Petting or strangling? Watch what happens when kangaroo meets dog.

Generally speaking, kangaroos and dogs don’t get on: in the Australian outback wild dogs attack kangaroos and kangaroos have been known to strangle dogs. But one amateur photographer from Perth in Western Australia caught the rarest moment of what looks like ‘détente’ between the two belligerents, and uploaded the startling video to YouTube.

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After Ed Trindall’s video of the meeting of a Rottweiler and a young kangaroo was uploaded to YouTube a great debate began. Was the dog in grave danger or was this the start of a beautiful friendship? The Rottweiler seems playful enough, and towards the end of the clip even adopts a pose of submission – promising enough – but what the kangaroo has in mind is anybody’s guess.

Roos and dogs don’t mix

Some of the comments underneath the video focussed on the historic hatred the animals have of each other. Observers certain of the kangaroo’s attempts to grab the dog recalled the more violent content of a similar recent video posted on line. One viewer wrote: ‘watch it or it will give the dog a headlock’, and another: ‘if he wanted to, one swipe of those claws or kick with those legs and it’s goodbye pooch’.

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But others seemed to think that it was a genuine show of affection.

According to one commentator who cares for young kangaroos, it is not unheard of for a hand-reared ‘roo to grow attached to its carers’ dogs, and as a consequence place their trust in other dogs. The person who is unnamed also told the ‘green’ news website Treehugger the dire consequences of this trust: ‘We are told we can’t let that happen so that when they are released again they don’t treat dogs as friends and end up getting killed by wild ones.’

The debate continues.

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Video: ©

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Nick John Whittle lives and works in Birmingham, UK. He is a specialist copywriter, journalist and theatre critic. Over the years Nick’s family has owned dogs, cats, rodents and birds. The history of animal domestication and of people’s relationship with their pets over the centuries interests him a lot. He cares greatly about the welfare of both feral and domesticated animals and supports ongoing protection of endangered species.