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DOGS A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF CANINE ORIGIN, BEHAVIOR, AND EVOLUTION
by Raymond & Lorna Coppinger (See other books by author)


Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Edition:
2001 Paperback, 337 pages

ISBN: 0226115631
Item: DTB700
Ships the next business day.

Summary: Explores how dog breeds have evolved into their unique shapes and behaviors. Concentrating on five types of dogs - household dogs, village dogs, livestock guarding dogs, sled dogs, and herding dogs - examines canine companions from a unique biological viewpoint.

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Expanded Description:

Drawing on insight gleaned from 35 years of raising, training, and researching the behaviors of dogs worldwide, the authors explore in detail how dog breeds have evolved into their unique shapes and behaviors. Concentrating on five types of dogs - modern household dogs, village dogs, livestock guarding dogs, sled dogs, and herding dogs - they examine our canine companions from a unique biological viewpoint. Clearly points the way for dog lovers, therapists, veterinarians, and all others who deal with dogs to understand their animals from a fresh perspective. How did the domestic dog become a distinct species from the wolf? Why do different breeds behave differently? How can we improve the relationship between humans and dogs? Shows how dogs' different abilities depend upon the confluence of their nature and nurture; both genetics and the environment play equally key roles.


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Essential Reading for Dog Professionals, February 26, 2013
Reviewer: Don Hanson
SUGGESTED AUDIENCE: Those who want to increase their knowledge of how the dog evolved and the dog's natural history, as a means of better understanding their dog's needs.

Like most of the other titles on the Green Acres' List of Recommended Dog Books, this book refutes a great number of the popular myths about the domestic dog with sound science. Dr. Coppinger is a professor at Hampshire College where he teaches evolutionary biology. He and his wife Lorna have over 40 years of experience living and working with all varieties of dogs.

The main premise of this book is that humans did not create the dog by taming and domesticating the wolf, but instead the dog self-evolved from the wolf. Tamer and less energetic wolves started hanging around human settlements for the discarded food and over time these wolves evolved into today's village dog. Only in the last couple of hundred years have humans become involved in consciously, and not always responsibly, engineering the village dog into the many breeds we see today. The Coppinger's have studied village dogs (feral dogs living in human communities) as they exist in the world today in places like Mexico City, and Pemba. What they have observed are the same traits we see in the dogs we share our lives with.

FAVORITE QUOTE: 'Dogs as a species are most likely less than fifteen thousand years old, which is a barest instant of evolutionary time. Wolves as a species are maybe five million years old, and they need protection from extinction. ... [There are] four hundred million dogs in the world – that is a thousand times more dogs than there are wolves. If wolves are the ancient ancestors of dogs that means dogs have achieved a biological coup, successfully outpopulating their ancestors by a lot.'

If you want a better understanding of your dog, or dogs in general, it is very helpful to know how they evolved to become the creatures that they are today. Reading the Coppinger's Dogs will help you attain that understanding.
 
insightful, October 21, 2010
Reviewer: DogCatcher
The idea that tribal humans engineered the dog does seem a bit out of whack with reality. The Coppingers propose a co-evolution which is not only more likely but follows some archeological evidence. Many authors since this book have expanded on the idea. Pretty revolutionary, actually. I love the idea that dogs agree with us...the partnership is cool.
 
learned the most from this book, September 3, 2010
Reviewer: Tamara Dormer
I'm an avid reader and have to say that this book opened my eyes in so many ways, both with new ideas about where dogs may have evolved from and where genetics and environment play a role in our dogs' behavior.
The vast amount of observation and experience of the Coppingers really educated me in an exciting way. For any person who wants to know more about dogs, this book needs to be on your bookshelf.
 
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