The First Domestication How Wolves and Humans Coevolved Raymond Pierotti, Brandy R. Fogg

Publication date:
03 Jan 2018
Yale University Press
344 pages: 235 x 156 x 24mm
25 b-w illus.
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A riveting look at how dog and humans became best friends, and the first history of dog domestication to include insights from indigenous peoples

In this fascinating book, Raymond Pierotti and Brandy Fogg change the narrative about how wolves became dogs and in turn, humanity’s best friend. Rather than describe how people mastered and tamed an aggressive, dangerous species, the authors describe coevolution and mutualism. Wolves, particularly ones shunned by their packs, most likely initiated the relationship with Paleolithic humans, forming bonds built on mutually recognized skills and emotional capacity.
This interdisciplinary study draws on sources from evolutionary biology as well as tribal and indigenous histories to produce an intelligent, insightful, and often unexpected story of cooperative hunting, wolves protecting camps, and wolf-human companionship. This fascinating assessment is a must-read for anyone interested in human evolution, ecology, animal behavior, anthropology, and the history of canine domestication.

Raymond Pierotti is professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas. He specializes in evolutionary and behavioral ecology of monogamous birds and mammals, and scientific aspects of indigenous traditional knowledge. He lives in Oskaloosa, KS. Brandy R. Fogg received an undergraduate degree in environmental studies and a master’s degree in Indigenous Nations Studies at the University of Kansas. She lives in Overland Park, KS.

“An incredibly well-written book that deserves your full attention. . . If you are interested in dogs, wolves, and their origins this book is required reading, especially if you have previously read or heard the Coppinger’s take on dog evolution.”—Dr. Leon Vlieger, NHBS

“Reading this book, we can better understand an important part of Euro-American culture. The book is easy to read and should prove fascinating, especially to anyone with a pet of their own and all who share an interest in the experiences and opinions surrounding domesticated animals”— Dumitru T. Murariu, Journal of Mammology

“Offers intelligent but subtle insights that have generally been overlooked by others writing about dog domestication, including myself. The closing chapter in particular is brilliant.”—Pat Shipman, author of The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction and The Animal Connection: A New Perspective on What Makes Us Human

“The domestic dog is absolutely unique in its relationship to humans. Famously loyal, fierce in protection, no other animal is such a friend, partner, guardian, guide, and family member. How dogs got to be dogs, how they brought their wolf traits into our home, and how humans have been in many ways reliant on dogs for survival and for our global spread—this is one of the most fascinating stories in the world. It is well told in these pages; this is a deep and insightful book.”—Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

“Fabulous! This book is an inspiration, and a highly readable scientific and scholarly work. It is a must-read for anyone who has ever loved a canid, and all who may not yet have done so.”—Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds