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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 Friendly Predator

(p.279) Conclusion
The First Domestication

Raymond Pierotti

Brandy R. Fogg

Yale University Press

This concluding chapter assesses the great enigma of the first domestication: wolves and dogs are so affectionate and seem willing, if not driven, to create strong and persistent social bonds that it becomes easy for humans to anthropomorphize and idealize these four-leggeds that share their lives so easily. Yet they remain predators, highly evolved carnivores, and they know how to kill. Given the opportunity, sometimes they kill things that humans value, for example, other domestic animals. As long as humans considered themselves to be fellow predators, however, they lived comfortably with wolves. The chapter then examines one particular case of a wild wolf that showed repeated friendly relations with humans over a period of several years and discusses the implications of such experiences.

Keywords:   domestication, wolves, dogs, social bonds, humans, predators, domestic animals

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