Thursday, March 12, 2015

Are dogs capable of revenge? Yes! according to this story from China. Is there any other evidence?

It's a feel-good story that seems to be capturing the world's imagination.

It happened in Chonqquing,China a couple of days ago.
The car's owner found a dog sleeping in his favorite parking spot, so he kicked it.
The dog ran away.
A short time later it returned with several friends and together they proceeded to trash the car.
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They dismantled the windshield wipers
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One stayed on lookout, while the others bit the fenders and the hood.

A neighbor took photographs.
It was all caught on camera.

This actually surprised me. I've always felt that dogs shared many human traits. But it had never occurred to me they could and would plot revenge on someone who wronged one of their number.

So I did a Google search for instances of either revenge or vandalism by dogs, wolves, or coyotes.
This same story about the dog kicked in China turned up dozens of times. I also found a Subaru ad, a fiction story about a wolf abandoned by her pack, a Cherokee legend, and The Grey, a movie about relentless wolves,

I didn't find a single instance of real dogs seeking to right a wrong done to them.

I then did a search for instances of dogs damaging cars. I found instances of people damaging their cars by running into a dog. I found an instance of a dog pulling up the stake to which it was tied and denting the neighbor's car door with it. I found several more mentions of the dog kicked in China. I found lots of ads for comprehensive & liabilty car insurance.

But no deliberate dog vandalism of cars.

Image result for dog damaging car
Aston damaged by border collie
Next I tried Google Images, where my luck was a bit better. A border collie mix who chewed the wheel arch of her now ex-owner's Aston Martin was pictured, as was a car damaged by pit bulls trying to get at a kitten hiding in the engine compartment

Border collie spaniel cross Luce (left) has now been give away following the incident last Wednesday
The offending border collie

So dogs have definitely been known to damage cars.

Then I did another search: this time for dog vandalism. I found a story from April of 2014 about a mystery vandal who had been puncturing dozens of car tires over a period of six months. When one of the victims set up a camera, the criminal turned out to be a border collie (again!). This dog might actually have had a reason to dislike cars, as it had previously been hit by one. The video suggested that the dog might have been acting to protect its flock (other dogs?) as border collies are trained to do.
Image result for border collie punctures tyres
Jess looks exactly like my border collie, Caitlin!
I own a border collie myself. They are smart, focused, relentless, and intolerant of boredom. I wonder whether boredom might be a motive, at least for that particular breed.

I'm still not totally convinced about the revenge motive. Maybe it's true. Certainly if the man really did kick one of the dogs who trashed his car, he deserved what he got.