We have some tags that aren't quite being used right and it's bothering me.

The tag tends to be used where I would use or something that doesn't exist (maybe taming?).

From wikipedia:

Domestication should not be confused with taming. Taming is the conditioned behavioral modification of a wild-born animal when its natural avoidance of humans is reduced and it accepts the presence of humans, but domestication is the permanent genetic modification of a bred lineage that leads to an inherited predisposition toward humans. Human selection included tameness, but domestication is not achieved without a suitable evolutionary response. Domestic animals need not be tame in the behavioral sense, such as the Spanish fighting bull. Wild animals can be tame, such as a hand-raised cheetah. A domestic animal's breeding is controlled by humans and its tameness and tolerance of humans is genetically determined.

Domestication is a multi-generational process that changes the genetics of a group of animals (with a preference towards traits like tameness and usefulness to humans).

Taming is the behavior modification of a single animal.

A good case study of the difference in taming and domestication can be found by reading the large variety of articles and papers written on the Russian Domestic Fox.

Additionally, a feral animal is the opposite of a tame animal. A feral animal is a domesticated animal that is no longer conditioned to accept humans.

Current Usage

The only question that's currently tagged that I believe fits that definition is: Where do domesticated cats come from? I think it would be fine with the other two tags it has ( and ).

A second question with the tag is a little more arguable: Are there native web building spiders in North America that can be domesticated? The other parts of the question (how do I support a spider) indicate to me that the intent is to tame a single spider, not start a breeding program to genetically modify a line of spiders.

In some places, is used because is not appropriate (the species isn't a domesticated species), such as How to "re-tame" my captive shingleback

Most of the questions are about cats, but I know we've had a large number of questions about feral dogs (mostly from questioners in India, where they're a lot more common). Is there something about the tag that people associate with cats?

Examples of misused

This is a record of posts I've removed from to get an idea of how widespread this problem is.

  • To add to the confusion, we also have a tag for strays. It may be too much to expect a casual pet owner to understand the nuanced differences between domestication/taming and ferals/strays but I'm not sure the best way to resolve this.
    – Zaralynda
    Dec 13, 2017 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


I propose adding and eliminating .

Ideally, typing [domestication] would pop up both and , but I'm not sure if that's possible.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .