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What Is the Difference Between Tame and Domesticated?

Updated on April 2, 2019

Can You Turn a Wild Animal Into a Pet?

When I was a kid, an old man gave me a very young coyote pup that had lost his mother. He told me that if I raised him and fed him by hand, that he would be a very loyal pet. I believed him, and took the pup home with me and put him in a box next to my bed, and at times even took him to bed with me if it was very cold.

As the pup got older, I noticed that he did exhibit some behaviors that were not like any dog puppy I had ever had. No matter what I did, I could not keep him off of the top of the backs of the furniture. His favorite place to sleep was up on the highest point of any chair, or sofa. I also noticed that he was housebroken to the extent that he wanted to be. If he did go in the house, it was usually by the door, and it was only occasional.

There was something else he did that bothered me though. As I started feeding him solid foods, I gave him dog food from a can, and I would give him a bone from the butcher shop from time to time, thinking that it would be good for his teething, and would be something closer to what his mother would give him.

One day as he lay on the carpet chewing on this bone, I was going to go to my room, so I picked him and his bone up to move locations. He gave me a very swift and nasty bite. I don't know if it was because it was raw meat or not, for he never bit me with his usual dog food meal. This is when I realized that even a tamed animal, is wild by heart, and this is something that you cannot tame or train out of them.

He also resisted discipline of any sort. If I scolded him for something, like you would a dog who chewed something, or if I tried to take away something that he wanted, he would also snap at me.

It was in his nature to snap, for in the wild that is the defense against another animal taking his food away. Only the strong survive in nature. This was also the day I realized that I could not keep him as a pet, for it was unfair of me to expect him to become my pet, and it was unfair to me not to have a pet I could trust completely.

He Got To Be Brothers With Dogs

As it turned out, I found a man who raised hounds, and sold them to people who hunted. He wanted, or rather needed a coyote to raise with his puppies, so when they grew old enough to go out hunting, they would ignore the coyote scent as one that was familiar to them and only go for the deer, bear, moose, elk scents. He traded me the coyote pup for my choice of hound pups, and it worked out for the best for both of us, as the coyote seemed to be much happier with other animals, and accepted the pups as his brothers. I visited him from time to time, and he seemed to shy away from humans, but loved the dogs. The man said he got along fine, and he seemed fine. He was outdoors, and was able to act like the coyote he was.

In the end, I also had problems with the coon hound puppy that I had traded him for. The hound, as he got older, would take off following the scent of any animal he could find anytime I let him outside to do his business. I could hear him a mile or two off, out in the woods chasing deer or whatever he could find. He would not come back for a week sometimes and would be all beat up, dirty, and got thinner and thinner.

I decided this was not the dog for me either, but that is a whole different story for another time.


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  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 

    9 years ago from California Gold Country

    I enjoyed the story of your special experience, and agree that wild animals are better off wild. (I wrote a hub on this subject, too.)

    Even domestic dogs and cats can have a bit of that wild side in their heritage-- but it is a much more complex situation for critters that have not been bred to live with us. Usually it does not turn out so well for the humans or the animals.

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    9 years ago from Oxnard

    God did not create domesticated animals, but God gave man dominion over the animals, but I agree that some animals make good pets and others do not. As far as "dumbing down", that is up for debate.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Coyotes behave the way they do for many reasons. One is they are much smarter than a domesticated dog. No smart animal would enjoy being fenced in or kept in a house all the time away from members of their own species. Domestication is another way of saying "dumbing down" which is how dogs came to existence. God didn't create a domesticated animals, man did.

  • resspenser profile image

    Ronnie Sowell 

    9 years ago from South Carolina

    Enjoyed the hub and it reminds me of my hybrid wolf. He eventually died of old age and was never aggressive but he looked at small children in a way that concerned me. I kept him in a large fence and he was happy, I think, but I will never have another because they could go back to their wild roots too easily.

    Also I checked out your website( Saw it in the forums) and it seemed pretty cool to me.

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    9 years ago from Oxnard

    perhaps, I have too, but this was not something that was going to be able to be dealt with by training. He was way snappier than any average dog.

  • profile image

    Troy Benson 

    9 years ago

    While i understand where you are coming from I feel you are quite wrong. I have had a lot of dogs in my life both normal breeds and some wild breeds and each and every one of them if I attempted to take away some of their food while they were eating it would snap at and even bite this has nothing to do with weather they are wild or not it is simply animal nature.

  • Cindy Letchworth profile image

    Cindy Letchworth 

    9 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

    Nice story. So many people think wild animals can adjust to our human lives and are met with great disappointment when it doesn't work out. Glad to hear you found a home for your baby.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    That is an awesome story with such a happy ending!

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    9 years ago from Oxnard

    Thanks for the comment, and I somewhat agree, that some wild animals can be pets, but it has been my experience that once wild, some part is always wild. I was trampled badly by a very young deer once when I was about 12 years old, and who would expect Bambi to be dangerous. It was only about as large as a doberman, but even tho us kids had handled it a lot and fed it by hand all the time. It panicked and trampled me to get away. I had little purple hoofprints all over my legs for a long time, and right through my jeans.

  • Randy Godwin profile image

    Randy Godwin 

    9 years ago from Southern Georgia

    Although some wild animals can be made into pets (skunks make excellent mousers) most retain some aspects of their wildness. Enjoyed the read!


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