Pal, S. K., Ghosh, B., & Roy, S. (1998). Agonistic behaviour of free-ranging dogs (Canis familiaris) in relation to season, sex and age. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 59(4), 331-348.
Observations on the agonistic behaviour of 12 free-ranging dogs from two neighbouring groups were recorded in Katwa town, India. Both intra- and inter-group agonistic encounters were recorded on a seasonal basis. Mean (±S.E.) seasonal number of intra-group agonistic encounters of individual dog was greatest in winter (13.33±1.89) and then in late monsoon (12.33±1.99), when the females were lactating and in oestrus, respectively. Similarly, the mean (±S.E.) seasonal number of inter-group agonistic encounters of individual dog was greatest in winter (32.25±4.43) and then in late monsoon (27.75±2.01). There was a significant difference between the intra- and inter-group agonistic encounters. Dominance hierarchies were established among the adult dogs of either sex based on aggressive encounters. Although individual differences in agonism were observed, overall levels of aggression were higher among the adult females than for other groups. In contrast, overall levels of submission were higher among the juvenile males than for other groups. The results from this study suggest that reproductive season, sex and age have a significant effect on the agonistic behaviour of free-ranging dogs.