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The Domestic Dog
  • Cited by 12
  • 2nd edition
  • Edited by James Serpell, University of Pennsylvania
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Book description

Why do dogs behave in the ways that they do? Why did our ancestors tame wolves? How have we ended up with so many breeds of dog, and how can we understand their role in contemporary human society? Explore the answers to these questions and many more in this study of the domestic dog. Building on the strengths of the first edition, this much-anticipated update incorporates two decades of new evidence and discoveries on dog evolution, behavior, training, and human interaction. It includes seven entirely new chapters covering topics such as behavioral modification and training, dog population management, the molecular evidence for dog domestication, canine behavioral genetics, cognition, and the impact of free-roaming dogs on wildlife conservation. It is an ideal volume for anyone interested in dogs and their evolution, behavior and ever-changing roles in society.


'The first edition of this book, published more than 20 years ago, broke new ground. It was the prelude to an explosion of research in the field of domestic dog behaviour, which has seen the subject move from largely the fringes of academia to a central position that provides a unique opportunity to explore some fundamental biological questions. This completely revised edition, continues in the tradition of the original text by selecting world leading experts to provide current insights into a range of important topics while also making the reader excited for the research which must follow to address the unanswered questions. I therefore have no doubt, that this edition, like the last, will inspire a whole new generation of canine scientists from across the academic disciplines.'

Daniel Mills - University of Lincoln

'The Domestic Dog should be in the library of all of those who study, live with, or are curious about dogs, their genetics and their behavior.'

Alexandra Horowitz - Barnard College, New York

'An outstanding and comprehensive collection of original and up-to-date essays to which everyone around the world who is interested in dogs should have easy access. It is inarguably the go-to reference on dogs. There also is a lot of very useful comparative information on wild canids that will help come to a greater appreciation and understanding of just who dogs are and why they do the things they do. And, the references are a gold mine of information. While we know a lot about these amazing beings, there still is much more to learn …I hope all dog trainers/teachers will carefully study this book because the ideas and data that are discussed are essential ingredients for teaching dogs to live harmoniously with other dogs, with other animals, and with us, a win-win for all. Now, it's time for yet another read.'

Marc Bekoff - University of Colorado

'The first edition of this book back in 1995 took a lead in sparking modern research in dogs. Now, more than twenty years later, the present edition rightly harvests the huge scientific knowledge that has been established by researchers all over the world … This book is a collection of chapters contributed by excellent experts on dog research. While behaviour remains the main focus of most chapters, the reader is also informed, amongst other things, about our actual understanding of dog domestication, the ecological perspectives of feral dogs and changing views in dog training. I warmly recommend this book to readers who want to be updated on this rapidly advancing field of canine science, and prefer first-hand knowledge from dedicated scientists.'

Ádám Miklósi - Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary

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