The goal of this study was to record and generalize the social behaviour of golden jackals living in captivity, to relate the findings to previous studies on other canids and to give a basis to compare the results with studies made in the natural habitat of golden jackals. Besides different species of canids 12 (5,7) golden jackals (Canis aureus L.) were observed for approx. 1300 hours and their behaviour recorded. As a result 59 behavioural elements could be described clearly and related to specific behavioural sequences. It was found that aggression rules the way of life of the animals and that a lot of non-aggressive behaviour patterns can be reduced to aggressive behavioural elements. A further finding was that there exists a close related family group which is separated from other groupings of other jackals by the adult ♂ very strongly. It is very unlikely that the golden jackal has played an important role in the domestication of the dog.