What's the deal with my dog biting his tail?

There is no one answer to this question as tail biting can be caused by a variety of reasons. Some dogs may bite their tails out of excitement or when they are trying to get a toy out of the toy box. Other dogs may bite their tails out of boredom or when they are trying to get a reaction from their owner. Some dogs may even bite their tails out of aggression or when they are trying to assert dominance over their owner.

The most important thing to do when you notice your dog biting his tail is to take a look at the situation and figure out what is causing the behavior. If the tail biting is occurring out of excitement or when the dog is trying to get a toy out of the toy box, then providing more excitement in those situations may help to stop the behavior. If the tail biting is occurring out of boredom or aggression, then training the dog to stop biting his tail may be the best solution.

A drawing by Konrad Lorenz depicting a dog's facial expressions - a communication behavior - with fear increasing in the lower left and aggression increasing to the right.

Dog behavior is defined as the internally coordinated responses of individuals or groups of domestic dogs to internal and external stimuli.[1] It has been shaped by millennia of contact with humans and their lifestyles, and as a result of this physical and social evolution, dogs have acquired the ability to understand and communicate with humans, and they are uniquely attuned in these fellow mammals. is the internally coordinated responses of individuals or groups of domestic dogs to internal and external stimuli.[1] It has been shaped by millennia of contact with humans and their lifestyles. As a result of this physical and social evolution, dogs have acquired the ability to understand and communicate with humans, and they are uniquely attuned in these fellow mammals.[2] Behavioral scientists have uncovered a wide range of social-cognitive abilities in domestic dogs.

Co-evolution with humans[edit][edit]

Whole-genome sequencing indicates that the dog, gray wolves, and the extinct Taymyr wolves diverged around the same time 27,000-40,000 years ago.[3] It is unclear how dogs became domesticated, but the two main hypotheses are self-domestication or human domestication.Evidence of human-canine behavioral coevolution exists.

Intelligence[edit][edit]

The ability of a dog to perceive information and retain it as knowledge in order to solve problems is referred to as dog intelligence. Dogs have been shown to learn by inference.A study with Rico revealed that he knew the labels of over 200 different items.[4] Using exclusion learning, he inferred the names of novel items and correctly retrieved those novel items immediately, and he retained this ability four weeks after the initial exposure.A study documented the learning and memory capabilities of a border collie, "Chaser," who had learned the names and could associate over 1,000 words by verbal command.After being trained to solve a simple manipulation task, dogs that are faced with an insolvable version of the same problem look at the human, whereas socialized wolves do not.Dogs demonstrate a theory of mind by deception[5][6].

Senses[edit][edit]

Vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, proprioception, and sensitivity to the earth's magnetic field are among the senses of the dog.

Communication behavior[edit][edit]

Dog communication is concerned with how dogs "speak" to each other, how they understand messages sent to them, and how humans can translate the ideas that dogs are attempting to transmit.[7]: xii These communication behaviors include eye gaze, facial expression, vocalization, body posture (including movements of bodies and limbs), and gustatory communication (scents, pheromones, and taste).Dogs can also learn to read human facial expressions to understand emotional communication with humans.: xii These communication behaviors include eye gaze, facial expression, vocalization, body posture (including movements of bodies and limbs) and gustatory communication (scents, pheromones and taste). Humans communicate with dogs by using vocalization, hand signals, and body posture. Dogs can also learn to understand communication of emotions with humans by reading human facial expressions.[8]

[edit]edit]

Two studies have found that dog behavior varies according to size, body weight, and skull size[9][10].

Play[edit][edit]

Dog-dog[edit][edit]

Dogs signal their intent to play with a variety of behaviors such as a "play-bow," "face-paw," "open-mouthed play face," and postures inviting the other dog to chase the initiator.Similar signals are used throughout the game to keep the context of potentially aggressive activities[12] in place.

Dogs engage in play with one another from a young age, with the majority of dog play consisting of mock fights.This behavior, which is most common in puppies, is thought to be training for important behaviors later in life. Play between puppies is not always a 50:50 symmetry of dominant and submissive roles between the individuals; dogs who engage in higher rates of dominant behaviors (e.g.chasing, forcing partners down) at later ages initiate play at a higher rate, implying that winning during play becomes more important as puppies mature.

In humans and primates, emotional contagion is linked to facial mimicry, which is an automatic response that occurs in less than 1 second in which one person involuntarily mimics another person's facial expressions, forming empathy.It has also been observed in dogs at play, and play sessions lasted longer when facial mimicry signals were sent from one dog to another.

Dog-human[edit][edit]

Whats the deal with my dog biting his tail?

A dog's motivation to play with another dog differs from that of a dog's motivation to play with a human; dogs walked together with opportunities to play with one another play with their owners at the same frequency as dogs walked alone.Dogs in households with two or more dogs play with their owners more frequently than dogs in households with a single dog, indicating that motivation to play with other dogs does not replace motivation to play with humans.

It is a common misconception that games like "tug-of-war" and "rough-and-tumble" can influence a dog's dominance relationship with humans; rather, the way dogs play indicates their temperament and relationship with their owner.Dogs who play rough-and-tumble games are more amenable and have less separation anxiety than dogs who play other types of games, and dogs who play tug-of-war and "fetch" are more confident, whereas dogs who start the majority of games are less amenable and more likely to be aggressive.

Dogs' cortisol levels can be affected by playing with humans; in one study, the cortisol responses of police dogs and border guard dogs were assessed after playing with their handlers.The cortisol levels of the police dogs increased, while the hormone levels of the border guard dogs decreased. The researchers observed that during the play sessions, police officers were disciplining their dogs, whereas border guards were truly playing with them, i.e.They stated that several studies have shown that behaviors associated with control, authority, or aggression increase cortisol levels, whereas play and affiliation behavior decrease cortisol levels.

Empathy[edit][edit]

A 2012 study discovered that dogs oriented toward their owner or a stranger more often when the person pretended to cry than when they were talking or humming. When the stranger pretended to cry, dogs sniffed, nuzzled, and licked the stranger instead of approaching their usual source of comfort, their owner.The dogs' response pattern was consistent with an expression of empathic concern.

According to one study, one-third of dogs experience anxiety when separated from their owners.

Personalities[edit][edit]

Personality has been applied to human research, whereas temperament has mostly been applied to animal research.[20] However, both terms have been used interchangeably in the literature, or purely to distinguish humans from animals and avoid anthropomorphism.[21] Personality can be defined as "a set of behaviors that are consistent over context and time."

There are several methods for assessing dog personality:

  • Individual dog ratings: either a caretaker or a dog expert who is familiar with the dog is asked to complete a questionnaire, such as the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire[25], about how frequently the dog exhibits certain types of behavior.
  • Tests: the dog is subjected to a battery of tests, the results of which are recorded on a behavioral scale; for example, the dog may be presented to a familiar and then an unfamiliar person in order to assess sociability or aggression.
  • Observational test: The dog's behavior is assessed in a chosen but uncontrolled environment, with an observer focusing on the dog's reactions to naturally occurring stimuli.A walk through the supermarket, for example, allows the observer to see the dog in a variety of settings (crowded, noisy...)[27].

Several potential personality traits in dogs have been identified, including "playfulness," "curiosity/fearlessness," "chase-proneness," "sociability and aggression," and "shyness-boldness."[28][29] A meta-analysis of 51 peer-reviewed articles identified seven dimensions of canine personality:[21]

  1. Approaching or avoiding new objects, increased activity in novel situations)
  2. Fearfulness (shaking, avoiding novel situations)
  3. Activity
  4. Sociability (the ability to initiate friendly interactions with humans and other dogs)
  5. Training responsiveness (ability to work with others and learn quickly)
  6. Submissiveness
  7. Aggression

The effects of age and sex have not been clearly determined.[22] The personality models can be used for a variety of tasks, such as guiding and working dog selection, finding appropriate families to re-home shelter dogs, or selecting breeding stock.

Leadership, dominance and social groups[edit][edit]

Whats the deal with my dog biting his tail?

Two playful dogs follow the leader.

Dominance is a term used to describe the relationship between two people. It has been defined by ethologists as "an attribute of the pattern of repeated, antagonistic interactions between two people, characterized by a consistent outcome in favor of the same dyad member and a default yielding response of its opponent rather than escalation."The status of the consistent winner is dominant, and that of the loser is subordinate."[34] Dominance is a relative attribute, not an absolute; there is no reason to assume that a high-ranking individual in one group would also become high-ranking if moved to another, and there is no good evidence that "dominance" is a lifelong character trait.Competitive behavior is distinguished by assertive (e.g., growl, inhibited bite, stand over, stare at, chase, bark at) and submissive (e.g., squeak) cues.Crouch, avoid, displacement lick/yawn, and run away) patterns were swapped.

One test to determine which group the dominant dog was used the following criteria: When a stranger comes to the house, which dog starts to bark first or if they start to bark together, which dog barks more or longer? Which dog licks the other dog's mouth more often? If the dogs get food at the same time and at the same spot, which dog starts to eat first or eats the other dog's food?

Despite the large weight differences between the largest and smallest individuals, domestic dogs appear to pay little attention to relative size; for example, size was not a predictor of the outcome of encounters between dogs meeting while being exercised by their owners, nor was size correlated with neutered male dogs.[37] As a result, many dogs do not appear to pay much attention to their opponent's actual fighting ability, presumably allowing differences in motivati

If one of the dogs is in a state of emotional arousal or pain, or if reactivity is influenced by recent endocrine changes or motivational states such as hunger, the outcome of the interaction may be different than if none of these factors were present; similarly, the threshold at which aggression is shown may be influenced by a range of medical factors, or, in some cases, precipitated entirely.As a result, the contextual and physiological factors present when two dogs first meet may have a significant impact on the long-term nature of their relationship. Due to the complexity of the factors involved in this type of learning, dogs may develop different "expectations" about the likely response of another individual for each resource in a variety of different situations.When adult animals meet for the first time, they have no expectations of the behavior of the other: they will both be initially anxious and vigilant in this encounter (characterized by the tense body posture and sudden movements typical of two dogs first meeting), until they start to be able to predict the responses of the other individual.The outcome of these early adult–adult interactions will be influenced by the specific factors present at the time of the initial encounters. As well as contextual and physiological factors, the experiences of each member of the dyad of other dogs will also influence their behavior.[35]

Scent[edit][edit]

Dogs have an olfactory sense 40 times more sensitive than humans, and they begin their lives almost entirely on smell and touch.[7]: 247 Different hormones are secreted when a dog is angry, fearful, or confident, and some chemical signatures identify the sex and age of the dog, as well as if a female is in the estrus cycle, pregnant, or recently given birth.Many of the pheromone chemicals can be found dissolved in a dog's urine, and sniffing where another dog has urinated gives the dog a lot of information about that dog.[7]: 250 Male dogs prefer to mark vertical surfaces, and having the scent higher allows the air to carry it farther, and the height of the marking tells other dogs about the dog's size, as size is an important factor in dominance among canines.: 247 The special scents that dogs use for communication are called pheromones. Different hormones are secreted when a dog is angry, fearful or confident, and some chemical signatures identify the sex and age of the dog, and if a female is in the estrus cycle, pregnant or recently given birth. Many of the pheromone chemicals can be found dissolved in a dog's urine, and sniffing where another dog has urinated gives the dog a great deal of information about that dog.[7]: 250 Male dogs prefer to mark vertical surfaces and having the scent higher allows the air to carry it farther. The height of the marking tells other dogs about the size of the dog, as among canines size is an important factor in dominance.[7]: 251

Dogs (and wolves) mark their territories with urine and stools.[38] The anal gland of canines gives a specific signature to fecal deposits and identifies the marker as well as the location where the dung is left. Dogs are very particular about these landmarks, and engage in what humans consider to be a meaningless and complex ritual before defecating.Most dogs begin by carefully sniffing a location, perhaps to establish an exact line or boundary between their territory and that of another dog, and this behavior may also include a small degree of elevation, such as a rock or fallen branch, to aid scent dispersal.Scratching the ground after defecating is a visual sign pointing to the scent marking, and the freshness of the scent gives visitors an idea of the current status of a piece of territory and how frequently it is used.Regions in dispute, or those used by different animals at different times, may result in marking battles, with each scent marked-over by a new competitor.: 252–4

Feral dogs[edit][edit]

Pet dogs are uncommon in the developing world, but feral, village, or community dogs are plentiful around humans.[40] The distinction between feral, stray, and free-roaming dogs is sometimes a matter of degree, and a dog may shift its status throughout its life.A stray dog can become feral if it is forced out of the human environment or co-opted or socially accepted by a nearby feral group.Feralization occurs as a result of the evolution of the human avoidance response.

Feral dogs are not reproductively self-sustaining, have high rates of juvenile mortality, and rely on humans indirectly for food, space, and a supply of co-optable individuals.

See also: behavior in comparison to other canids.

Other behavior[edit][edit]

Dogs have a general behavioral trait of preferring novelty to familiarity ("neophillia").[41] The average sleep time of a dog in captivity in a 24-hour period is 10.1 hours.

Reproduction behavior[edit][edit]

Estrous cycle and mating[edit][edit]

Although puppies do not have the desire to reproduce, males do engage in sexual play in the form of mounting.[43] This behavior can occur as early as 3 or 4 weeks of age in some puppies.

In contrast to wolves, dogs reach sexual maturity and can reproduce during their first year; female dogs have their first estrus ("heat") at 6 to 12 months of age; smaller dogs tend to come into heat earlier, whereas larger dogs take longer to mature.

Female dogs have a nonseasonal and monestrus estrous cycle, which means there is only one estrus per estrous cycle.The interval between one estrus and the next is seven months on average, but it can range between four and twelve months, and it is unaffected by the photoperiod or pregnancy.Estrus lasts an average of 9 days, with spontaneous ovulation occurring approximately 3 days after the onset of estrus.

The female dog may show greater interest in male dogs and "flirt" with them for several days before estrus (proestrus). There is progressive vulval swelling and some bleeding.Males who attempt to mount a female dog during proestrus may avoid mating by sitting down, turning around, growling, or snapping.

When the male sniffs the vulva and attempts to mount, the female dog usually stands still with the tail held up or to the side of the perineum; this tail position is sometimes referred to as "flagging."The female dog may also turn around and present the vulva to the male.

The male dog mounts the female and achieves intromission with a non-erect penis that contains a bone called the os penis. The dog's penis enlarges inside the vagina, preventing withdrawal; this is sometimes referred to as the "tie" or "copulatory lock."The male dog thrusts into the female for 1-2 minutes, then dismounts with the erect penis still inside the vagina, turning to stand rear-end to rear-end with the female dog for up to 30 to 40 minutes; the penis is twisted 180 degrees in a lateral plane, and prostatic fluid is ejaculated during this time.

Dogs are polygamous, whereas wolves are generally monogamous, and the female dog can bear another litter within 8 months of the previous one.As a result, dogs lack pair bonding and the protection of a single mate, and instead have multiple mates in a year, whereas wolves put a lot of energy into producing a few pups, whereas dogs maximize pup production.This higher pup production rate allows dogs to maintain or even increase their population with a lower pup survival rate than wolves, and allows dogs to grow their population faster than wolves after a population crash or when entering a new habitat. It is proposed that these differences are due to an alternative breeding strategy, one adapted to a life of scavenging rather than hunting.

Parenting and early life[edit][edit]

All wild members of the genus Canis exhibit complex coordinated parental behaviors. Wolf pups are primarily cared for by their mother for the first three months of their lives, when she remains in the den with them, relying on her milk for sustenance and her presence for protection.When they leave the den and are able to chew, the parents and pups from previous years regurgitate food for them.Wolf pups are self-sufficient by 5 to 8 months, though they frequently stay with their parents for years; in contrast, dog pups are cared for by the mother and rely on her for milk and protection, but she receives no assistance from the father or other dogs.Once pups are weaned around 10 weeks they are independent and receive no further maternal care.[46]

Behavior problems[edit][edit]

There are many different types of behavioral issues that a dog can exhibit, such as growling, snapping, barking, and invading a human's personal space. According to a survey of 203 dog owners in Melbourne, Australia, the main behavior problems reported by owners were overexcitement (63%) and jumping up on people (56%).

Separation anxiety[edit][edit]

When dogs are separated from humans, usually the owner, they frequently exhibit behaviors that can be classified into four categories: exploratory behavior, object play, destructive behavior, and vocalization, and they are related to the canine's level of arousal.[48] These behaviors may manifest as destructiveness, fecal or urinary elimination, hypersalivation, or vocalization, among other things.Furthermore, sexually intact dogs are only one-third as likely as neutered dogs to experience separation anxiety, and dog sex and whether there is another pet in the home have no effect on separation anxiety.[49] It is estimated that at least 14% of dogs examined at typical veterinary practices in the United States have displayed signs of separation anxiety.Dogs that have been diagnosed with profound separation anxiety can be left alone for no more than minutes before they begin to panic and exhibit the behaviors associated with separation anxiety. Separation problems have been found to be linked to the dog's dependency on its owner, not because of disobedience.[48] In the absence of treatment, affected dogs are often relinquished to a humane society or shelter, abandoned, or euthanized.[50]

Resource guarding[edit][edit]

Many canines exhibit resource guarding, which is one of the most commonly reported behavior issues to canine professionals.[51] It is observed when a dog uses specific behavior patterns to control access to an item, and the patterns are flexible when people are present.[52] If a canine places value on some resource (i.e. food, toys, etc.), they may attempt to guard it from other animals as well as people, which leads to behavioral problems if not treated.Guarding can manifest as aggressive behavior such as growling, barking, or snapping, and can manifest in a variety of ways ranging from rapid ingestion of food to using the body to shield items.Some dogs will also resource guard their owners and can become aggressive if the behaviour is allowed to continue. Owners must learn to interpret their dog's body language in order to try to judge the dog's reaction, as visual signals are used (i.e[51] These behaviors are commonly seen in shelter animals, most likely due to insecurities caused by a poor environment. Resource guarding is a concern because it can lead to aggression, but research has found that aggression over guarding can be contained by teaching the dog to drop the item they are guarding.

Jealousy[edit][edit]

Canines are one of several non-human animals that can express jealousy toward other animals or animal-like objects. [53] This emotion can feed into other behavioral issues, such as attention-seeking behavior, withdrawal from social activity, or aggression toward their owner or another animal or person.

Noise anxiety[edit][edit]

Canines frequently fear and exhibit stress responses to loud noises, which can be triggered by fireworks, thunderstorms, gunshots, and even loud or sharp bird noises.Associated stimuli, such as a change in barometric pressure being associated with a thunderstorm, may also come to trigger the symptoms of the phobia or anxiety, causing anticipatory anxiety.

Tail chasing[edit][edit]

Tail chasing is a stereotypy that falls under obsessive compulsive disorder, a neuropsychiatric disorder that can manifest in dogs as canine compulsive disorder.[54] In one clinical study on this potential behavioral problem, 18 tail-chasing terriers were given clomipramine orally every 12 hours at a dosage of 1 to 2mg/kg (0.5 to 0.9mg/lb) of body weight.Three of the dogs required treatment at a slightly higher dosage range to control tail chasing, but after 1 to 12 weeks of treatment, 9 of 12 dogs were reported to have a 75% or greater reduction in tail chasing.

Behavior compared to other canids[edit][edit]

Comparisons within the wolf-like canids allow the identification of behaviors that may have been inherited from common ancestors and those that may have been the result of domestication or other relatively recent environmental changes.

Early aggression[edit][edit]

Dog puppies begin unrestrained fighting with their siblings at 2 weeks of age, with only their undeveloped jaw muscles keeping them safe; this fighting gives way to play-chasing with the development of running skills at 4-5 weeks.Wolf pups have more developed jaw muscles from 2 weeks of age, when they first show signs of play-fighting with their siblings, and serious fighting occurs between 4-6 weeks of age.[57] Golden jackal pups develop aggression between 4-6 weeks of age, when play-fighting frequently escalates into uninhibited biting intended to harm.This aggression ceases by 10–12 weeks when a hierarchy has formed.[58]

Tameness[edit][edit]

Unlike other domestic species, dogs were initially selected for their behaviors.[59][60] In 2016, a study discovered only 11 fixed genes that showed variation between wolves and dogs; these gene variations were unlikely to be the result of natural evolution, and indicate selection on both morphology and behavior during dog domestication.These genes have been shown to affect the catecholamine synthesis pathway, with the majority of the genes affecting the fight-or-flight response[60][61] (i.e. selection for tameness), and emotional processing.[60] Dogs generally show less fear and aggression than wolves.

[edit]edit]

The feral dog group is composed of a stable 2-6 members compared to the 2-15 member wolf pack whose size fluctuates with the availability of prey and reaches a maximum in winter time.The feral dog group consists of monogamous breeding pairs, as opposed to the wolf pack's one breeding pair; agonistic behavior does not extend to the individual level and does not support a higher social structure, as opposed to the wolf pack's ritualized agonistic behavior, which supports its social structure.Feral pups have a very high mortality rate that adds little to the group size, with studies showing that adults are usually killed through accidents with humans, therefore other dogs need to be co-opted from villages to maintain stable group size.[39]

[edit]edit]

The critical period for socialization begins with walking and exploring the environment; at 4 weeks of age, both dog and wolf pups develop the ability to see, hear, and smell.Dogs begin exploring the world around them at 4 weeks of age with these senses available, whereas wolves begin exploring at 2 weeks of age with the sense of smell but are functionally blind and deaf, resulting in more things being novel and frightening to wolf pups.The critical period for socialization closes with the avoidance of novelty, when the animal runs away from – rather than approaching and exploring – novel objects. For dogs this develops between 4 and 8 weeks of ageWolves reach the end of the critical period after 6 weeks, after which they cannot be socialized.

Dog puppies require as little as 90 minutes of contact with humans during their critical period of socialization to form a social attachment, resulting in a dog that will solicit human attention rather than a highly social pet.[64] Wolves require 24 hours of contact per day beginning before 3 weeks of age.To create a socialized wolf, pups are removed from the den at 10 days of age, kept in constant human contact until they are 4 weeks old, when they begin to bite their sleeping human companions, and then spend only their waking hours in the presence of humans.Despite this intensive socialization process, a well-socialized wolf will behave differently to a well-socialized dog and will display species-typical hunting and reproductive behaviors, only closer to humans than a wild wolf. These wolves do not generalize their socialization to all humans in the same manner as a socialized dog and they remain more fearful of novelty compared to socialized dogs.[65]

In 1982, a study was conducted to compare the differences between dogs and wolves raised in similar conditions, and the dog puppies preferred more sleep at the start of their lives, whereas the wolf puppies were much more active.The dog puppies preferred the company of humans over their canine foster mother, whereas the wolf puppies did the opposite, spending more time with their foster mother. The dogs were also more interested in the food given to them and paid little attention to their surroundings, whereas the wolf puppies found their surroundings to be far more interesting than their food or food bowl.The wolf puppies were observed taking part in antagonistic play at a younger age, while the dog puppies did not display dominant/submissive roles until they were much older. The wolf puppies were rarely seen as being aggressive to each other or towards the other caninesThe dog puppies, on the other hand, were much more aggressive to each other and other canines, and were frequently seen attacking their foster mother or one another.

A 2005 study comparing dog and wolf pups concluded that extensively socialised dogs as well as unsocialised dog pups showed greater attachment to a human owner than wolf pups did, even if the wolf was socialised, and that dogs may have evolved a functionally analogous capacity for attachment to humans.

Cognition[edit][edit]

Despite claims that dogs have more human-like social cognition than wolves,[68][69][70] several recent studies have demonstrated that if wolves are properly socialized to humans and have the opportunity to interact with humans on a regular basis, they can also succeed on some human-guided cognitive tasks,[71][72][73][74][75] in some cases out-performing dogs at an individual level.For canids to perform well on traditional human-guided tasks (e.g. following the human point) both relevant lifetime experiences with humans – including socialization to humans during the critical period for social development – and opportunities to associate human body parts with certain outcomes (such as food being provided by human hands, a human throwing or kicking a ball, etc.) are required.[77]

Dogs that have been trained to solve a simple manipulation task look at the human when faced with an insoluble version of the same problem, whereas socialized wolves do not.

Reproduction[edit][edit]

In contrast to wolves, dogs reach sexual maturity and can reproduce within their first year, and female dogs can bear another litter within 8 months of the previous one.Domestic dogs are not reliant on seasonality for reproduction, unlike the wolf, coyote, Australian dingo, and African basenji, which may have only one, seasonal, estrus each year.[45] Feral dogs are influenced by the photoperiod, with around half of the breeding females mating in the springtime, which is thought to indicate an ancestral reproductive trait not overcome by d.

Domestic dogs, unlike wolves, are polygamous, which means they do not have pair bonding or the protection of a single mate, but rather have multiple mates throughout the year.Dogs lack paternal care, whereas wolves have all pack members assist the mother with the pups; as a result, wolves expend a lot of energy producing a few pups, whereas dogs maximize pup production.This higher pup production rate enables dogs to maintain or even increase their population with a lower pup survival rate than wolves, and allows dogs a greater capacity than wolves to grow their population after a population crash or when entering a new habitat. It is proposed that these differences are an alternative breeding strategy adapted to a life of scavenging instead of hunting.[46] In contrast to domestic dogs, feral dogs are monogamousDomestic dogs have a litter size of 10, wolves have a litter size of 3, and feral dogs have a litter size of 5-8. Feral pups have a very high mortality rate, with only 5% surviving at the age of one year, and sometimes the pups are left unattended, making them vulnerable to predators.

Dogs differ from wolves and most other large canid species in that they do not regurgitate food for their young or the young of other dogs in the same territory.[81] However, this difference was not observed in all domestic dogs. Regurgitation of food by females for the young, as well as care for the young by males, has been observed in domestic dogs, dingoes, and feral or semi-feral dogs.In one study of a group of free-ranging dogs, for the first 2 weeks immediately after parturition the lactating females were observed to be more aggressive to protect the pups. The male parents were in contact with the litters as ‘guard’ dogs for the first 6–8 weeks of the litters’ lifeIn the absence of the mothers, they were observed to avoid strangers through vocalizations or even physical attacks, and one male fed the litter through regurgitation, demonstrating the existence of paternal care in some free-roaming dogs.

Space[edit][edit]

The space used by feral dogs is similar to that of most other canids in that they use defined traditional areas (home ranges) that are usually defended against intruders and have core areas where most of their activities take place. Urban domestic dogs have a home range of 2-61 hectares, whereas feral dogs have a home range of 58 square kilometers.Wolf home ranges vary from 78 square kilometers where prey is deer to 2.5 square kilometers at higher latitudes where prey is moose and caribou. Wolves will defend their territory based on prey abundance and pack density, but feral dogs will defend their home ranges all yearWhere wolf and feral dog ranges overlap, the feral dogs' core areas will be closer to human settlement.

Predation and scavenging[edit][edit]

Despite claims in the popular press, studies found no evidence of a single predation on cattle by feral dogs.[39][83][84] However, domestic dogs were responsible for the death of three calves over a five-year period.[84] Other studies in Europe and North America indicate moderate limited success in the consumption of wild boar, deer, and other ungulates, but it could not be determined whether this was predation or scavenging on carcasses.https://bioone.org/journals/folia-zoologica/volume-65/issue-2/fozo.v65.i2.a8.2016/Depredatory-impact-of-free-roaming-domestic-dogs-on-Mediterranean-deer/10.25225/fozo.v65.i2.a8.2016.full

Feral dogs, like their ancestors, do pup rearing, and several studies show that, contrary to popular belief, feral dogs are not primarily scavengers.The primary feature that distinguishes feral from domestic dogs is their degree of reliance or dependence on humans, and in some ways, their behavior toward people.While some feral dogs eat human garbage, others, like other wild canids, survive and reproduce without human intervention or assistance.When their garbage food source is scarce, dogs may resort to hunting rather than garbage consumption. Even well-fed domestic dogs are prone to scavenge; gastro-intestinal veterinary visits increase during warmer weather as dogs are prone to eat decaying material.[85] Some dogs consume feces, which may contain nutrition.[86][87] On occasion, well-fed dogs have been known to scavenge their owne

Dogs in human society[edit][edit]

Food and 20-30 seconds of petting maintained operant responding in dogs.[89] Some dogs will show a preference for petting once food is readily available, and dogs will remain in proximity to a person providing petting and show no satiation to that stimulus.[90] Petting alone was sufficient to maintain the operant response of military dogs to v

A study using dogs trained to remain motionless while unsedated and unrestrained in an MRI scanner found caudate activation to a hand signal associated with reward.[2] Further research found that the magnitude of the canine caudate response is similar to that of humans, while the between-subject variability in dogs may be less than that of humans.Importantly, the scent of the familiar human was not the handler, meaning that the caudate response differentiated the scent in the absence of the person being present. The caudate activation suggested that not only did the dogs discriminate that scent from the others, they had a positive association with itAlthough these signals came from two different people, the humans lived in the same household as the dog and thus represented the dog's primary social circle; and while dogs should be highly tuned to the smell of unrelated items, it appears that the "reward response" is reserved for their humans.

Individual differences in interactions between dogs and their humans have been shown to have significant effects on dog behavior, according to research. In 1997, a study found that the type of relationship between dog and master, characterized as either companionship or working relationship, significantly affected the dog's performance on a cognitive problem-solving task.They speculate that companion dogs have a more dependent relationship with their owners, and look to them to solve problems. In contrast, working dogs are more independent.[94]

Dogs in the family[edit][edit]

A study published in 2013 found the first evidence of a link between an owner's personality and their dog's behavior under controlled experimental conditions.

Dogs at work[edit][edit]

Service dogs are trained to assist people with disabilities such as blindness, epilepsy, diabetes, and autism, whereas detection dogs are trained to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, or blood.In science, dogs have helped humans understand about the conditioned reflex. Attack dogs, dogs that have been trained to attack on command, are employed in security, police, and military rolesService dog programs have been established to assist people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and have shown to be effective.

Attacks[edit][edit]

Whats the deal with my dog biting his tail?

The teeth of a dog can cause serious injuries.

The human-dog relationship is built on unconditional trust; however, if this trust is broken, it is difficult to reestablish.citation needed]

Between 2005 and 2013, there were 17 fatal dog attacks in the United Kingdom, with 4,611 hospital admissions due to dog attacks in 2007-08, rising to 5,221 in 2008-09.More than 200,000 people are bitten by dogs in England each year, with the annual cost to the National Health Service of treating injuries estimated to be around £3 million.[97] According to a 2014 report, there were 6,743 hospital admissions specifically caused by dog bites, a 5.8% increase from the 6,372 admissions in the previous year.needs update]

Between 1979 and 1996, there were more than 300 human dog bite-related fatalities in the United States.[99] In 2013, there were 31 dog-bite related deaths in the United States. Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs, with nearly one in every five requiring medical attention.A dog's thick fur protects it from another dog's bite, but humans lack fur and are thus unprotected.

Attack training is condemned by some as promoting ferocity in dogs; a 1975 American study showed that 10% of dogs that have bitten a person received attack dog training at some point.[101]

See also[edit][edit]

  • Gray wolf#Behavior
  • Alpha roll
  • Dog communication
  • Dog intelligence
  • Calming signals
  • Pack (canine)
  • Pack hunter
  • Separation anxiety disorder (humans)
  • Temperament test

References[edit][edit]

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Further reading[edit][edit]

  • Donaldson, Jean. The Culture Clash (1991 James & Kenneth Publishers)
  • Hare, Brian & Woods, Venessa. The Genius of Dogs (2013 Penguin Publishing Group)
  • Jordan, Rain. Such Small Hands: An Anti-Aversives Primer (2020 Dog's Heart Press)
  • Miklosi, Adam. Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition (2007 Oxford University Press)
  • Pet Behavior articles from the ASPCA

How do I stop my dog from biting his tail?

If you see your dog biting its tail, give them a firm “stop” or “no” command to make them stop. They might not get the idea at first, but over time, they will understand. You can make the training go even more smoothly by giving your dog a high-value treat when they stop biting their tail on command.give them a firm “stop” or “no” command to make them stop. They might not get the idea at first, but over time, they will understand. You can make the training go even more smoothly by giving your dog a high-value treat when they stop biting their tail on command.

Why is my dog biting his back end?

If your dog is chewing his butt, it can be a sign of parasites, such as tapeworm, ticks or fleas. Other symptoms to look out for to let you know that your dog might have a parasite include: Weight loss. Swollen belly.it can be a sign of parasites, such as tapeworm, ticks or fleas. Other symptoms to look out for to let you know that your dog might have a parasite include: Weight loss. Swollen belly.

Is it bad for dogs to bite their tails?

If your dog is compulsively chasing his tail, he can cause serious damage by biting and chewing on it when he finally does catch it. Dogs have been known to experience hair loss on their tails due to this kind of behavior and even cause themselves injury.. Dogs have been known to experience hair loss on their tails due to this kind of behavior and even cause themselves injury.