The function of play bows in Canis lupus and its variants: a comparison of dingo (Canis lupus dingo), dog (Canis lupus familiaris) and wolf puppies (Canis lupus)

In: Behaviour
Sarah-Elizabeth Byosiere School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, P.O. Box 199, Bendigo VIC 3552, Australia

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Julia Espinosa Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 100 St George Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3G3

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Bradley P. Smith Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, 44 Greenhill Road, Wayville, SA 5034, Australia

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Play bows represent a common, highly stereotyped behaviour across the genus Canis. However, much of what we know is limited to the wolf and its domestic derivative, the domestic dog. Here we continue to look at the function of play bows among subspecies/variants of Canis lupus by including the dingo. Comparing dingoes to wolves and dogs may provide further insight into the impact of domestication on play behaviour. We analysed play bows in three-to-six month old dingo puppies and compared the results to previous studies of wolves and dogs. The function of play bows in dingoes appears consistent with those observed in dogs and wolf puppies. However, subtle intraspecific differences (such as the frequency and duration of play bows, and vocalizations during play) were apparent, and warrant further investigation in the genus Canis, as well as the Family Canidae more broadly.

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