Evolution and Domestication of the Dog

  • J. P. Scott


We ordinarily think of the dog as an animal whose biological history has been determined by artificial selection enforced by human masters, whereas evolution is usually considered a process which takes place without human direction. However, for the greater part of the history of this species, which now can be authentically timed as beginning at least 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, dogs were probably not subject to the conscious selection practised by dog breeders within the last century. Even within this latter period the direction of selection has changed many times. Furthermore, most of the main varieties of dogs were not produced by scientific breeding, but had their origin in the remote historical past as local varieties. It seems most likely that most of these local strains were produced largely by accident and were only later recognized as having valuable special characteristics, after which the variety would be spread over a larger area by travellers and traders.


Social Selection Golden Jackal Primary Socialization Wolf Pack Herd Animal 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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