Theme Layout

Rightsidebar

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Yes

Featured Slider Styles

Display Grid Slider

No

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts

No

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

Dark or Light Style

Search This Blog

Do you Believe in Dog? (2018). Powered by Blogger.

Copyright Do You Believe in Dog (2018)

The content on Do You Believe in Dog? is copyrighted. If you are interested in using any content produced on Do You Believe in Dog? please email a request.

Strap line

It started when two canine scientists decide to become pen pals in an era of digital media...

Translate

10 August 2018

The importance of studying free-ranging dogs, and what we learned about Bali dogs


Marco and Shogun. Credit Marco Adda
Today we are joined by Marco Adda as he describes his recent publication exploring Bali dogs — those living in a free-ranging state and those living in human homes as pets. 

Do you know that free-ranging dogs are one of the most widely distributed carnivore in the world? Or, perhaps I should begin by asking: have you considered, or even ever heard about, free-ranging dogs? In case yes, I can imagine what you are (maybe) thinking: feral dogs. Am I right? Are you picturing dogs living wild and uncontrolled in a “developing country”? Dogs carrying diseases and people avoiding them at all cost?


In some cases, this may be the case, but framing free-ranging dogs this way is not actually correct. In fact, free-ranging dogs, also called Village Dogs (rather than “feral dogs”) do not always carry diseases, they often interact with humans, and they may be wonderful companions too! They also represent an excellent opportunity to study and understand dog-human interactions and dog behaviour.


Most people in places like Europe, North America, and Australia think about dogs as companion animals living with a human family. Thus, when those people happen to spend time in places where free-ranging dogs are present, they often want to adopt dogs and restrict them to their homes. This is what I witnessed in places such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Mexico, among others. And this is what we have been observing in Bali, Indonesia. Bali dogs are shifting from a free-ranging lifestyle to a Westernised style of restricted pet companionship.


Bali dogs are a unique canine population. They have been free-ranging for thousands of years. And you know what? They are not as wild as you may think. While it is true that they often show a high level of independence, they are also recognised as excellent animal companions. In fact, expatriates populating the island of Bali over the last few decades occasionally adopt these village dogs, and then keep them restricted to their houses and backyards as is typical in their home countries and cultures. This new trend has provided us with the unique opportunity to compare the personality traits of dogs according to their lifestyle: either living as human companions, or living as free-ranging dogs. In addition, we have explored the impact of age, sex, and neuter status (demographic variables) on these dogs’ personality traits.


I have been observing Bali dogs since 2012. Bali is not a huge island (5,780 km²), and in 2012 about 300,000 free-ranging dogs were estimated to roam around. When preliminary observations proved novel and exciting, a study was developed in collaboration with the Family Dog Project in 2014. Further observations and questionnaire-collection were planned and carried out over the next few years. Dog “carers/owners” filled out a validated dog behavior and personality questionnaire for their pet companion Bali dog. Caretakers completed the same questionnaire for the free-ranging Bali dogs. In total, we had 75 adult dogs in the study. The questionnaire included many questions about how the dog behaves under different circumstances.


Dogs in the study. Credit: Marco Adda
What we found
Observations and analyses revealed that Bali dogs living as human companions in a typical domestic setting (house, fenced backyard, etc.) are more active, excitable, and aggressive towards animals, and are also more inclined to chase animals or humans than Bali dogs that live free-ranging. Looking closer, females were found to be more excitable and fearful of people. In other words, being restricted within a household could potentially make free-ranging Bali dogs more reactive than those dogs living free-ranging.

These results raise some important considerations. One may assume that a free-ranging dog lives unhappily without a human family. In some instances, this may be the case. But we need to also remember that free-ranging dogs have a lot of freedom that dogs living as pets or companions do not necessarily have. Consider the privilege of deciding daily actions and habits. Free-ranging dogs can display behaviour according to their personality. Their sociality, and in some cases sexual conduct, are not, or are minimally, conditioned by humans.



While we love our pets and we include them as part of our families, we need to remember that, to some degree, we are limiting their freedom and this may impact their behaviour. This study on Bali dogs, then, shows how some dogs, shifting from a free-roaming to a pet/home context, may become more reactive to some solicitations. Does that mean we shouldn't have dogs in our houses? I don't think so. However, we need to remind that when dogs live as restrained "pets", the lack of some freedoms may affect dogs' behavior and even prompt some behavioural issues. Therefore, we may need to adjust something in our human behavior or habits to provide an adequate environment for our dogs.

We know that this study is just preliminary, but we consider these results relevant. They suggest that a change in lifestyle, i.e. being adopted and living in a confined environment, may have negative consequences on some canine personality traits in this population of dogs.


Bali dogs matter

A notable aspect of this study is that our dog population is really unique. Most well-known dog breeds (such as Golden Retrievers or German Shephards) are the result of relatively recent and deliberate human selection. The Bali dogs have not been deliberately selected by humans in this way. Instead, they have roamed the island for at least 3,300 years.

To better grasp the history of Bali dogs, we need to look at the main religion of Bali. The Hindu Bali religion traditionally respects the street dog. Dogs can be seen as sacred creatures or manifestations of spirits. Bali dogs have been allowed to behave as dogs would and roam and reproduce freely on the island. In my ethnographic research around Bali, I gathered stories from the 1970s-1980s describing how large packs of free-ranging dogs (10-25 individuals) would roam the streets. Some dogs were referred to as aggressive and the packs described as scary, and yet dogs were left to roam, consistent with religious traditions. This suggests that Bali dogs have potentially had little behavioural selection, at least until the 1970s-1980s, when the scene dramatically changed due to major economic, environmental, and cultural shifts.


We cannot entirely exclude the possibility that particular dogs may have been eliminated due to their behaviour, or that humans preferred — and therefore selected — some dogs over others. However, Bali dogs have not experienced artificial selection for morphology or behaviour as seen in Western dog breeds. This is something that makes the Bali dog population unique. It is also one of those cases where we can see the flaw in calling a 100-year-old artificially selected breed "pure," while a 3,300-year-old canine population is considered a "non-breed."


And Bali dogs deserve particular attention. Their numbers have declined from some 800,000 individuals in 2008 to no more than 150,000 individuals in 2018. This is a dramatic drop of 81% of the entire population in just the last ten years. The main reasons are the massive culling plans, the dog meat trade, as well as other causes like disease or car accidents. While neutering programs are in place for the welfare of dogs, they also contribute to the decline in numbers. Furthermore, the interbreeding of Bali dogs with international dog breed is also impacting the historical Bali dog population. Finally, studies on the personality of free-ranging dogs are rare, which adds to the value of this research.



Bali dogs and Marco
Acknowledgements
We would like to thank all the dog “owners” and the caretakers who participated in our study by completing the questionnaires and providing relevant information about companion and free-ranging Bali dogs.

Marco Adda

MarcoAdda.com and on Facebook
Family Dog Project and on Facebook

Reference


DoYouBelieveInDog
30 Comments
Share This Post :

You Might Also Like

30 comments:

  1. Best dog drying machine for canines and different creatures. Dog Grooming Dryerare worked in the USA with amazing segments and all metal lodging. In contrast to plastic dryers, they won't liquefy or split.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This site is very good and enjoyable. If you read this I know you also like this.
    pet-supplies NZ

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great and amazing content here. I really appreciate your work. Thanks again for such a great post here. german dog names, black dog names.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great info you have shared with us all. I have bookmarked your page for future updation for dog breeds.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow great blog about studying free-ranging dogs. If you want to train your pets in a best way then search for Dog training near me will help you. Our proven approach and techniques helped more pet owners across south India. Dog Obedience training will educate your dogs with basic commands will help you to prevent behavior issues.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have had more success when I try smart ways to train like using apps for dog training needs.

    ReplyDelete
  7. https://dogsrecommend.com/food/best-food-labradors/ Whenever you take your dog outside the confines of his house or yard, make sure that he is on a leash. No matter how well-trained your pet might be, you cannot guarantee that you will be able to control your dog under all circumstances. Some breeds, like Siberian Huskies, are bred to run, and will do so at the first opportunity. Keeping your dog on a leash is best for you, your dog and your community.


    ReplyDelete
  8. Puppy cuddles are the best!! Especially first thing in the morning! I love it.
    Luke S | Teacup Maltipoo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great Article
    Visit : http://www.thechineseinterpreter.com
    Visit : https://frenchtranslationindia.blogspot.com/
    Visit : https://russiantranslatorindia.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. However, you might not know what type of diabetic dog food you need to keep your dog happy and healthy. diabetic dog food brands

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much for ding the impressive job here, everyone will surely like your post. https://rcl.ink/NsZ

    ReplyDelete
  12. The article posted was very informative and useful. You people are doing a great job. Keep going. https://rcl.ink/NsZ

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love this site,nice informative post,If you read this I know you also like this.

    http://eazygo.in/

    ReplyDelete
  14. Being a dog owner, I get to see a lot of ads online for improving my dog's brainpower. I fell for them and purchased a course for the same and it didn't help. So my friend told me that it is about following a rigid routine with the dog for improving dog intelligence than just gaining more and more knowledge. Without action, knowledge is nothing and same applies here.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Treasurebox provide you all the items which you will be get online in a single click in Auckland Newzealand. We provide you quality items and all types of outdoor furniture at lowest price.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me. read more

    ReplyDelete
  17. Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Exchanger | Convert Altcoin To Dollar leading sales platform for digital assets @ competitive market price convert btc altcoin litecoin dogecoin monero to dollar .

    ReplyDelete
  18. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. best front clip dog harness

    ReplyDelete
  19. watch and share abs-cbn GMA shows here.pinoy1 TV is a best platform for over seas filipino here you can watch kadegang ginto, prima donas, a solder heart and make it with you in super doper hd quality

    ReplyDelete
  20. No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post. best pet vacuum cleaner

    ReplyDelete
  21. Share great information about your blog , Blog really helpful for us . We read your blog , share most useful information in blog . Thanks for share your blog here .
    cat kennels Bedminster NJ

    ReplyDelete
  22. Professionally written blogs are rare to find, however I appreciate all the points mentioned here. I also want to include some other writing skills which everyone must aware of. Cat Feeding Bowl

    ReplyDelete
  23. They should be on a chain consistently and are not permitted on the sea shore territories or park structures; you are liable for tidying up after them and its best possible removal; again they need just polite pets and proprietors should know about danger of taking pets in the boondocks as there are bears. Dog owners Australia

    ReplyDelete
  24. creativity of writer is purely impressive. It has touched to the level of expertise with his writing. Everything is up to the mark. Written perfectly and I can use such information for my coming assignment. Pet bowl

    ReplyDelete
  25. There are extremely a couple of kinds of against Belling gadgets that you can disregard, each with their own particular preferences and disservices. A standout amongst the wildest dogs barking devices is the shocking removed. It is trusted that this gadget is intense in light of the fact that it attempts to incur pain on the dog at each point the dog tries to bark. Regardless, there are other individuals who assume that shocking collars consummately get ready gear as long as they are not messed with. Everything is the recommended things here
    for more info visit: best anti dog bark control devices review

    ReplyDelete
  26. My own perspectives are coordinating with creator and I have encountered such. Your blog is extremely instructive. dog kennels Gillette NJ

    ReplyDelete

[name=Do You Believe in Dog?] [img=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aJIJG_qVpIE/U6OgOV0T5fI/AAAAAAAACwk/qSXMBp-prfM/s100/DYBID3+SPARCS2013.jpg] [description=Do You Believe in Dog? is a popular canine science platform presented by Mia Cobb and Julie Hecht. We think it's important that everyone be able to access and understand the latest canine research.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/DoYouBelieveInDog/) (twitter=https://www.twitter.com/doubelieveindog/) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/mlcobb77/) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/dogspies/)

Follow @SunriseSunsetBlog