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The First DomesticationHow Wolves and Humans Coevolved$
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Raymond Pierotti and Brandy R Fogg

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300226164

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300226164.001.0001

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The Spaniels of San Marcos

The Spaniels of San Marcos

What Is a Dog and Who Cares?

Chapter:
(p.24) Chapter One The Spaniels of San Marcos
Source:
The First Domestication
Author(s):

Raymond Pierotti

Brandy R. Fogg

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300226164.003.0002

This chapter discusses the interpretations of the meanings of the concepts of “wolf,” “dog,” and “wolf-dog” from an evolutionary perspective. Much literature on dogs shows similar simplistic, often mistaken, assumptions concerning the processes by which dogs evolved from wolves. Most people expect that there is some clear line that exists between the taxonomic categories “wolf” and “dog,” a problem that began when Linnaeus classified domestic dogs and gray wolves as distinct species in the eighteenth century. The chapter then shows that each human cultural tradition developed with specific images of the canid that was able to share their particular way of life. This is why it is so hard to define the term dog—different cultural traditions, and even individuals within these traditions, have very different images of what type of canid is best suited for relationships with humans.

Keywords:   wolf, dog, wolf-dog, taxonomic categories, Linnaeus, domestic dogs, gray wolves, cultural tradition, canid

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