During a crucial phase in the history of humanity, glaciations had subsided, global temperatures were rising, and humans had started settling down. Wolves wandered around human communities, seeking out scraps of food. The most enterprising canines approached the villages, gradually becoming more docile, as humans grew to understand the usefulness of having brave sentinels watching over them. A partnership emerged, giving way to a distinctive development in the history of domestication. How have animal minds, bodies, and behaviours changed during the transition from wolf to dog? As they were progressively tamed, dogs became attuned to human communication and capable of understanding our repertory of referential gestures, gazes and voices. The book allows readers to better understand these loyal creatures, shaped in the image and likeness of our desires and needs.
Paola Valsecchi teaches Applied Ethology, Zoology, and Vertebrate Zoology at the University of Parma.