Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Oct 1, 2002 - Nature - 352 pages
11 Reviews
Biologists, breeders and trainers, and champion sled dog racers, Raymond and Lorna Coppinger have more than four decades of experience with literally thousands of dogs. Offering a scientifically informed perspective on canines and their relations with humans, the Coppingers take a close look at eight different types of dogs—household, village, livestock guarding, herding, sled-pulling, pointing, retrieving, and hound. They argue that dogs did not evolve directly from wolves, nor were they trained by early humans; instead they domesticated themselves to exploit a new ecological niche: Mesolithic village dumps. Tracing the evolution of today's breeds from these village dogs, the Coppingers show how characteristic shapes and behaviors—from pointing and baying to the sleek shapes of running dogs—arise from both genetic heritage and the environments in which pups are raised.

For both dogs and humans to get the most out of each other, we need to understand and adapt to the biological needs and dispositions of our canine companions, just as they have to ours.
  

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Review: Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution

User Review  - Abby - Goodreads

Interesting to me, because I always like reading hard science about dogs, but the Coppingers are SO intense about them, often in unreasonable ways. For example, although I agree with them that dogs ... Read full review

Review: Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution

User Review  - Dev Scott Flores - Goodreads

Sometimes sophomoric, but more often informative - excellent jumping off point for those who haven't been exposed to canine ethology (good revisit for those who have) Read full review

Contents

THE EVOLUTION OF THE BASIC DOG COMMENSALISM
35
Wolves Evolve into Dogs
37
THE PINOCCHIO HYPOTHESIS OF DOG ORIGIN
39
TAMING THE WOLF
40
TRAINING THE WOLF
45
DOMESTICATING THE WOLF
47
SPECIATION REQUIRES POPULATIONS THAT EVOLVENOT INDIVIDUALS
48
SPECIATION REQUIRES DIFFERENTIAL MORTALITY
50
THE VALUE OF THE BREED STANDARD
185
Behavioral Conformation
187
THE BORDER COLLIES BEHAVIORAL CONFORMATION
209
MOTOR PATTERNS
215
ARE PEOPLE THE DOGS BEST FRIEND? PARASITISM AMENSALISM AND DULOSIS
223
Household Dogs
225
MEASURING THE BENEFIT TO HUMANS OF THE HOUSEHOLD DOG
235
Assistance Dogs
251

Village Dogs
67
THE MESOLITHIC ISLAND
70
Natural Breeds
83
PEOPLE BECOME CONSCIOUS OF DOGS
87
WORKING DOGS AND PEOPLE MUTUALISM
95
Developmental Environments
99
DISTRIBUTING AND MIXING GENES
117
EVOLVING THE SIZE AND SHAPE
128
SELECTING FOR COLOR
134
WALKING HOUNDS
138
The Physical Conformation of a Breed
155
THE SHAPE OF THE TEAM
174
RUNNING IS SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
179
THE SOCIETY OF A SLED DOG TEAM
183
THE TAIL WAGS THE DOG
269
Whats in the Name Canis familiaris?
271
The Age of the Dog
281
Why Dogs Look the Way They Do
293
HOW TO CHANGE SIZE
297
HOW TO CHANGE SHAPE
300
THE SHAPE OF INTELLIGENCE
305
RAPID EVOLUTION OF BREEDS
306
NEOTENY PAEDOMORPHISM AND THE EVOLUTION OF DOGS FROM WOLVES
309
Conclusion
315
Bibliography
325
Index
337
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Raymond Coppinger is a professor of biology at Hampshire College. He is the author of Fishing Dogs and coauthor of Wheelchair Assistance Dogs.

Lorna Coppinger is the award-winning author of The World of Sled Dogs. Together they founded Hampshire's Livestock Dog Project.

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