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)

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Abstract

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.

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

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Figures

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    Summary of evidence for H1–H5 in wolf puppies, dog puppies and adult dogs.

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    The percentage of behaviours in each behaviour categories observed for both the bower and partner before and after the play bow (N=108).

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    Tests of effects of role and timing for each behaviour category from the general linear mixed model results.

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    Comparison of wolf puppies, dog puppies, adult dogs and dingo puppies in relation to each of the five hypotheses.

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    Tests of fixed effects in dingo puppies.

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    Timing*Role least squares means in dingo puppies.

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    (Continued.)

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    Tests of effect slices for Timing*Role sliced by role in dingo puppies.

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    Tests of effect slices for Timing*Role sliced by timing in dingo puppies.

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