Next Article in Journal
Long-Term Recovery of the Fecal Microbiome and Metabolome of Dogs with Steroid-Responsive Enteropathy
Previous Article in Journal
Noninvasive Thermographic Photographing as an Assessment of the State of Discomfort in a Dog Receiving Radiation Therapy
Article

Human Decision-Making as a Key Factor in the Risk of Wolf–Dog Interactions during Outdoor Activities

1
Department of Forest Ecology, Forest Research Institute, Sękocin Stary, 05-090 Raszyn, Poland
2
Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew W. Claridge
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2497; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092497
Received: 11 July 2021 / Revised: 19 August 2021 / Accepted: 23 August 2021 / Published: 25 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
The aim of the study was to determine the nature and causes of direct contact between a wolf and domestic dog during different forms of human recreation. The results are crucial for reducing human–nature conflicts and for education. Thanks to this study, we conclude that humans are responsible for reducing the risk of direct contact between these two canine species. The risk of interaction between wolves and a dog that is with a human depends on the distance between the dog and its owner, the number of wolves, and the size of the dog. Hunting with a dog poses a seven times greater risk of interaction with wolves compared to recreational walking.
As a result of species protection in Poland, wolves now appear in places that are attractive for human recreation, increasing their exposure to dogs. This creates a risk of spontaneous direct interactions between these two canine species. Aggressive interactions between the gray wolf and the domestic dog lead to human–large predator conflicts. This study examined wolf–dog interactions using data collected in an online questionnaire and included questions related to factors that might influence the likelihood of interactions between these canines. One of the most important factors affecting the likelihood of interaction between a dog and a wolf was the distance between the dog and the human. The number of wolves was also important—the more wolves, the more likely they were to interact with dogs. The risk of interaction also significantly increases with decreasing distance to human settlements. There were also statistical differences in terms of the type of outdoor activity being engaged in. Hunting was seven times more likely to result in a wolf–dog interaction than normal walk. We postulate that the choices made by the human (dog control and type of recreation) caring for the dog are an important factor that can reduce the risk of direct contact between dogs and wolves. View Full-Text
Keywords: Canis lupus; domestic dog; human wildlife conflict; interspecies interactions; behavioral ecology Canis lupus; domestic dog; human wildlife conflict; interspecies interactions; behavioral ecology
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Haidt, A.; Gawryś, R.; Szewczyk, M. Human Decision-Making as a Key Factor in the Risk of Wolf–Dog Interactions during Outdoor Activities. Animals 2021, 11, 2497. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092497

AMA Style

Haidt A, Gawryś R, Szewczyk M. Human Decision-Making as a Key Factor in the Risk of Wolf–Dog Interactions during Outdoor Activities. Animals. 2021; 11(9):2497. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092497

Chicago/Turabian Style

Haidt, Andżelika, Radosław Gawryś, and Maciej Szewczyk. 2021. "Human Decision-Making as a Key Factor in the Risk of Wolf–Dog Interactions during Outdoor Activities" Animals 11, no. 9: 2497. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092497

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop