of raising animals in captivity, etc.
I'm not annoyed with, or trying to pick on, this article in particular, or saying it is bad. But I would be interested in higher info/topic and info/words ratios on interesting topics.
In other words, what did I learn about the 'call of the wild?' Well apparently, the answers are a long shot away. And it was a let-down to read through, because the question is so interesting.
Or maybe I'm not reading the right publications?
that being said, I feel like the NYTimes in general is a strong news institution. perhaps this piece was more of a feature article given so many images were included and the video. and people love dogs so much maybe the editor(s) decided it was worth the cost to publish the story even though the researchers' answers are inconclusive so far.
so I agree with your critique of the article going off topic and so making the headline feel a bit misleading in the end. but I still strongly support the journalism that the NYTimes does (based on other articles read) and the need for strong investigative journalism in the news in general.
The question was the motivation for visiting that farm, and the author does recount his interactions with the wolves there. They just weren't terribly exciting.
A complete account of what the scientific literature or other second-hand sources have to say on the question wouldn't fit with the personal style of the article. That's why we only get the bottom line in the last graph:
Then he said what all wolf specialists say: That even though wolf pups look like dogs, they are not, that keeping a wolf or a wolf-dog hybrid as a pet is a terrible idea.
Regarding your quest for higher info/word ratios, I'll start by saying that the term information is somewhat ill-defined. In an article such as this, it may appear at first that the information content is low.
See this example:
The humans were still groggy from a night with little sleep. Pups at that age wake up every few hours to whine and paw any warm body within reach.
The first sentence adds nothing to your understanding of wolves that isn't also included in the second. As a wildlife enthusiast scanning the article for "wolf facts", you wouldn't highlight the first sentence, and you'll probably regard it as useless human-interest fluff.
But what that's missing is that this article isn't (just) about wolves. It's about human/wolf relations as well, and specifically about the group of people working with wolves.
And regarding those, we learn, for example, that these university researchers don't hesitate to get their hands dirty, and are willing to spend sleepless night for their research.
Journalism such as it's practiced at the New York Times isn't intended to prepare you for a face-to-snout with a wild wolf. They aim broad rather than deep. And all the extra information in this essay touches on any number of topics that are much more likely to be relevant to real-world decisions (including votes), such as the morality of zoos, research funding, or genetics.
Actually, what I said was maybe it should have stayed more focused, or, maybe I'm reading the wrong publications.
I didn't say I wanted to read scholarly articles, either.
I think there is maybe a little bit of a void in journalism here? I find sometimes bloggers fill this space with the ability to chime in efficiently.
The two were OK up to a point but at a certain age the wolf dramatically changed compared to the puppy; it was uncontrollable.
That's a good way to put it.
And if you've lived in places where dog packs roam then you know that even in regular dog breeds the wild animal is just under the surface, all it takes is the right (or wrong) environment to bring that out.
I was a bit incredulous. He explained that he bred dogs for security. After losing a few of his dogs to coyotes, he wanted tougher animals. He managed to acquire a couple wolf pups, raised them and bred them with with mastiffs to make them bigger and more controllable.
The wolves were impossible to keep entirely under control, and even the wolf dogs were hard. They're big, strong and wild. Under normal circumstances, they weren't too bad but when excited, they could not be stopped. Like, if you took a group of them on a walk down to the river, it would not be possible to keep them from running to the water once it was in sight. The "big husky" he was bringing on the bus was apparently one of those, though he assured me that she was manageable alone.
It was a rather incredible story. Coming from anybody else I wouldn't have believed it, but the man was covered in scars and was missing a bite out of his nose. The bus was the north crosstown, which would have taken him around the edge of the city.
The ability to look at a wild animal and see it as more than a threat or food surely had some role in our development. Wolves may have been our firat step towards the domestication of livestock or possibly farming.
I was a ‘cat person’ before that. The brother and sister we kept (and fixed asap) are super intelligent, friendly adorable and yes, a little wild. Im fortunate enough to live in the mtns where I hike them 2 miles every day, rain snow or shine. Our couch looks like it was attacked by wolves...
I’ve met a lot of people with hybrids now and everyone more or less reports the same thing. Caring for them requires something in between caring for dog and caring for human child... They need strong boundaries and lots of love.
There was nothing 'cute' about what he looked like when he got back, it looked like he had been turned into hamburger, nearly lost an eye. Do not underestimate cats in attack mode.
You really have to be a competent animal trainer to keep one of those.
It also became hard to control and somewhat erratic. After a couple biting instances, the last being pretty severe it was decided to put the dog down as it was dangerous to children and the other dogs in the house.
This just in, wolves != dogs
"Wolf," "dog," and "coyote" are just social constructs.
Given the immense body of data saying otherwise, it is my hope that your post is the most ignorant thing I’ll read today.
Several generations of selective breeding was enough to produce tame foxes.