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[[quoteright:350:[[Manga/HayateTheCombatButler http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hayate02.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[Creator/WilliamBlake Tyger, tyger]], not so wild\\
Asleep beside a [[LonelyRichKid wealthy child]]\\
Wherefore youthful hand and eye\\
Hath tamed thy fearful symmetry?]]

->''"Do not attempt to pet the dingos. Do not attempt to play with the dingos. Do not throw squeaky toys to the fucking dingos or attempt to sneak scraps of food to the fucking dingos from the dinner table. If a fucking dingo follows you home, you should not keep it. [[http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/1998/04/05/dingo980405a.html DO NOT LET A DINGO PLAY WITH YOUR INFANT."]]''
-->-- Website/{{Cracked}}, ''[[http://www.cracked.com/article_15853_6-cutest-animals-that-can-still-destroy-you.html The 6 Cutest Animals That Can Still Destroy You]]''

In fiction, wild animals rarely act the way that they do in real life. Those hilarious PluckyComicRelief chimpanzees and their hilarious antics? Never once do they get violent, no matter what (they may get mad for the hero's benefit, though). When animals do get mad, they're usually easily calmed down if just given whatever MacGuffin is necessary. Is a bear rampaging through town? Just give it some honey and everything will be OK. Being a FriendToAllLivingThings can help, but surprisingly often it seems like nearly anyone can calm down a wild animal.

Part of the cause of this is simply that [[TeamPet animal sidekicks]] [[RuleOfCute are really adorable]] (and [[RuleOfCool loyal wild animal companions are cool in themselves]]), but most of the more interesting ones are not of domesticated species, and the only rational way for the hero to get one is from the wild. Taming an adult animal is far more trouble than it's worth. Even taming a baby one never does much for softening its wild instincts. (Incidentally, reptiles are ''not'' actually domesticated; they adjust to ''captivity'' well given the right temperatures and food, but can't really be trained and are often unpredictable.)

Another strong factor is the huge number of Website/YouTube videos available showing 'wild' foxes (red white and yellow) canines (coyotes, dingos, hybrids of all types) and smaller cats (up to lynx size, though you do find the occasional cougar) living in apparent domestic tranquility. There are also an increasingly large number of wildlife sanctuaries where you can go along and 'pet a wolf'. Again, most people tend to miss that these animals ''only behave like pets around people they know'', usually have their own 'play/sleep room' (that they trash) and are extremely difficult/expensive to look after. The domestication is usually only partial and not hereditary, and you're only seeing the successful cases. That ambassador wolf who shoves his head into your lap and rolls over begging for you to pet his tummy? Almost certainly 50% of the animals at such places would simply run away if given the chance, and 90% of the rest will eventually bite you. The keepers picked this one for a reason.

Unfortunately, there are a depressing number of people who think this is TruthInTelevision and are apparently under the impression that nature is just a bigger version of [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disneyland]]. [[TooDumbToLive This usually does not end well...]]

Note that "domesticated" means "genetically-altered to meet human needs", not "tamed". Until very recently, this meant intentional or unintentional selective breeding. A feral housecat is domesticated, but a trained bear is not. Also, there ''are'' some animal species that can be somewhat successfully tamed or trained if not ''entirely'' domesticated, usually due to a combination of small size (meaning even if they do act out they generally aren't threatening to teen or adult human life), intelligence (meaning training can be successful), and/or partial breeding for those traits and friendliness to humans. Some good examples would be most small rodents (mice, also including rats/prairie dogs/gophers/tree squirrels if raised from birth by humans and trained, though their natural instincts to dig and hoard need to be accounted for), skunks (if deodorized + spayed/neutered + vaccinated against rabies and having been raised with humans from birth), and some small monkeys (in their case, if raised properly alongside humans, which means ''no'' fear-based training, raising/training much as one would a human baby/toddler), with the one larger example being some wolf-hybrid dogs (those that have docility and intelligence bred as traits). Of course, most of these, with the exception of small rodents like mice, require specialized training for their trainers/owners as well in ''how'' to train and care for them, so you can't just go and pet a wild skunk or let your female dog mate with a wolf at random or bring that monkey stealing oranges from the fruit stand into your home, either.

Compare AllAnimalsAreDogs, which is about non-canine animals exhibiting doggy mannerisms. Also see DomesticatedDinosaurs for what happens when this trope is combined with EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs. Contrast EverythingTryingToKillYou.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime plays it straight most of the time but also averts it a lot, especially for particularly powerful or tempermental species (Gyarados is a common offender, as are species like Ursaring, Metagross, Crawdaunt, or Charizard), which are said to take a great level of skill to successfully train and will act feral if the Trainer isn't up to it. ''Especially'' holds true for OlympusMons. You'll never see Mewtwo, Lugia, Rayquaza, Arceus, or Zekrom even remotely act domesticated.
* In ''Anime/WolfsRain''. this trope is tragically proven false with [[TheWoobie Toboe]]. Despite being the meekest wolf, he [[spoiler: accidentally killed the kind old lady who took him in and tried to raise as a pet]]. It is violently fought by other characters in the series.
* ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'':
** A RunningGag has Sakaki try to pet a feral cat and is inevitably bitten. It's actually a little surprising she's ever able to get that close in the first place, since feral cats usually run away whenever humans make any concerted movement toward them. Later in the series it's revealed that the cat Sakaki keeps trying to pet is a dominant tom over a colony of around a dozen other feral cats, and thus is not only unafraid of humans, but capable of fighting them in a surprisingly effective way.[[note]]Feral cats are not actually as solitary as they appear; they are extremely territorial toward one another (and will frequently fight each other to try expand their territory, especially to steal territory from sick or injured members of a colony) but will band together to drive off larger predators if they repeatedly harass members of the colony.[[/note]] [[spoiler:This actually happens to Sakaki in a later episode, where she is cornered by the tom and his fellow cats in an alley and ends up pretty badly scratched (especially since she wouldn't fight back). Later the cats surround her again, clearly intending to attack, only to be driven off by the solitary (and at that point extremely hungry and dehydrated) Iriomote kitten she later names "Mayaa", the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawan_language Okinawan]] word for "(wild?)cat".]]
** The series also uses this trope when Sakaki meets Mayaa, an Iriomote Cat in Okinawa. In spite of it being a wild, meat-eating beast, Sakaki can pet it, hold it, and Mayaa both follows her home and doesn't really show any more violent behaviour than a normal housecat probably due to RuleOfFunny, since while Mayaa behaves like a house cat towards Sakaki, the domesticated house cats behave more like wild animals towards her, creating an example and an inversion of this trope at the same time, and WordOfGod says that house cats (including feral ones) see Sakaki as being large and intimidating, which frightens them, but those same qualities remind Mayaa of his mother [[spoiler:who was killed in a car accident]].
* The manga ''Wild Cats'' (not to be confused with ''ComicBook/WildCATs'') features a tame lion named Caesar (incidentally, a female) as the protagonist. The little boy who adopted her as a cub believed she was just a large house cat, and kept her even after learning the truth. Caesar grows up to be cowardly, shy, and is somewhere between a cat and a dog in her behavior.
* Subverted by Byakuen of ''Anime/RoninWarriors''. At first, he looks like a tamed tiger following Ryo around, but upon closer inspection, his brown eyes hint at his true nature as a re-incarnated human. Future behavior points to him being a priest like Kaosu and Shiten.
* [[NobleWolf Terry Cloth]] of ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'' belongs to a species of giant wolves so fierce they are counted among the most powerful creatures in one of the few worlds in fiction with creatures powerful enough to rival ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' characters. Despite this, she's tame and not dangerous unless you give her a reason to be.
* Ito from ''Anime/PunchLine'' keeps a bear cub that acts somewhere between a cat and a dog.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/MarkTrail'', which purports to educate readers about nature and responsible respect for wildlife, regularly features characters who keep raccoons, deer, even ''bears'' for pets. However, it makes it clear that the specific pet animals shown have been domesticated, often having plotlines where the tame bear or deer gets lost in the woods and is completely clueless about how to fend for itself.
* Averted in ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' in which Calvin frequently warns others of Hobbes' ferocity; but played straight with Mr. Bun.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'': Playing with a mother bear's cubs right in front of her? That's a brilliant idea!
* The film ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'' (as well as the spin-off series ''WesternAnimation/DragonsRidersOfBerk'') is a subversion of this. While the dragons can be trained/tamed, they are not domesticated and wild dragons are considered extremely dangerous. It actually takes Hiccup several days just to earn Toothless's trust before he could approach the dragon much less ride him.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Balto}}'' is a stray wolf-dog hybrid with little socialization from with either humans or dogs yet he acts perfectly tame. First generation wolfdogs are notoriously unpredictable and can be aggressive, likewise with feral dogs. Balto's feral wolfdog nature makes [[JerkassHasAPoint peoples distrust of him]] less like FantasticRacism and more legit sounding. The real Balto was a trained Husky (or possibly a Malamute)

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Help}}'' has a zoo tiger that is theoretically man-eating -- unless everyone [[MusicSoothesTheSavageBeast sings]] Beethoven's ''Ode to Joy'' in German. Everyone does, and it never lays a paw on Ringo.
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' features a monkey who runs around and helps... usually Barbossa, but he's a bit of a mercenary. As the commentators of the [=DVDs=] are quick to tell you, that monkey was not nearly so helpful, friendly, fun, or cute for the filming process and we are seeing only the best bits.
* A similar tale is told of dealing with the monkey in ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', which took a violent dislike to the actor playing its best buddy in the movie.
* Subverted in ''Film/BringingUpBaby''. Baby the leopard is fairly docile most of the time, but most of the cast is well aware that he is still a large and potentially dangerous animal that could do some damage if unhappy. Played straight when everyone mistakes a temperamental and vicious circus leopard for the tame Baby.
* The documentary ''Film/GrizzlyMan'' averts this trope: {{Cloudcuckoolander}} Timothy Treadwell spends thirteen summers hanging out with grizzly bears, respectfully admiring the bears from afar. It was only after spending season after season around the same pair that he was able to get closer and closer to them, to where they were comfortable with him cuddling with them. He'd probably have been lauded as a semi-deluded but amazing documentarian, but after one season he missed a plane out of Alaska and decided to go back to the woods. He encountered another set of bears, one he'd never seen before, [[TooDumbToLive but assumed he would be just as "in touch" with them as the pair he'd known for near a decade]].
* Both used and inverted in ''Film/SecondhandLions''. The protagonist's rich uncles buy a retired circus lion to hunt, but when they see how old and pathetic it is, they let the kid keep it as a pet. He feeds her through her crate and is afraid when she escapes. After that she just moves into the cornfield and the kid continues to feed her. He's never shown petting the lion or otherwise interacting directly with her, she's treated fairly realistically as an animal that needs a lot of space and can't be fully tamed. The lion's only other action in the movie is to attack someone threatening the boy, and apparently die of a heart attack during the excitement.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Many of the misguided exotic-animal owners on Animal Planet's ''Series/FatalAttractions'' are TruthInTelevision examples of how mistaking this trope for reality can get you killed or maimed. Unfortunately, the show ruins the reputation for people that actually can deal with such animals as pets, to the point the movement has gone way too far.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Endgame}}'' revolved around a man who keeps a polar bear as a pet. When the bear was just a cub everything was fine but the bear grew up and now is becoming a major problem. The bear is getting too big to be kept in the garage and the owner has gone broke trying to feed it. The protagonists [[spoiler: ultimately manage to keep everyone safe and have the bear transferred to wildlife refuge in the Arctic]]. At the end the owner still does not fully understand how stupid and unintentionally cruel he was.
* ''Series/TheHardyBoysNancyDrewMysteries'' notably averts this in "Mystery of Witches Hollow", where a trained panther is guarding a missing man (Callie Shaw's uncle) that the Hardys are trying to find. A '''very''' nervous Joe Hardy tries to trap it (the cat snarling, attacking, and decidedly NOT cooperating) by working a broom under its collar, but only succeeds in making it angry and attacking until the uncle distracts the hungry panther with a piece of meat -- also warns both Frank & Joe to keep away and that it's not a house pet. Joe (i.e. the actor [[TeenIdol Shaun Cassidy]]) looks far too relieved when he finally succeeds -- EnforcedMethodActing, perhaps?

* In ''Literature/FoundationAndEarth'', the main characters visit a formerly inhabited planet. When one of them encounters a dog, it takes him quite a while to understand it can be dangerous -- and then he spends half a chapter (sitting in a tree, naturally) reflecting upon how there are no dangerous fauna (or flora, it seems) after twenty thousand years of humans taking care of the Galaxy.
* A nasty subversion occurs in ''Literature/OryxAndCrake'' with the wolvogs, which are genetically engineered guard dogs. They look like dogs and act like dogs, even wagging their tails and playing like housepets, but if you get near them, they'll rip your throat out in a heartbeat. It's worth noting that this behavior was not just the result of [[LegoGenetics cranking up the aggression on a normal dog while leaving everything else intact]]. They were explicitly designed and trained to act cute and cuddly until they were within striking range, as a means of lulling would-be (soon-to-be-ex)trespassers into a false sense of security. The world of Oryx and Crake is not a nice one at all.
* Ayla in Jean Auel's ''Literature/EarthsChildren'' saga has, as one of her many, many awesome abilities, managed to tame not only a wild horse but a cave lion, a pet wolf and by the end of the series the horse's two foals.
* Marc in ''[[Literature/TheLordsOfCreation The Sky People]]'' rescues a greatwolf pup early on and trains him. A couple of characters point out how dangerous that should be, but otherwise the trope is played straight: Right from the get-go Tahyo behaves like a normal, very loyal dog (albeit a very large one.) He even behaves well around small children.
* ''Literature/AGameOfThrones'' (and the [[Series/GameOfThrones TV series]]) has each of the Stark children given a dire wolf pup because it's the symbol of their house. Most of them turn out all right, but Shaggydog, four-year-old Rickon's dire wolf, winds up semi-feral -- [[EmpathyPet not unlike his owner]], who grows increasingly wild from lack of parental supervision.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', Hagrid believes this trope is true, though it's averted. This is PlayedForLaughs as Hagrid attempts to take care of several species of magical wild animals. He usually names them something ridiculous (like Fluffy the three-headed dog) and incurs many, many injuries for his trouble. It actually makes him bad at his teaching job, since he forgets normal children can't shrug of injury like he can. In the third book Draco ignores even the precautions Hagrid tells him to take when meeting a hippogriff and gets injured for his trouble.
* Defied in ''Literature/LifeOfPi''. Pi and his brother live at a zoo, so their father makes ''damned'' sure the kids know that the animals are dangerous and are not their playmates. He does this by not feeding a tiger for three days, then making them watch as he feeds it a live goat, then going around to every animal in the zoo and explaining in graphic detail how they can maim and kill you. Pi takes this knowledge to heart, and it's a big reason why he's able to survive for so long on a lifeboat with said tiger.
* Zigzagged in ''Literature/WarriorCats''. The characters are all domesticated cats however they live in feral colonies called "clans". Clan cats live in a forest near twolegs (humans) but try their best to avoid contact with them. Very few clan cats are ex-pets due to FantasticRacism against "kittypets". Despite the fact most are completely feral, a few have been taken in by twolegs as adults and become kittypets. Feral cats are only considered adoptable if they're kittens; adults are too skittish and aggressive to make good pets. Some instances have ended up more realistically though. For example, Graystripe was temporarily taken in by twolegs however he didn't make a good kittypet. He was wary of his twolegs and shredded his toys.

* In ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', the [[StandardEvilOrganizationSquad Barraki]] have efficiently managed to tame squid, insects, eels, giant crabs, giant turtles, rays, and sharks into armies that they can lead into battle. Some of this could be considered [[JustifiedTrope justified]] considering at least half of their armies are [[MechanicalLifeforms biomechanical lifeforms]] with both some kind of understandable programming language and an existing social structure. [[SharkMan Pridak]] is specifically stated to have asserted himself as the alpha shark.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Heavily used, probably justified in ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''.
** Every single one of these superpowered magical beasts, based on everything from pot plants to jellyfish to dinosaurs and dragons, can be relatively easily captured, [[DefeatMeansFriendship instantly tamed]] and may well come to act like a family pet. And why yes, this does mean you can have [[FluffyTamer various kinds of giant monsters]] [[GentleGiant acting like a friendly dog]]. Don't mess with a wild one, though.
** Slight aversion: Traded Pokémon (that is, tamed by a different human) at high levels may ignore your authority and act independently until you prove your "dominance"... with gym badges.
** The games also avert it in that captured Pokémon start with low affection. You're not instantly friends with them, just [[DefeatMeansPlayable their trainers.]] You need to gain their trust though ThePowerOfFriendship, and even then your trustworthy Pokémon can ignore you if they don't see you as worthy of being obeyed (i.e. you don't have the right badges).
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' plays this straight with the Hunter class and their "Tame" ability. Granted, some animals can't be tamed no matter what, and there's always a risk of being killed by a prospective pet, but once that's over with, you've got yourself a faithful companion be it a wild lion or ravenous hyena... or a giant devilsaur.
* In some of the "classic" ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' games you can befriend and ride a (baby) tiger or ''dinosaur''.
* Defied in ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'', when Ellie excitedly points out some dogs in an abandoned suburb, Joel warns her that those are wild dogs and she needs to keep her distance (the dogs run away as you approach).
* Defied in ''VideoGame/TheSims2'', where if your Sim tries to pet a skunk, he/she will get sprayed by said skunk.
* Most wildlife in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' can be captured in cages and turned into pets by dwarves with the Animal Training labor, from stuff like lions to bears to gila monsters to giant rhesus macaques. Trained animals slowly revert back to wilderness over time, and as such require constant retraining. Certain animals like dogs, leopards and elephants can be given war or hunting training, increasing their combat prowess. If a trained animals breeds and you train the offspring before it reaches adulhood, they become permanently tame (you can't domesticate wildlife in a civilization-wide manner, but future fortresses made in the same world will start with a bonus to how easily they can train animals already trained elsewhere).

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/PennyAndAggie'', where [[http://www.pennyandaggie.com/index.php?p=896 this]] happens.
* ''Webcomic/{{Housepets}}'': While the wolves moving into the neighborhood caused quite a stir, they're friendly enough and seem to be able to integrate without too much trouble. They're all sapient however, so it works.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/BumReviews'': Lampshaded by Chester A. Bum when talking about ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda''.
-->'''Chester:''' Although, don't try to train a real panda to do kung fu. Th-They don't like that. They mostly maul you.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Subverted in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', when a depowered Superman (transported thousands of years into Earth's future by what was believed to be a DeathRay) is confronted by a pack of post-apocalyptic wolf creatures. He first tries to command them to stand down using all of the typical trained dog orders (stay, sit, heel, etc.), but they don't listen. It's only after he fights them off, kills their Alpha, and makes a coat out of its hide that they finally listen to him (and act much more like domesticated sled dogs, as a result).
* Occasionally appears in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', but mostly through Fluttershy -- a combination of strong Animal Affinity and a super-powered DeathGlare allow her to tame [[FriendToBugs bugs]], [[BearsAreBadNews bears]], and [[FantasyKitchenSink dragons]], to name a few.
* Averted in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys''; even though Eliza can talk to animals and understand them, she brings a bottle of water to a mother cheetah and her cubs because they are suffering from an extended drought. After drinking the momma cheetah now wants to hunt the slowest prey that she can see, ''namely Eliza.'' Only a last second save keeps the girl from being cheetah-chow.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Spotted hyenas are the second largest predators in Africa, and largely feared for their raids on towns, sometimes even killing small children. However in ''[[http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161207-the-man-who-lives-with-hyenas Harar, Ethiopia]]'' they are invited into the community, as many believe their laughter frightens away evil spirits, with some residents even hand-feeding the hyenas bones from the butchers'.
* This trope is so prevalent that it's spawned a sub-trope of its own in Canadian media: the tourist, either American or Japanese, who tries to pet the bear and/or moose.