Russian "Tame Foxes"

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Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by HiTenshi16 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:39 am

Thought this was quite interesting to learn just how wolves were turned into the wonderful dogs we have today :)

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Sylvaen » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:09 am

Great video :)
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by JulieSmith » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:33 am

That was really interesting.

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Nino » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:28 pm

Very interessting!

I would like to see the whole program, does anyone know what it's called?
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by HiTenshi16 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:36 pm

I wish I knew but there was another very similar program that showed this called "Dogs Decoded".
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by michifloo » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:39 pm

That is pretty damn cool!
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Nino » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:01 pm

HiTenshi16 wrote:I wish I knew but there was another very similar program that showed this called "Dogs Decoded".
If anyone ells is interested in watching this (Dogs Decoded) I found it in three parts..

Here are the links (unfortunately not youtube links)

- part 1
- part 2
- part 3


I'm still curious about what the program with the "russian fox experiement" was called :-)
But very much thanks for this show, it was very interessting!


Edit: I hadn't watched the whole show yet :oops: Dogs Decoded has the thing with the russian fox'es in it (not sure if its the same though :oops:
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by muensterland » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:41 pm

Great video :)
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Tamaddict » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:36 pm

This is very interesting. I had heard of the study but I didn't know the reason found for the changes. Thanks for posting!
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Mylingen » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:42 pm

Yeah, this is a really interesting thing, saw it a while ago, and it's amazing how nature works.

I can tell you where the first clip is from, I found it.
I thought the narrator sounded like John Lithgow, so I did some searching,
and found that it's from a documentary called NOVA: Dogs and more Dogs. :D
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Nino » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:47 pm

Mylingen wrote:Yeah, this is a really interesting thing, saw it a while ago, and it's amazing how nature works.

I can tell you where the first clip is from, I found it.
I thought the narrator sounded like John Lithgow, so I did some searching,
and found that it's from a documentary called NOVA: Dogs and more Dogs. :D
Nice.. Now I just have to find a site I can see it on :lol:

Thx

Edit:
http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/9IzJzaYuu1g/ - here it is if anyone is interested
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by SpiritEcho » Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:26 am

Rather interesting I think I have the PDF of this study, or it's something similar.
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Nino » Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:52 am

SpiritEcho wrote:Rather interesting I think I have the PDF of this study, or it's something similar.
Very Nice!

I thought this experiment was very interesting.
I watched both shows - love these shows so if anyone knows anything like them I'm real interested, dog evolution is just exiting.
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by SpiritEcho » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:16 pm

I've just downloaded the clips too I'll keep them in my archive for later reference they just made me wonder about something, so I will answer it when I come across it in my researches.
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Rahne » Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:39 pm

Thanks for posting these videos, i'm going to watch them soon :)

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Amy » Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:01 pm

Very interessting! :P

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Hawthorne » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:30 pm

Here is the wikipedia version: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox
But this whole experiment is very famous in Canine research. We discussed it at length in school.
In the US, it is a Nova program called "Dogs Decoded" -- I recorded it and love it. National Geographic and Discovery also did their own versions recently--they all copy each other :lol: Each one is good for different reasons. Of course the titles will be different in Europe and the UK. Frustrating. But the BBC versions are always better--they don't "dumb down" the content like Discovery does with it's content for American audiences. Insulting!
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Ciaobella » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:39 pm

Very interesting! Reminds me of the Sumilov Explosive Detection dogs in Russia. They are crosses of many different breeds and Jackal. It was on a hour long show on NatGeo, very interesting, i'll have to find the link.
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Nino » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:41 pm

Khasilooluv wrote:Very interesting! Reminds me of the Sumilov Explosive Detection dogs in Russia. They are crosses of many different breeds and Jackal. It was on a hour long show on NatGeo, very interesting, i'll have to find the link.
I'm very interested! Hope you find the link :D
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by HiTenshi16 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:03 am

I watched a little of about the Russian dogs on Netflix, I'll have to find it and watch it again.
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Hawthorne » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:19 am

The National Geographic program in the USA was called "And Man Created Dog"
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/e ... 6/Overview

or here on YouTube
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Sylvaen » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:18 am

Hawthorne wrote:The National Geographic program in the USA was called "And Man Created Dog"
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/e ... 6/Overview
I'm sure my 2 could do the "bird chasing" job! (easy peasy!) :lol:

It's funny though, I looked up that program's website and found this pic of a "wolf pup with a bone" :shock: :lol: :roll:
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by malamutemick » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:49 pm

:lol: Great Looking Wolf Pup :? :lol: :lol:

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Blustag » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:25 pm

Reminds me a bit of one of my husky pups, the colouring and blue eyes :lol:

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Nino » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:06 pm

Blustag wrote:Reminds me a bit of one of my husky pups, the colouring and blue eyes :lol:
OMG your huskies aren't really huskies they are wolfs! :o
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Czertice » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:26 pm

Thanks for the link to Dogs Decoded document, its very interesting. Unfortunately the first video in this thread is no longer available. What was it?
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Nino » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:49 pm

Czertice wrote:Thanks for the link to Dogs Decoded document, its very interesting. Unfortunately the first video in this thread is no longer available. What was it?
I believe it's the one I have edited in now.. can't be 100% sure.. but hopefully that's the one :)
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by HiTenshi16 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:00 pm

Yes, that is the one, thanks Nino :)
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Czertice » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:55 pm

Thank you! It is a part of the Dog Decoded documentary.
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Tiantai » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:02 am

As I remember from the Russian tame Fox documentary, on one side we have the dog-like tame foxes and on the other side we have the aggressive and extremely hostile foxes. I guess the wild ones would be in between, being the more balanced which is required to survive in the wild.

In regards to the video, I can understand why it is hard for most collies to graduate in the program to get the stubborn non-migratory geese off certain areas where they are unwanted as those breeds are known for their herding instincts.
I do remember witnessing my Canada geese friends on campus, how the different breeds that visit the pond spark a completely different reaction pattern in the parents of the goslings as well as the elder geese. I notice that larger breeds like the GSD coming in just 200 metres results in all of the geese (except my goslings who don't seem to understand why the adults are taking off and continue to hang around with me :lol: in the presence of the dog :shock: , my fault :oops: but I keep an eye on the dog to make sure it doesn't harm them!) dashing straight for the water and gathering in the middle while smaller breeds like the collies and poms come up as close as ~100 metres before the geese decide to retreat into the water. And even then they still hang around the water edges until the small dog is out of site. I've also noticed sometimes when an owner lets their dog leap into the pond despite me telling the owners not to let them do it that some smaller breeds like a Jack Russell I've seen in 2010 who jump in the water actually got chased out by a few of the ganders and ducks while the large breeds just trigger some other adults to fly away realizing that the "predator" can also swim. Although I have seen one GSD almost getting attacked as well so there are exceptions where parents in defence of their goslings would tackle a big dog. Overall, I do think that the adult waterfowls do judge a dog based on their sizes and that the best breeds to chase away the waterfowls are NOT the collies but GSD, Labradors, or the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

Side note: Any adult Canada goose or gander at the York campus who does not take off when a dog, regardless of breed, comes into site is very likely one of my former gosling friends. ;) They might have been misled into not seeing dogs as someone to run away from, having hung with me and letting some of the dogs sniff on them while the parents are in the water which I do sometimes worry when these geese are gone off to the south in the winter.
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Eventide » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:10 pm

I'm just really glad this topic was revived as I love to watch these documentaries (and so does Max) :)
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Hawthorne » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:20 pm

I was listening to NPR (National Public Radio) over the weekend and heard a segment of a program called "Radio Lab" about the Russian Fox experiment:

http://www.radiolab.org/ Show title: "New Normal"

Start at 42:14 to hear the segment on the Russian tame foxes experiment. I found it entertaining!
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Tiantai » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:45 pm

Actually the radio guys got it wrong on the part where they said that the shy foxes were shot. Basically there were two groups, one bred for aggression and the other for tameness, it was the foxes that were in between those two that were killed for fur.
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by sequoia » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:07 pm

I saw this covered in an excellent documentary by Nova - Dogs Decoded. It's available to watch online



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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by weylyn » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:54 am

saw the video of the foxes and it is very interesting but I can't helping just thinking they did keep them very small in in horrible cages and what happened with them after the experiment.......

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by TerriHolt » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:19 am

I saw the video of the foxes and it horrified me... The cages were small and the aggressive foxes must have been so scared with people coming up to them like that to get a reaction...
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Tiantai » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:50 pm

Someone told me on youtube that the breeding shelter where those domestic foxes come from have improved a lot overtime and that the tamed foxes are no longer locked away in those small cages. However, having seen this video, it looks more to me like they moved them from very small cages to slightly bigger cages but the foxes are STILL in cages! That is of course UNTIL they are sent to their new owners...
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Luccistar » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:07 pm

Also, Russian domestic foxes from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics started showing changes in their morphology AND coloration!
From the 6 colors that originally existed in foxes (red, silver, black, white, cross, beige) now there are over 50!

Apparently, it's due to an early migration of the menoblasts (or something similar), which are the embryonic precursors that define the animal's coat color. This early migration is due to a diminution of the stress hormones and adrenaline levels in the fox's body, and this hormonal diminution is due to domestication; foxes didn't have to worry about finding a shelter, food, water, a mate, protect themselves from predators, etc.

Take a look at some of these colors. The site explains the genotypes (well some of them) and I find it interesting. Unfortunately I haven't had the time to complete it. Some of the colors were later on created by mating a specific ''domestic'' color with another color.
www.thefriendlyfox.webs.com/color-variations

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by JoaquimJoe » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:06 pm

Nice video
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Sylvaen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:24 pm

Luccistar wrote:Also, Russian domestic foxes from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics started showing changes in their morphology AND coloration!
From the 6 colors that originally existed in foxes (red, silver, black, white, cross, beige) now there are over 50!

Apparently, it's due to an early migration of the menoblasts (or something similar), which are the embryonic precursors that define the animal's coat color. This early migration is due to a diminution of the stress hormones and adrenaline levels in the fox's body, and this hormonal diminution is due to domestication; foxes didn't have to worry about finding a shelter, food, water, a mate, protect themselves from predators, etc.

Take a look at some of these colors. The site explains the genotypes (well some of them) and I find it interesting. Unfortunately I haven't had the time to complete it. Some of the colors were later on created by mating a specific ''domestic'' color with another color.
http://www.thefriendlyfox.webs.com/color-variations
Fascinating! I will definitely look into this further, it is really interesting. :D
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Nimwey » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:04 am

Tiantai wrote:Basically there were two groups, one bred for aggression and the other for tameness, it was the foxes that were in between those two that were killed for fur.
Was it really like that? I was under the impression that they bred one group for tameness, and the other one they just ignored the temperament and the foxes stayed wild, thus, afraid of people and biting them when approached. Is there a source that states they actually bred a group for aggression?
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Luccistar » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:45 am

Nimwey wrote:
Tiantai wrote:Basically there were two groups, one bred for aggression and the other for tameness, it was the foxes that were in between those two that were killed for fur.
Was it really like that? I was under the impression that they bred one group for tameness, and the other one they just ignored the temperament and the foxes stayed wild, thus, afraid of people and biting them when approached. Is there a source that states they actually bred a group for aggression?
I have a friend from Michigan who works with Lyudmila, the head scientist at the Russian Institute, and what she told me was that the whole experiment was about recreating the wolf's domestication process but with foxes, and in a shorter lapse of time. They wanted to study how the process of domestication affected the wolf's appearance and behavior (which led to the apparition of dogs), and if selection for tameness actually worked.

They ended up proving that after a few generations of selective breeding of the most human-orientated foxes, the 'tameness' was in the fox's gene. Unlike foxes sold as pets in the US, which are behaviorally tamed, these Russian foxes are genetically tamed.
Meaning that if you dump a Russian fox in the wild for a few months, and you catch if afterwards, the animal will still be friendly towards humans VS a US domestic fox, which would turn back wild, and fearful.

Yes, they bred two branches of foxes; the friendly ones and the aggressive ones, but it was part of the project, to prove that the ''aggressive'' gene and ''friendly'' gene actually existed, and could be selectively bred.
No, they did not have "in between'' foxes. They did, however, have pure wild foxes. From what I've heard, wild foxes ran in a corner of their cage, whimpering of terror when someone approached the cage. The aggressive-bred foxes, however, ran towards the person approaching the cage, gekkering and growling of anger -they were truly aggressive, and not wild. They wanted to hurt the humans- and at last, the friendly foxes wagged their tails, squealed of happiness and licked fingers through the cage's bars.

Right now, they are selling these friendly, genetically tamed foxes as pets around the world, for the price of $8000 (their study is not over, so it's a way to keep financing it, and selling the foxes as pets is a way to give these animals a chance in life, instead of getting them killed for their fur). Both the aggressive and friendly foxes are sent to fur farms, because they unfortunately can't manage to feed and take care of over 1000 foxes :(

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Tatzel » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:53 am

For anyone interessted in a domestic fox, a fellow and well known artist from dA is in touch with the people there and arranges everything from payment to getting papers ready to picking up and transporting it to it's new owners.

http://www.domesticfox.com/
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Nino » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:23 pm

you can also contact the institute..

considering there have been scammings in the past with the russian foxes being sold (SibeFox I think it was called) I would personally contact the institute myself (and will, I have an agreement with myself and my partner that one or two of these will be added to my family some time in the future - when being a big question though!)
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Luccistar » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:43 pm

The girl who runs www.thedomesticfox.com is not a scam, she is the first american to have ever imported a Russian Domestic fox. Her name is Kay. I would love to get a Russian Domestic fox one day, even tho I breed domestic foxes myself.

The ''georgian white'' Russian foxes (all white with black spots) really interest me and I unfortunately, didn't manage to breed them yet, although I breed 15-20 colors of foxes.

But I don't think I will get one soon, they are $8000, better just keep one of mine for free! :)

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Tiantai » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:38 am

I kind of wish that they domesticated the actual Red foxes like the ones here in Canada back then as well. I know that the Silver foxes are, biologically speaking, a subspecies of the Red fox but I just like the Red colour coat better. I wonder how those would have turned out appearance-wise if they were domesticated along with the Silver foxes... hmm
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Luccistar » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:28 pm

Tiantai: Silver foxes are NOT a subspecie of the red fox. They are NOT. They are the same specie, only with a different coat color (and this is valid for ALL other fox color morphs, seen here www.thefriendlyfox.webs.com/color-variations).

Just like for Labradors; they can be golden, black or chocolate, yet they are still Labradors, and have the same genes.

And the Russian institute actually has typical red foxes too.They have silver, red, platinum, whitemark, georgian white and red.

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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Tatzel » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:02 pm

Nino wrote:you can also contact the institute..

considering there have been scammings in the past with the russian foxes being sold (SibeFox I think it was called) I would personally contact the institute myself (and will, I have an agreement with myself and my partner that one or two of these will be added to my family some time in the future - when being a big question though!)

Ironically the girl running domesticfox was scammed by Sibfox when she wanted to get her own domestic fox. She eventually managed to get her money back and into contact with people from the facility, and now manages everything. :)
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Tiantai » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:42 pm

I see, so they're basically a melanistic varient of the Red fox. Much like how the black squirrel is a melanistic variant of the grey squirrels.
But still, I wish that the red-coloured ones were also used in the domestication
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Re: Russian "Tame Foxes"

Post by Sylvaen » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:39 pm

Tiantai wrote:But still, I wish that the red-coloured ones were also used in the domestication
They are!
Luccistar wrote:And the Russian institute actually has typical red foxes too.They have silver, red, platinum, whitemark, georgian white and red.
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