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Coexistence of diversified dog socialities and territorialities in the city of Concepcion, Chile

By H. C. Miternique, F. Gaunet

Category Journal Articles

There has been scant research on the presence of stray dogs in cities. Studying their very considerable presence in Concepción (Chile) provided a unique opportunity to learn more about the different patterns of sociality and territoriality exhibited by the dog species. Via a set of case studies, we examined the behavior of urban dogs, adopting an ethnographic methodology. This yielded findings of the dogs’ cognitive, social and spatial adjustment abilities, i.e., their territorialities. Our hypothesis was validated: We found numerous types of sociability, we confirmed the presence of two previously established categories: family dogs (pets, guard dogs and beggars’ dogs) and stray dogs (dogs almost entirely unused to humans, aggressive dogs at the far end of the campus and feral dogs in the woods). We also identified three new ones: familiar stray dogs in packs (dogs both spatially and socially close to humans), pet-stray dogs (i.e., village dogs interacting closely with people) and free-roaming pet dogs. We conclude that an ongoing two-way bond between humans and animals allowed these dogs to became part of a city’s urban identity and explains the stray dogs’ plasticity in terms of adapting to the diversified urban habitat. We postulate that it was the human culture and range of urban areas in Concepción that gave rise to this unique diversity of sociospatial positioning and level of adjustment (e.g., dogs crossing crosswalks).

Date 2020
Publication Title Animals
Volume 10
Issue 2
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/ani10020298
Language English
Author Address Geography Department, University of the Balearic Islands, 07122 Palma de Mallorca,
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Agencies and organizations
  2. Aggressive behavior
  3. Analytics
  4. Animal behavior
  5. Animals
  6. Animal welfare
  7. APEC countries
  8. Areas
  9. Behavioral research
  10. Canidae
  11. Canine
  12. Carnivores
  13. Chile
  14. Developing countries
  15. Dogs
  16. Environment
  17. Factors
  18. Feral animals
  19. Group behavior
  20. Guard dogs
  21. Latin America
  22. Mammals
  23. Pets and companion animals
  24. Relationships
  25. Social behavior
  26. Social Dominance
  27. South America
  28. stray animals
  29. territoriality
  30. Threshold Countries
  31. United States of America
  32. urban areas
  33. vertebrates
  34. Veterinary sciences
  35. welfare
  36. Zoology