You stepped up and are doing your best. Com…

You stepped up and are doing your best. Commendable by any measure.
BAD RAP Blog

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Why did mankind not domesticate the African wild dog?

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Man originated in Africa. The whole lineage of apes from which we and all the other human species descended was in Africa, a sister lineage to the apes that gave us the chimpanzee and the bonobo.

But man’s first domestic animal was not of Africa at all. The large pack-hunting wolf roamed the great expanses of Eurasia, and it was only when certain Eurasian hunters began to incorporate wolves into their societies that we began the process of domestication.

For nearly two million years, human ancestors and the ancestors of the wild dog lived throughout Africa.  There was never an attempt to bring these dogs to heel, and there was never attempt to reach out to that species.

The question remains of why African wild dogs were never domesticated, and part of the answer lies in their nervous nature. I am reminded of Martin Clunes’s A Man and His Dogs.  Clunes ended his two part documentary with a visit to Tony Fitzjohn’s African wild dog project, and at one point, Clunes is asked to pick up a tranquilized African wild dog, while making certain that the jaws are positioned well away from his body.  These dogs react and react quickly.

These dogs live as quite persecuted mesopredators in an intact African ecosystem that includes lions and spotted hyenas.  Yes, this animal that kills large game with a greater success rate than any other African predator is totally the underdog in a land so dominated by the great maned cat and the spotted bone-crusher.

Their lives must be spent hunting down quarry and then bolting down meat as fast as they can before the big predators show up to steal it.

The current thinking is the first African wild dog ancestor to appear in Africa was Lycaon sekowei. This species lived in Africa from 1.9 to 1 million years ago, which is roughly the same time frame in which the first human ancestors began to consume meat readily.  It was very likely that a major source of meat consumed by these ancestors came from scavenging.  Homo habilis has been des cribed as a very serious scavenger, as was Homo erectus.

Both Homo habilis and erectus were contemporaries of Lycaon sekowei, and one really thinks about it, these early humans would have been very interested in the comings and goings of the great predators. Of all the predators to drive off kills, it is obvious that a pack of wild dogs would be easier to drive off than just about any other predators that were evident in Africa at the time.

So for at least 1.9 million years, African wild dogs evolved knowing that humans of any sort were bad news.  They may have inherited an instinct towards antipathy toward humans, and thus, there never was any chance for us to develop relationships such as those that have been observed with wolves and hunter-gatherer people.

I think this played a a much bigger role in reason why man never tried to domesticate African wild dogs. One should also keep in mind that wolves in Eurasia were also mesopredators in that ecosystem. Darcy Morey and Rujana Jeger point out that Pleistocene wolves functioned as mesopredators in which their numbers were likely limited by cave lions, archaic spotted  hyenas, and various forms of machariodont. They were probably under as much competition from these predators as the ancestral African wild dogs were under from the guild of super predators on their continent.

What was different, though, is the ancestral wolves never evolved in an enviroment which scavenging from various human species was a constant threat, so they could develop behaviors towards humans that were not always characterized by extreme caution and fear.

We were just novel enough for wolves to consider us something other than nasty scavengers, and thus, we could have the ability to develop a hunting symbiosis as is described in Mark Derr’s book and also Pierotti and Fogg’s.

It should also be noted that African wild dogs do not have flexible societies. In wolf societies, there are wolves that manage to reproduce without forming a pair bond, simply because when prey is abundant, it is possible for wolves other than the main breeding female to whelp and rear puppies. These females have no established mates, and they breed with male wolves that have left their natal packs and live on the edges of the territories of established packs. In the early years of the Yellowstone reintroduction, many packs let these females raise their pups that were sired by the wanderers, and one famous wolf (302M) wound up doing this most of his life, siring many, many puppies.  I think that what humans did in their initial relationships with wolves was to allow more wolves to reproduce in this fashion, which opens up the door for more selective breeding than one would get from wolves that are more pair-bonded.

In African wild dogs, one female has the pups. If another female has puppies, hers are confiscated by the main breeding female and usually starve to death.

The wolf had the right social flexibility and the right natural history for humans form relationships with them, which the African wild dog was lacking.

 

 

 

 

 

Natural History

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Win $5,000, 1,000 pounds of food + more for your favorite shelter! #RememberMeThursday

“All of the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” A time to take the words of Saint Francis of Assisi to heart, Remember Me Thursday is a day to light the…



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DogTipper

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Lupomorph

anka wild place

“I need a dog which accompanies me faithfully but which has retained a wild exterior and thus does not spoil the landscape by its civilized appearance.”

–Konrad Lorenz, Man Meets Dog. Specifically the chapter called “Dog Days” in which he goes running around the Danube with his German shepherd-Chow cross named Susi.

Natural History

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Win Your Choice of Campfire Natural Dog Treats!

September means the start of day trip season at our house. Summer’s heat starts to give way to more temperate conditions, and we head out with the dogs in search of fun, whether it’s a…



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DogTipper

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5th Annual Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference

Mark your calendars for September 12, 2018!

Interested in growing your pet business?  Are you thinking about starting a business.  If you are interested in pet sitting, dog walking, training, grooming, or daycare, then join the 5th Annual Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference!  This year you will hear from the top speakers from the previous 4 years!

Check back with PetsitUSA for additional information in the following weeks.


PetsitUSA Blog

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Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down 2016

Hard to believe it’s 8 years in the making since we started the ‘Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down’ calendar in honor and memory of our canine heroes touched by cancer.  
Damn I remember our first one when I had to carry my 10 pound clunky Dell laptop for miles in my backpack on the C&O trail to upload the photos for the contest cause Erich was still on a 128k modem. Good times…
Unlike cheerleading tryouts in Texas, it’s not really a contest – all are beauties and featured in the calender.  Nearby is the link to the blog about how you can participate http://www.2milliondogs.org/our-8th-annual-cancer-cant-keep-a-good-dog-down-canine-cancer-calendar-contest-has-begun/
Thanks Erich for being the Keeper of the Calendar.  

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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Rescued Kittens at Cat House on the Kings Find Forever Home

3 Rescued Kittens Adopted Together - Cat House on the Kings

Brie (Siamese), Cheddar (Orange), Parmesan (Calico) Photo Credit: Harvie Schreiber

The Cat House on the Kings is California’s largest no-cage, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center. Their mission is to place rescued cats and kittens into loving, permanent homes; to provide a safe, happy and healthy home for unwanted cats and kittens in a unique, no-cage facility; to prevent pet overpopulation through spaying and neutering; and to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.

Foster parent, Harvie Schreiber, told us about three kittens named Brie, Cheddar and Parmesan. He wrote:

“The Cat House on the Kings rescued three tiny kittens who were covered in fleas, battling an upper respiratory infection, and underweight. After getting treated and lots of tender loving care in a foster home (which, of course, includes high quality food like Halo), they blossomed, grew up, and were adopted TOGETHER.”

Amazing news! We’re so happy that this trio was able to find a forever home together. Thank you Harvie and Cat House on the Kings for making a difference for pets in your community.

Three Rescued Kittens from Cat House on the Kings

Photo credit: Harvie Schreiber

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8 Duvets I Love

8 Gorgeous Boho Duvet Covers

When it comes to priorities in our house, Robbie and I usually come last. (Ahhh, parenting.) Seven months after moving into our house, both kids rooms are finally (almost) done. Our bedroom, however, looks a big gray blob. I’m admittedly not much for lots of color when it comes to interiors, but here is a brief rundown of what you can find in our current bedroom space: gray walls, gray carpet, a gray chair, a gray ottoman, gray side table lamps, and a white bed with grey sheets and a grey and white striped duvet. Yep. (The bedside tables are wood, but they’re the only non gray or white pieces in the room.) Since it is one of the only spaces in the house where we actually like the paint color the place came with, I’m leaving the walls alone. But I want to make some subtle changes (not necessarily with color, but at least with pattern or texture) in the decor so it feels a little less, well, institutional. And I’m going to start with the duvet. I’m currently eyeing all of the pieces you see above, but can’t quite decide which one to get. I’d love to hear your thoughts, or any other tips on bringing a little life to our all gray space! (Confession: I’m also loving this, yes, gray duvet cover right here. Maybe we’ll turn to accessories for variety instead?)

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Saturday Survey: Keeping Your Dog Out of the Trash Can

Keeping your dog out of the kitchen and bathroom trash can be a pesky problem. We’ve all seen the videos of dogs with trash can lids wrapped around their necks. How do you deal with the problem? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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