Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Mating and parental behaviour in free-ranging dogs


Pal, S. K. (2005). Parental care in free-ranging dogs,Canis familiarisApplied Animal Behaviour Science, 90(1), 31-47.
Parental care in free-ranging dogs was investigated in Katwa town, India. Six lactating bitches, 4 were monogamous. The gestation period varied from 62 to 65 days. Mean (±S.D.) litter size of 5.83 (±1.57) with a sex ratio of 1.69:1 in favour of male was recorded in this study. High mortality (63%) of pups occurred by the age of 3 months. Mothers were in contact with the litters for 13 weeks of the litters’ life. There was a negative correlation between the duration of mother–litter contact in any observation session and the age of the pups. Milk feeding by the mothers was continued for 10–11 weeks of the litters’ life. The duration of milk feeding in any 30-min observation session reached a maximum of 27.54 min during the 1st week and a minimum of 2.22 min during the 11th week of the litters’ life. All the mothers in this study were observed to feed the pups by regurgitation. For the first 2 weeks immediately after parturition, the lactating females were observed to be more aggressive to protect the pups. The four males (male parents) were in contact with the litters as ‘guard’ dogs for the first 6–8 weeks of litters’ life. In absence of the mothers, they were observed to prevent the approach of strangers by vocalizations or even by physical attacks. Moreover, one male fed the litter by regurgitation showing the existence of paternal care in free-roaming domestic dogs.


Pal, S. K. (2011). Mating System of Free-Ranging Dogs (Canis familiaris).International Journal of Zoology, 2011.
Fourteen females belonging to five groups were selected for the study of mating system in free-ranging domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) All the matings occurred between August and December with a peak in late monsoon months (September to November). Both males and females differed in their degree of attractiveness to the opposite sex. The duration of courting association increased with the number of courting males in an association. The females exhibited selectivity by readily permitting some males to mate and avoiding, or even attacking others, if they attempted to mount. Frequency of mounting in courting association increased with the number of males present. There was a positive correlation between the duration of courting association and the frequency of mounting. The young adult males were more likely to copulate successfully than the old adult males. There was a negative correlation between the number of males present in an association and the number of successful copulations. In this study, six types of mating (monogamy, polygyny, promiscuity, polyandry, opportunity and rape) were recorded. Mean (±S.E.) duration of copulatory ties was 25.65 (±1.43) min. Several natural factors influencing the duration of copulatory ties were identified.

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