Are there certain qualities that animals need to be tamed? Let's say, for example, a quadrupedal omnivore with intelligence on par with Earth's ravens. It does exhibit opportunistic predatorial behavior. It lives on a planet identical to earth save for the environment which is a worldwide dustbowl. The creature is described as having a pack mentality and communicates using a muscular fin supported by cartilage spines on its head. The fin can be raised or lowered and flushed with blood in patterns. Could an animal like this be tamed by humans?

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe yes, easily, maybe yes, with difficulty, maybe no. It all depends on your story. If you need those animals to be easily tamed, then they will be easily tamed. If you need them to be hard to tame but, once tamed, offer unparalleled loyalty, then this is how it will be. If you want them to be untameable, they will be untameable. P.S. Taming and domestication are different things; be certain what you choose. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 3 '19 at 22:36
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP I think they would be able to figure that if an animal shows interest but not harm towards they might benefit from 'joining their pack'. I put in that apostrophes because this is how the creature sees it as. $\endgroup$ – MintySoftboi May 3 '19 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ This might not be a duplicate of this question, but my answer to it answers your question. Hey mods... what's the official SE rule for same-answer-to-two-questions? Would this get marked as a duplicate? $\endgroup$ – JBH May 3 '19 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ It all depends on the story. It's your story and your decision. There is nothing unbelievable or impossible in making this animal easy to tame, hard to tame or impossible to tame. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 3 '19 at 22:44
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    $\begingroup$ Tamed or domesticated? The other question is about domestication, which is done over several generations to produce a population of animals with a certain trait genetically. Taming is when you take an animal that's not domesticated and teach it to behave a certain way. $\endgroup$ – Laurel May 4 '19 at 4:06

Any animal can be tamed given enough time, it's all a matter of how much effort it will require and how much time and resources are the tamers willing to spend. Consider that taming is just selective breeding, over the course of many generations you select behavioral and physical traits that make coexistence with the animal easier. Probably the biggest limit would indeed be how quick the species reproduce, with faster breeding animals being much easier to selectively breed than slow breeding species. The rest is less a matter of taming and more of training, which is where the innate characteristics of an animal are much more important, since you don't just need them to be able to live in captivity with ease but also to be able to perform a specific task or active function.

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  • $\begingroup$ @ShimmeringCosmos With all respect to this perfectly reasonable answer, please note it is customary to wait a day or so before choosing an accepted answer to give other people (some of them in different time zones !) time to prepare, research and post an answer. Incidentally this is a question I won't be trying to answer myself. :-) $\endgroup$ – StephenG May 4 '19 at 0:58
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    $\begingroup$ Taming is not selective breeding. You are thinking of domestication. $\endgroup$ – Laurel May 4 '19 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ Uh seems you are right, english is not my first language and in my native tongue there's no difference between taming and domestication. I stand corrected. $\endgroup$ – Inquisitive Geek May 4 '19 at 8:27

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