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How the Dog Became the Dog

From Wolves to Our Best Friends

Mark Derr

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


That the dog evolved from the wolf is an accepted fact of evolution and history, but the question of how wolf became dog has remained a mystery, obscured by myth and legend. How the Dog Became the Dog posits that dog was an evolutionary inevitability in the nature of the wolf and its human soul mate.

The natural temperament and social structure of humans and wolves are so similar that as soon as they met on the trail they recognized themselves in each other. Both are highly social, accomplished generalists, and creatures of habit capable of adapting? homebodies who like to wander.

How the Dog Became the Dog presents domestication of the dog as a biological and cultural process that began in mutual cooperation and has taken a number of radical turns. At the end of the last Ice Age the first dogs emerged with their humans from refuges against the cold. In the eighteenth century, humans began the drive to exercise full control of dog reproduction, life, and death to complete the domestication of the wolf begun so long ago.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jun 27, 2011 – Reaching back into murky prehistory to determine just when, where, and how the wolf joined forces with early man to become the domesticated dog we know today has long proven difficult. With this informative account, Derr (Dog's Best Friend) takes on the challenge of untangling the limited, often contradictory findings available from archeological digs and genetic studies to seek the dog's origins. Rejecting the argument once prevalent among biologists, that dogs evolved from wolves that hung around prehistoric villages to scavenge, Derr delineates instead a past in which wolves and humans teamed up to bring down more game and to reap other advantages from each other's company, in a process made inevitable by the similarity of their social natures and pack hunting techniques. Sadly, Derr's envisioning of this ancient friendship falls prey to sentimentality: "I can almost see through the occluded lens of time three wolves lazing outside the cave mouth," begins one hazy scene. And the book's catalogue of prehistory and Neanderthal stomping grounds could do with a bit more focus: some chapters jump around desultorily or lose focus. Still, Derr's real affinity for canines comes through strongly, and the book should appeal to dog lovers with a curiosity about the origins of their favorite companion.
How the Dog Became the Dog
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Nature
  • Published: Oct 27, 2011
  • Publisher: Overlook
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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