After all, dogs have evolved (or been bred) to accept a subordinate position in a mixed human / dog pack (and also to eat human garbage). In an e-mail, he told me he knew about the baboons at Ta'if and had tried, unsuccessfully, to get Saudi wildlife officials to investigate their curious relationships with dogs. You seem to be hung up on the word pet. It seems to me that to look for what benefit there is to any of these species is a very human idea based on greed - what do I get out of it? Baboons and dogs share the same environment, and they are socially plastic, so they enjoy the company of others. It only adds to the mystery. There is no such thing as a fight between ONE hyena and something else. Firstly the dogs were autonomous; secondly the relationship was transient; and finally, other than at the very basic level of eating and "defending territory", there was no commitment or responsibility on either side. It is hoped that will happen if it can be financed which is always a problem. As to the broader question of whether non-humans ‘keep pets’, the answer is not necessarily clear-cut. Readers might find this material of interest; its about how rapidly a wild (or undomesticated but farm-raised) fox population can be selectively bred to produce foxes that are tame and friendly to humans. Man likes to assume we must have somehow brought about dog domestication but it is quite possible as other have postulated that it was the weaker wolves that discovered it was easier to scavenge around mans habitation than it was for these weak ones to hunt. Personally I'm not at all convinced it ended well for the puppy. Unfortunately this can lead to privately-held pet lemurs developing a host of illnesses, including obesity and diabetes, and dying prematurely. While they have a Facebook page, I have not been able to get an actual name for the group leader. I discovered the YouTube video yesterday and have been thinking about it since. Baboons Are Monkeys. Keeping of dogs as pets has traditionally been frowned upon in this part of the world. With regards to a the beach in South America - without knowing where it was with 200 people camping it does not sound all that remote to me and presumably dogs there had been introduced by people in the first place so I don't see that this has much connection to dogs being "adopted" by baboons. What Do Baboons Eat? But now, they are feeding on a common new resource, an invasive cactus, Opuntia stricta, and the 2 species are much more intermixed. I do know that there are baboons and dogs seen together where there is food in other areas and that this crew did go to other parts of the country. Then I put the clip on my Facebook page and contacted some researchers who study canine behavior and evolution: James Serpell, Clive Wynne, Alan Beck, Julie Hecht, and Adam Miklosi. These two possibilities could be loosely described as pet and guard dog. This is how they have survived in harsh conditions for as long as they have. Males measure … Getting into visas to enter Saudi to look at this have so far been fruitless also. Supermarkets sell dog food and at larger quantities than the few expats with dogs buy so it goes somewhere! Or is he or she just a really calm dog that doesn’t mind being picked up by strange monkeys? Additionally, a pet should be fed, at least. I agree that "adoption" is probably not the correct word to explain what occurs here. I do not believe any of those assumptions fit what is occurring but it is an interesting situation that still cries out for much more factual long term . Puppy Mills, Pandemics, Disaster Preparedness, and Decency, The baboon/dog interactions were filmed in a garbage dump in Saudi Arabia by a French film crew. Yes, they do. I contacted them immediately. Rhodri Jones is that the youtube taken from the Animal Adoption series you refer to or this latest documentary from Arte TV on evolution? Do the baboons feed the puppies? The dogs appear to be free-ranging Canaan dogs. I wouldn't think so.". If the baboons then reject the dogs or they both separate in the hunt for food is unknown and speculative. Schroeter was indeed aware of the baboons and dogs of Ta’if, and in fact had tried to get Saudi Arabia wildlife officials to look into their relationship, to no avail. One of the researchers described this genetic line of foxes as "dragons"! Baboons and dogs share the same environment, and they are socially plastic, so they enjoy the company of others. If this interspecies cooperation is accurate it would be well worth studying though! No, a baboon would be a horrible pet for your situation. I am skeptical, too. fear of scoops. Very much a commercial rather than scientific true documentary effort. November 14, 2012 2:29 pm. They are depicted on rock carvings with human hunters. Hal, The dogs are being groomed! Other than that, they can make do. But before bringing home a companion, do your research to make sure you’re prepared to meet its needs. I saw this video manny years ago, I linked it to fact baboon's social structure depend on the so called single male unit, one dominant male with several females (hareem), my theory is that baboon might make use of dogs to gaurd females from investing in other young bachlor males wondering around. The pariah dogs in the region have survived with little help from man although Bedouin do keep some as both watch dogs and herders. this seems to be reported in 2007 on a PBS nature program,, Some grade student could make a name for him/herself by getting over to S. A. and doing some legitimate research!!!! He even emailed the director of the Animals Like Us video, though he never heard back from her. Here's the link to the article: Yes, the video says. They belong there! How do we know that the dogs feed with the baboons? Grass, roots, fruits and berries, mice and lizards, bird eggs, snails and insects – baboons can adapt to any habitat and any food. The dogs and baboons appear to be living amongst each other in an area that has food and nothing more. These dogs can also not truly be called strays as they have not strayed from a life as pets. Their noses are bright red, and the skin on either side of their nose has deep ridges and is blue in color. Strum....I have been aware of your research on baboons for many years. (I think that idea is bogus, but there is a small grain of truth to it.) Wild baboons were trapped, crammed into small wire cages and transported for many hours on the back of a truck to the Institute of Primate Research. Often in the rubbish dumps several baboon troops may intermingle, dispersing at night into their separate groups. For the most part baboons and monkeys don’t want any involvement with humans and would prefer to just be non-human primates doing non-human primate things. You make no mention of where this occurs so I guess it would be in areas where there has been recent conflict and "bush food" is also commonly traded and eaten. Thanks for your comment and yes I have read that nature article and many others. I would be delighted to find otherwise. What is not as widely know is that the same researchers also conducted a similar long-term breeding experiment with rats -- but this time creating strains of really nice rats and really really mean ones. How long do the dogs live with the baboons? Just what is happening in Taif and other places is undoubtedly worth a thorough scientific study. I wouldn’t think so.”. Check it out below: WARNING: The first part of this video may be difficult to watch for some people! These have lived on their own for thousands of years. When baboons live near humans they naturally come into contact with our pets, especially dogs. I cover this experiment at some length in my book. Was there any real evidence that the baboons are actually kidnaping puppies and raising them as pets? And if they're smarter than the baboons, who's keeping whom as "pets?". That's perfect timing, thanks for the tip! Baboons Might Kidnap Puppies (But Not as Pets). When the above video showed up on his radar, he was taken aback, to say the least. For what it's worth, here's what I think we know about the Ta'if baboons and their "pets": So, are the baboons of Ta'if really keeping puppies as pets? Until we see this latest show I cant really comment but I am wary because the primatologist who managed to et them to go there and film was not himself able to go so it may be the film crew went with pre-conceived ideas based on that previous "documentary". I toyed with the idea of going down there myself after my phd, but as mentioned the visa requirements makes it quite a challenge. Other than leopards, the only other threat I can come up with in this particular scenario is other troops of baboons. The dogs are treated like family pets while they defend their adoptive family from other feral dogs and stand guard at night.”. Do not walk through a troop of baboons; instead, wait for an opportunity to walk around them, or wait for them to leave before you proceed. The "documentary" was mad by a member of a French research team who have never published any details of what is claimed in the documentary and steadfastly ignore all attempts to contact them by a number of people. Baboons are not ‘territorial’ with dogs. the way "feral" children sometimes seek comfort and companionship with feral dogs? Does one baboon care for one dog, or are the dogs collectively owned? I think too much is being read into this whole thing. I found zip. Since then there has been on reported that knows over 2000 and understands verbs and nouns etc. DNA evidence has confirmed them as an ancient type. Interspecies play is not unheard of and the dogs and baboons could easily be doing this due to their close proximity and playful nature. Schroeter wasn’t the only person to be skeptical of the video’s claims. With their sharp teeth they gnaw holes in trees to get the gum. Sure, they are often treated like babies by their owners putting them in diapers and strollers but they also act like babies, permanently, with all the messes and screaming included. So it almost goes without saying that it’s not unheard of for different species to intermingle in human homes or captivity. Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? Do baboons ever kill or eat puppies. The clip, which was filmed in a garbage dump near Ta’if, Saudi Arabia, depicts a male baboon dragging a puppy away from its den as it screams for its mother. Do the baboons feed the puppies? Today baboons are only found along the top of the red sea escarpment but the dogs of this type are wide spread through out from Yemen, Oman, UAE, Saudi, Egypt and Israel where they have been re-domesticated and are now registered with many kennel clubs as the Canaan dog. These are dogs not wolves. (My PhD is in animal behavior.) Firstly how domestication of dogs occurred is still, and probably always will be, speculative. I also think that by editing their film so that the footage of the male baboon "kidnapping" a puppy comes first in the clip, the filmmakers have possibly skewed the narrative toward the baboons-keep-dogs-as-pets storyline, when more research (or actual research) may turn this idea completely on its head. It is possible that food availability could be reduced as disposal methods of human refuse change. ‘You can never get enough of a marmoset’ is the phrase that is often heard, however, keeping marmosets as pets is not such a good idea. Although, the monkey studies that are also discussed in the article I mentioned do seem to indicate that positive, empathetic parenting (by higher-status, calm, friendly, appropriately-responsive monkey mothers) has a measurable positive impact even on "adopted" monkey "kids" that were the biological offspring of fearful, low-status monkey mothers. Lemurs, capuchins, chimpanzees, and baboons all fall into the primate category. The puppy shots show a pathetic youngster. I’m not aware of a consensus as yet, but if you’re aware of any papers I should read I’d appreciate a link. However it occurred it did occur and of course we can no longer draw parallels between dogs and wolves, a mistake many have made. Schroeter also noted that he was aware of dogs and baboons intermingling elsewhere in Saudia Arabia. This is a pack of feral dogs, and not a pack of wolves. As io9’s Lauren Davis noted in an article about the Animals Like Us video, if indeed these baboons are raising the dogs as their own, it could be a window into what the original domestication of dogs by primitive humans might’ve looked like. This might be something that National Geographic might fund. These are snippets out of the diary of Louie, our marmoset, with the hopes that it one day saves the life of another marmoset or tamarin. There is no factual evidence that these dogs were ever selectively bred. But what about outside of captivity? Trainers claim the animals, which are kept chained and muzzled, 'enjoy' it. But there’s some question as to whether or not the imagery and narration from the video are completely reliable. While it would still be good to investigate properly I increasingly believe this is a case of making a "documentary" that will make money. Here is the link Many also live in areas where there are no baboons and I have video of them avoiding baboons. This would also make sense of the dog with the collar -- once a pet, then a stray, then made him/herself part of the troop. One other thought. Leopards or other big cats would be a threat to the young in particular, but big cats must be pretty rare these days in most of Arabia. I noticed in one a young babboon attepting to nurse from one of the dogs as she stood. I'm thinking of how your typical village dogs (as opposed to what we call family pets) attach themselves to people or households where they can get a good deal. We all remember Koko the gorilla and her love of cats. Baboons (Papio) are primates and they're one of the 23 types of Old World monkeys, so they do not have prehensile tails.That means, unlike their New World monkey cousins in South America, they can't use their tails to swing from trees.. The words cute, cuddly, intriguing, funny and interesting will often come to one’s mind when watching baboons and … Major Considerations Before Getting a Primate. Dogs often but not always stay at the tips or close by. I believe the term is applicable to dingoes. (I have e-mailed the director but have not heard back from her.). There are also records of aboriginals breaking the Dingo's legs as a way of forcing them to become dependant on humans for food, thus staying in the camps. This particular Monkey is often argued to be an Ape instead. Is it just for company - i.e. Yes indeed!! I find that a stretch - certainly on the basis of this video. Let us find out the challenges involved in raising tiny creatures. It’s all the more remarkable if this is a unique example of dog/monkey interaction. Regarding the precise genetic origins of domestic dogs, the Eurasian, Indian and Arabian subspecies have been suggested. The claim made here is that baboons adopt dogs. (I did not mention in in the post because of space.) Incredible that the research group did not follow up and that they do not respond to questions - or did they and so know the species are not actually living together in any permanent relationship. Dingoes were taken to Australia from Southeast Asia on boats within the last few thousand years, certainly Late Holocene, and not by the original Aborigines, who arrived ca. Like many larger primates, males greatly outweigh females and usually weigh twice as much as the females do. Largely because of Facebook, the baboon-dog YouTube video has gone viral (nearly 400,000 hits as I write this). Yes, as Hal Herzog pointed out, male baboons do have a habit of stealing infant female baboons and bringing them into their harems, so it’s possible he’s doing something similar with the dogs. All along the beach, which was sometimes inhabited by a couple of hundred people, the formation of feral dog / human relationships was spontaneous and continuous. Baboons regularly visit this and other rubbish tips in the country but don't usually overnight in them, leaving around sunset. The anthrozoologist Boria Sax, author of the wonderful new book City of Ravens, wrote (again, on Facebook): "You can't tell just what is happening from the video alone, and we have only the word of the narrator that the dogs are kept as pets. Baboons even groom and play with the dogs, a sure sign they’ve been accepted by the male of the harem, as these primates only groom family members. It seems the male is just ‘playing’ with the puppy, I wouldn’t call it kidnapping. The dogs at the trash dump appeared to be a type of natural breed called Canaan dogs. As gut-wrenching as the beginning of the video is, it becomes extremely interesting at about the 1:47 mark. Such experiments really do seem (to me) to indicate that genetic influences have at least as much impact on behaviors as environmental factors do, if not more, possibly even in the case of human behaviors. ", Eniko Kubinyi, a canine ethologist at the Family Dog Project in Budapest was more blunt: "Dogs as pets of baboons? These traits allow them to fit neatly within a human social structure. Life is Better With Your Dog, A Short Film by Bark & Co. An Open Letter To Puppies From Senior Dogs Who Are Sick Of This Poop, 16 Dog Breeds Who Never Outgrow Their Puppy Looks, 23 Dog Gifts To Include On Your Wedding Registry, 21 Etsy Gifts For People Who Like Dogs More Than Humans, 17 Things All Doodle Parents Know To Be True, Labrador Retriever who’s best buds with an elephant, Bull Mastiff momma dog who adopted a baby chimpanzee, Saudi Arabian American Baboon Research Association. Of course, “Baboons And Dogs Hang Out Together In The Wild” is not nearly as headline-grabbing as “Baboons Take Dogs As Pets.”. Turning the baboon-dog relationship upside down also fits what the ideas about the human-dog co-evolution that have been suggested by Brian Hare. Protection seems the most likely explanation. Quiz: Can You Tell Dog's Gender Just By Looking At Their Face? No idea if they are affiliated or not, just a thought. A benefit to the dogs of course is they get groomed and any ticks are removed in the same way that baboons groom each other. The dogs get access to food (which the baboons could presumably deny them if they chose too), but the benefit to the baboons is a little less obvious. Watch the video below (it’s okay, it’s not nearly as difficult to watch): It’s worth noting that the puppy appears to be completely at ease throughout the video. “Kidnapped pups grow up with the baboon family, feeding with them at the dump, following the migrations of the group, and sleeping together. Early European records note that the free living or wild Dingo was easily recognised as they were in better condition than those in camps. Moreover, if the dogs are as fully integrated into the harems as the video states, they may attack any rival males, offering a clear advantage for the dominant male. In another area in the Asir region they may mingle where food is availble but the baboons may be gone a day later while the dogs remain. I’m not comparing pariah dogs with Chihuahuas, they may well be closer to the wolf end of the scale than to the lapdog end in many respects, certainly morphologically. Indeed when the first relationship began it was likely with wolves prior to them evolving to todays pets. They are only found within reach of human food sources in order to scavenge. Hal, you have hit on a great topic for a study or dissertation for sure! There’s the Labrador Retriever who’s best buds with an elephant, there’s the Dachshund who loves a disabled lion – and vice versa – like a brother, and there’s the Bull Mastiff momma dog who adopted a baby chimpanzee, which just makes me want to cry my eyeballs out it’s so adorable. If you know more about it than I do, send me an e-mail or write a comment at the end of this post. Hyenae and Baboons are very unlikely to get in a fight. Hyenae can't climb trees, and a baboon isn't stupid enough to engage a pack of hyenae in battle. Being a tip there is abundant food available with no real need for competition for it. Hi Duncan, Lizzie Dearden @lizziedearden. Then we stumbled on the Facebook page of the Saudi Arabian American Baboon Research Association. Where in Africa, what groups, what is the "pet" status of the dogs, how frequently are dogs eaten, etc. Baboons are the world's largest monkeys, according to National Geographic. Dogs and wild baboons occasionally play together in other parts of their range. Also, did they give any insight in to the role of food provisioning by humans in Taif? Alternatively, if there is competition for food, it is possible that a dominant male would be more tolerant of submissive dogs associating with his harem than he would of rival males. In which case, there is no advantage to the baboons in risking injury through expelling the dogs, and the presence of a submissive, social species would certainly be of interest to inquisitive and playful higher primates. Again I doubt this is significant so far as baboons "adopting" dogs is concerned. Both are feasible, as is a combination of the two; humans appreciate the combination of guardian and play thing. (The producer never responded to my e-mails.) Dogs Reacting To Kanye West's "Lift Yourself" (Whoop De Scoop), 25 Shocking Dog Sex "Facts" You Don't Need To Know, 10 Hilariously Literal Names For Pit Bulls, Here Are 15 Exotic Animals Trying To Take The Best Pet Title Away From Dogs, Stubborn Great Dane Refuses To Get Off The Bed Because, Hey, It's A Free Country, Boxer Falls Asleep Standing Up, Predictably Falls Over, Dog Leaps On Top of His Sister In the Pool Because He's a Dingus, We Asked Dog Parents To Describe Their Dog's Breath, And Turned Their Answers Into Perfumes, 15 Things You Should Never Say To A Maltese Owner. It seems likely that the adoption aspect has been exaggerated, but a high level of species interaction is apparent, and the relationship is unlikely to be equal. The part about the dogs eating after the baboons would make sense. It is documented that the baboon population has soared as a result of food availability in rubbish dumps as well as from deliberate feeding by humans, becoming a problem to farmers whose crops are raided by baboons. How Do You Introduce Your New Dog To Your First Dog? It seems the male is just 'playing' with the puppy. It is footage that still fascinates me years after first seeing it and worthy of further investigation but .... strange that the scientific group who were investigating baboon behaviour have never published anything on what is surely a significant observation even at the level of dogs and baboons merely cohabiting the feeding area. Baboons haven’t killed … Lack of food is often the limiting factor, as the adoptee often starves or becomes a meal of the hungry adopter. Hal Herzog, Ph.D., is the author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard To Think Straight About Animals. We can only speculate regarding how the dog human relationship became established. If ‘pet’ is defined as a selectively-bred domesticated animal, then this may the closest example of a non-human ‘keeping a pet’. And yes these dogs living in groups tend to synchronise their oestrus cycle. This definitely NOT pet keeping from the baboons' point of view. Short and smooth, it has been the main cause for their decline, as their fur was highly praised in the past and were thus hunted down. However, as Christy Hoffman of the University of Chicago, astutely pointed out to me on Facebook, the large white dog that appears toward the end of the clip seems to be wearing a collar. Monkeys and dogs tolerate each other and even play in India. They tend to be mid-sized animals with short hair and pointy ears (here). Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. My feeling is that dogs domesticated us as much as, if not more than, we domesticated them. Apart from the dwindling numbers of Bedouin Saudis do not welcome pet dogs in their homes. The problem with the entire sequence from a scientific point of view, however, is that there is no documentation of anything. Dogs in Africa and India are well accepted and fed by humans so have no reason to leave. If they don’t appear threatened by your presence and if they won’t move from the trail, keep your distance and make a loud noise such as clapping your hands to encourage them to move on. That's interesting, I didn't know that the same researchers did their domestication experiments with rats, too. There are 5 species of the Baboon and they are all part of the Old World Monkeys.Of the Old World Monkeys, these are the larges of all primates in the world with the exception of human beings. I also believe that the total lack of response from maker of the video, the research team leader, and the TV channel that showed the "documentary" to numerous requests from myself and othe primatologists says it all. Anne -- thanks for your comment and the links to the fox studies. That is a huge benefit to them both because of getting rid of disease ridden insects and because dogs simply love being scratched. In captivity, raccoons are known to have a life expectancy between 10-15 years old. The behaviour of these dogs in thus not that of Dingo's or wolves but of free living dogs. It would be useful to know how long each species has been present and to get an understanding of long-term population trends for each species. kill them. Dogs are scavengers, wolves are hunters primarily. (Photo from Google search) Sponsored by Raging Bull, LLC And yet Schroeter wasn’t convinced that these dogs had actually joined the baboons as family members. What Are The Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Dogs? Hence, I spent hours searching the scientific literature for a legitimate reference to this pet-keeping baboon troop. For example: If I learn more about the mystery of Ta'if "pet-keeping," I'll post it here. Baboons generally move to cliff tops to sleep and it would be difficult for dogs to follow to these places. And what else could seriously threaten a large troop of baboons? However, whatever the provenance of the video, I think that it is reasonable to conclude that at a minimum the dogs and baboons have formed what could be termed a "mixed species pack". Some authorities are doubtful. If the Bedouin need any more dogs they simply collect a puppy from a den. In India in towns where monkeys regularly enter housing areas it is also not uncommon for them to play with dogs. Baboon males at the top of the social ladder have to make tracks: They usually get bounced from prominence within a year of their ascendancy. I have also not been able to find any other relevant information on the topic apart from the video itself, which I grant could very well be misleading for novelty purposes. And also slightly closer not just to the village dog arrangement, but also to the kind of wildlife "pets" that attach themselves to people and families in many other aboriginal-type cultures. Obviously, if we go strictly by what the video tells us, we already know the answer to the question proposed in the title of this piece – do baboons actually keep dogs as pets? Baboons do not starve. How you can help. Before going on, I suggest you watch the video. My comments therefore are preliminary based only on what I see. The video depicts a troop of pet-keeping Hamadryas baboons living in a garbage dump outside of Ta'if, Saudi Arabia. They did not attack each other. Some time ago there was a National Geographic article on a dog that knew a hundred words. 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