They are warm, fuzzy beings that come in many different shapes and sizes, yet they all sense our emotions and thrive in our company. But they are also descended from wolves, fierce and elusive social predators. How did dogs become so integrated into human society? And how can we reconstruct any species’ prehistory? In the first installment of our new Doggy History series, we examine several theories about how dogs left the wolf pack and became part of ours instead, and find out that humans have been blaming it on the dog pretty much forever.
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Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods. The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think. New York: Dutton, 2013.
Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, et al. “Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog.” Nature 438 (2005): 803-819.
Nagasawa, M. et al. “Dog’s Gaze at its Owner Increases Owner’s Urinary Oxytocin During Social Interaction.” Hormones and Behavior 55 n. 3 (2009): 434-41.
Meg Daly Olmert, . Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2009.
James Serpell, ed. The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour, and Interactions with People. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Lyudmila Trut. “Early Canid Domestication: The Farm Fox Experiment.” American Scientist 87 (1999): 160-169.
Xiaoming Wang and Richard H. Tedford. Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.
This episode is part of our Doggy History Series.
Music by Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com)