Taming the adult wolves

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Today is widely believed that adult wolves are not tamed. Animals, too emotional and fearful to ever take the human touch. Therefore, if the subject wishes to have the wolf, which can be tamed, it is necessary to wean him from his mother at an early age. As a rule, say up to three weeks.

However, there were those who tamed adult wolves. The most famous experiments were done Jerome Vulpe and Benson Ginsburg of the University of Chicago. Their success in the domestication of wild adult wolves has been described in the Journal of The American Zoologist in 1967. Today, however, is still often said that adult wolves that were not socialized with people as a puppy - not tamed.

It is not, it is impossible in principle. The fact that it requires some special conditions and a lot of time and patience to succeed.

It should be noted that although Vulpe and Ginsburg could tame adult wolves, that does not mean that they have become the same as the domestic dog. Although the animals have become very helpful to all the people, it is unlikely that they can be used for much of the specialized work that perform domestic dogs. However, the statement nepriruchaemosti adult wolves is not true.

Vulpe and Ginzburg described in his article in 1967 his experiments with seven wolves. Three of them were puppies are socialized with people and have been in constant contact with people throughout their lives. Three of them have been socialized with humans, being puppies and adolescents (profit), and then found themselves in a natural environment with other wolves that have not been socialized to people. And there was one adult wolf caught age of not less than 5 years, not previously in contact with the people. At the end of the experiment, all animals became socialized and friendly to all people. However, the three men have been socialized puppies and then were among the wild animals are not afraid of people socialized. These wolves tamed in the same way as five years.

The authors describe the socialization of adult wolves as follows:
Socialization adult wolf in our laboratory conditions takes place in four gradual but definite steps of escape, avoidance, approach-aggression, and, finally, a friendly and socialized state.

At the initial stage of socialization is not socialized adult wolf animal begins to adapt to their surroundings and the presence of the experimenter is the enclosure, it becomes very emotional when the experimenter enters the aviary. Thus Wolf usually undergoes various ways to escape, including digging in the concrete floor, the door is closed and the valve to the high jumping in the air.

Once the wolf is somewhat more adaptable, this behavior alternates with extreme deviation, in which the wolf is hammered into the far corner of the cage from the observer, is short tail between his legs and puts his ears back, choking, trembling and drooling. This is an extremely timid behavior is accompanied by frequent bowel movements and urination, trembling, as well as the change in pupil diameter. This first stage is called "escape stage" of the process of socialization.

Depending on the age and previous experience of the wolf, the second or "step avoidance (evasion)" will begin in about a month after the start of training. This step follows from the stage slowly escape. The intensity of emotions, judging by vegetative signs, begins to subside, and the wolf less likely to escape. Now he just stays as far away from the experimenter as possible. However, rather than hide in a corner, the wolf will sit in a more relaxed manner, without compressing the tail and ears pointing up and to the experimenter. If the experimenter increase its movements in the early stages of the second phase, the wolf can return to the previous emotional stage - "the stage to escape." Typically, after a few months consecutively authorizes wolf approaching the experimenter, and at this stage can begin the process of taming. As the progression of socialization, the wolf begins to make movements to the experimenter and stops when the experimenter starts to look straight at the wolf.

Soon after that comes "stage approach". This is an important and delicate stage of the process of socialization. Wolf first inquisitive and very cautious. It will timidly sniffing the body and clothes of the experimenter, but the retreat, if the experimenter moves or look directly at him. Later, at the "stage approach", he will try to chew or pull clothing experimenter, as well as to rub on the places where he was an experimenter, once the latter has left the enclosure. From time to time it will also mark the places in the urine. Then he starts to rub on the experimenter himself, and sometimes urinate directly at him (a model of behavior more typical of coyotes than wolves). When he rubbed an experimenter, he often allowed themselves to be stroked, not departing.

As increases dating wolf with the experimenter, he begins to take more leeway. It is enhanced if the protective clothing worn under the usual lab coat or coveralls. The wolf may attack such clothes as if she was not part of the researcher. Usually, bites and jerking clothes are aimed at researchers. If you try to prevent it, the wolf begins to bite harder and more vigorously. Attempts to dominate the animal at this stage can lead either to a full-scale attack or to regress to an earlier stage of socialization, which would then be more difficult to overcome, because the animal remembers previous bad experience.

In practice, we found that it is best not to resist in a soft attack. Of course, the animal will retreat if the second member of the team will approach or enter into an aviary. Experimenter, so no real danger.

Since it is difficult to keep the wolf from the approach and at the same time give him a bite, the experimenter is trying to change the behavior of the wolf research into something more appropriate, such as patting and scratching him. Fortunately, the wolf will threaten when he is hostile, and thus give advance warning of its intention. Typically, the threat is ambivalent, consists of a raised upper lip, which simply exposes the teeth. It may be accompanied by a low growl. Ears naturally or upright withdrawn slightly to the side and the tail is in the normal position - and down slightly backwards. At this point, the experimenter should discourage aggression until the threat is removed and the posture of the wolf returns to normal. If it fails the experimenter must either rely on the approach to the aviary assistant, or he has to leave the enclosure before the threat will go on the attack. If he is afraid of the wolf, the process of socialization may have to expand considerably. If the wolf is not quiet, it can cause a vigorous attack. If the deviation of the experimenter is too hasty, the wolf would be more prone to aggression at the next meeting. Careful teamwork on the part of the experimenters usually brings these problems to a minimum.

The fourth and final stage of socialization, in which the wolf becomes a friendly, begins when the experimenter succeeds in preventing aggression wolf at his approach. At this stage, the wolf is no longer afraid of the experimenter, it is easy to fit it easily gives himself scratching and stroking. During this phase, it is likely that the wolf begins to lick his face and hands the experimenter. Still later he starts wagging his tail when the experimenter enters the cage and put his front paws on the cage door waiting to enter the experimenter. Tail wagging become more energetic when the experimenter comes to an aviary. At this point, after six or seven months after the first contact, typical of the wolf can be considered socialized. This is also the stage at which the wolf tries to hold the experimenter feet and salute him, placing his jaws around the chin and lower face, in much the same way as when greeting another wolf in "wolf-wolf" ceremony.

Socialize friendly behavior is easy to digest and calves to a lesser extent teenagers. In some cases, when such socialized young wolves then isolated from further contact with the person for long periods (more than 6 months), their socialization is not preserved. Thus, the young wolf is a social behavior should continue to be maintained in order to prevent the return of fear response. However, the adult wolves, having fully socialized behavior, do not lose it, even after periods longer than a year, during which they had no direct contact with the person. These fully socialized animals retain their friendly behavior and generalize it to all the people who act accordingly to them. We have never seen odnohozyainost so common in domestic dogs, at any of our seven socialized wolves, and we attribute this to the extreme sociability Wolf and his ability to generalize, the quality of which differently occurs in many species of domestic dog. The need to limit the space the animals under our laboratory has provided the physical situation in which it was easy to show that in contrast to the ability of adult wolves generalize their social behavior to all people, they do not generalize this behavior to all the wolves. Each new wolf-wolf interaction that develops among the "inmates" require several weeks of intense social interaction, including the numerous battles, until it is installed.

However, after setting, it remains so over a period of separation of at least one year. These ongoing relationships were not observed in animals under the age of one year. As for the process of socialization, that sessions of 10-20 minutes proved to be just as effective as those that lasted for an hour or more. Intersessional intervals of three days were just as effective as the daily sessions, as well as reactions of fear have been overcome, began to be used every few weeks to encourage wolf approach more readily. Socializative sessions were not as effective as in the aviary there were more than one wolf, even if the other was completely socialized. Under these conditions, less socialized wolf often used as another barrier, for which he could retreat and where he could make aggressive attacks.

Thus, adult wolf can be tamed. It just requires a lot of time and experience (and a little courage).

Of course, some readers may be called the experiment "low-brow", because the three wolves, which tamed adults, initially still in contact with a person at a very young age.

But one all the same was tamed as a "middle-aged" an adult who had no previous experience of interaction with people.

At the same time, it is believed that the only way to deal with the wolf - it is brute force. In most of the literature discusses how important it is to dominate the wolf to fight it. Some of pseudo experts and argue that you need a lot of physical strength and to demonstrate the dominance of their wards. And only such actions are correct.

Wild animals often Nets or holding it by trapping pole to plant them or soothe for transportation to the new place.

Applying similar methods to socialized wolf never instill love for their animal hosts.

If you read carefully, Vulpe and Ginsburg, they never came out of the mental principle of "I - Alpha wolf." There's also never been suggested that an adult wolf can not learn how to make people like their social partners.

They just asked the wolf friends. Of course, it took time to ask this question to the wolf. But as soon as the wolf understood what he is asked, he replied in the affirmative.

It should also be noted that all of wolves described experiment were in North America, and they are all derived from the wild populations, which have historically been pursued person. All animals have a very strong fear, which is one of the reasons why socialized at an early age Wolves lost their friendliness towards people when they were living with relatives are not socialized for a long period of time.

It is unlikely that the ancestors of today's wolves had such strong reactions of fear and, therefore, the ancient hunter-gatherers, it was easier to form a relationship with them. Most wild wolves probably felt curiosity for people.

These wolves could be socialized as adults. It should not be considered as some often do, that originally domesticated wolves domesticated exclusively newborn puppies. Adult individuals also could be tamed, even without any special methods used Vulpe and Ginsburg.