He had previously hypothesized that that the only animal to keep other animals as pets (outside of captivity, mind you) was the human being. What is not as widely know is that the same researchers also conducted a similar long-term breeding experiment with rats -- but this time creating strains of really nice rats and really really mean ones. The anthrozoologist Boria Sax, author of the wonderful new book City of Ravens, wrote (again, on Facebook): "You can't tell just what is happening from the video alone, and we have only the word of the narrator that the dogs are kept as pets. Although, the monkey studies that are also discussed in the article I mentioned do seem to indicate that positive, empathetic parenting (by higher-status, calm, friendly, appropriately-responsive monkey mothers) has a measurable positive impact even on "adopted" monkey "kids" that were the biological offspring of fearful, low-status monkey mothers. This troop shows no fear of dogs and is surely large enough to take on any canine interlopers. (See here and here.). It is hoped that will happen if it can be financed which is always a problem. How Narcissists Keep Their Mates From Leaving or Cheating, A Science-Based Technique for Coping With Stress, Psychology Today © 2020 Sussex Publishers, LLC, ADHD and COVID: Update on Findings and Coping Strategies, Want Your New Year’s Resolutions to Stick? Just appreciate there’s negative stuff further down the page – so be sure to read the whole thing to get a balanced view. Night-watchmen, baby minders, or an occasional auxiliary force in battle? While the video is undeniably fascinating, it’s far too brief to function as solid evidence of the baboons keeping the dogs as pets. Such experiments really do seem (to me) to indicate that genetic influences have at least as much impact on behaviors as environmental factors do, if not more, possibly even in the case of human behaviors. They are only found within reach of human food sources in order to scavenge. There may be a saturation point, in which case the baboons would presumably expel the dogs. Dog numbers past or present are not recorded. Their most characteristic feature is their spotted coat which is similar to that of a Leopard. Baboons Might Kidnap Puppies (But Not as Pets). While capturing a baboon may use less energy than running down an impala, it certainly has become an increasingly dangerous pursuit. Lemurs, capuchins, chimpanzees, and baboons all fall into the primate category. I’d be interested in learning how comparable their behaviour is to that of dingoes and Arabian wolves. For all the attempts to measure various species intelligence we make one mistake - the world of each species is very different to ours, for example dogs far superior sense of smell. And, if you are a grad student looking for a doctoral dissertation, this could be a winner. Baboons even groom and play with the dogs, a sure sign they’ve been accepted by the male of the harem, as these primates only groom family members. Baboon males at the top of the social ladder have to make tracks: They usually get bounced from prominence within a year of their ascendancy. I am skeptical. We don't see this puppy grow up, only mixed groups of baboons and dogs as adults. Their noses are bright red, and the skin on either side of their nose has deep ridges and is blue in color. I’d suggest that taking entirely undomesticated hunting dogs on long ocean journeys in small wooden boats would not have been feasible or wise. Is addressed in the youtube documentary. Both are feasible, as is a combination of the two; humans appreciate the combination of guardian and play thing. I think too much is being read into this whole thing. Many also live in areas where there are no baboons and I have video of them avoiding baboons. Dogs are scavengers, wolves are hunters primarily. This domestication process only took a few generations to show distinct behavioral changes RE less fearfulness/more friendliness and by 20 generations, the foxes looked like dogs as well as behaving like sweet, people-loving domestic dogs. As you say, it seems a bit like chimp pets that generally die within 24 hours. I do think that food availability is a very important factor. Posted in baboon, bush baby, capuchin, chimpanzee, gibbon, macaque, marmoset, owl monkeys, primate care, savanna monkey, squirrel monkeys, tamarin. It seems likely that the adoption aspect has been exaggerated, but a high level of species interaction is apparent, and the relationship is unlikely to be equal. It is easy and more sensational to put any interpretation on commercial "documentaries." Amazingly, the baboons' pets are dogs. Given the Saudi attitude to foreigners, we may never know - but my hunch is that this sort of relationship is only likely to form where there is a) an ample food source; and b) competition from other baboons. As the cinematic sunsets in the background, the narrator sagely explains that both species benefit from the relationship. Do the baboons feed the puppies? They groom the dogs, and the dogs happily eat, travel with, and sleep among the baboons. These dogs can also not truly be called strays as they have not strayed from a life as pets. this seems to be reported in 2007 on a PBS nature program, http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-416745.html, Some grade student could make a name for him/herself by getting over to S. A. and doing some legitimate research!!!! I assume that if the feral group of dogs moves off separately, the puppy could be isolated among the baboons but unlikely to survive without a source of milk for the young pups. It would be useful to know how long each species has been present and to get an understanding of long-term population trends for each species. Hi Duncan, Protection seems the most likely explanation. Hal, The dogs are being groomed! Thanks for your comment and yes I have read that nature article and many others. Is it a long-term or temporary arrangement? Many years ago I spent several months camping on a remote beach in central America. How Do You Know If You're Ready For A Second Dog? Anthrozoologist Boria Sax told Herzog: “You can’t tell just what is happening from the video alone, and we have only the word of the narrator that the dogs are kept as pets. This coming one has been made by a professional animal film crew who went specifically to look into the baboon dog interaction specifically and more closely. Definitely potential remains for a long term scientific study of this sitation and these desert dogs in general. I have studied olive baboons for 43 years. In which case, there is no advantage to the baboons in risking injury through expelling the dogs, and the presence of a submissive, social species would certainly be of interest to inquisitive and playful higher primates. Dingoes, all subspecies of wolves and occasionally coyotes and golden jackals interbreed with domestic dogs. And yes these dogs living in groups tend to synchronise their oestrus cycle. Several studies have now traced these difference in behavior to changes in the brain under different selective forces. If food is abundant, then competition between the species may not be a factor. I’d be very interested to know of any similar situations away from human habitation, either involving baboons or macaques. The dogs got a bit of food (just scraps really). The early domesticated dogs were more tool than pet, but as humans became more successful at producing food it allowed the creation of a pure pet. A Cornell student named Luke Seitz was on a bird research trip in Ethiopia when he managed to record a video of a baboon carrying a dog around “like a pet.” He apparently witnessed this behavior over a period of days, so it wasn’t just a fluke. I found zip. (The producer never responded to my e-mails.) Are there known instances of animals in the wild taking other animals (specifically, dogs) as pets? It seems to me that the baboon was merely attempting to quiet the squealing puppy as he finally released it. But there’s some question as to whether or not the imagery and narration from the video are completely reliable. And while the puppies in the video here are being dognapped by the baboons, I'd think it's as easy for them to attach themselves to a baboon troop, in due course, as it would be to a human household. Since then there has been on reported that knows over 2000 and understands verbs and nouns etc. Posted in baboon, bush baby, capuchin, chimpanzee, gibbon, macaque, marmoset, owl monkeys, primate care, savanna monkey, squirrel monkeys, tamarin. As you point out, pet dogs are rare in Arabia, but are there any wolves or golden jackals present locally? I also think that by editing their film so that the footage of the male baboon "kidnapping" a puppy comes first in the clip, the filmmakers have possibly skewed the narrative toward the baboons-keep-dogs-as-pets storyline, when more research (or actual research) may turn this idea completely on its head. But it is important also to bear in mind that the domestication process involved selecting (initially simply feeding and housing) wolves with a ‘friendlier’ disposition and some ability to understand human gestures and facial expressions, producing lineages more amenable to a primate society. The puppy video shots show a pathetic youngster. I think it likely involved the right person and the right wolf recognising each other. Baboons do get sufficiently curious to handle young antelope given the chance. While they have a Facebook page, I have not been able to get an actual name for the group leader. I don't believe there is any protection, mutual benefit or anything else involve here, simply an abundance of food for all. And RE the fox-domestication experiment, those researchers also created a separate strain of "super vicious" foxes, by interbreeding the foxes that showed more fearful, human-avoidant traits over several generations. How Do You Introduce Your New Dog To Your First Dog? I’d be particularly interested in discovering whether or not their breeding is aligned seasonally, as it is in dingoes. 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