How the Dog Became the Dog

How the Dog Became the Dog Cover

How the Dog Became the Dog

From Wolves to Our Best Friends

By Mark Derr

Overlook Press, Hardcover, 9781590207000, 288pp.

Publication Date: October 27, 2011

That the dog evolved from the wolf is an accepted fact of evolution and history, but the question of how wolf became dog has remained a mystery, obscured by myth and legend. "How the Dog Became the Dog" posits that dog was an evolutionary inevitability in the nature of the wolf and its human soul mate.
The natural temperament and social structure of humans and wolves are so similar that as soon as they met on the trail they recognized themselves in each other. Both are highly social, accomplished generalists, and creatures of habit capable of adapting? homebodies who like to wander.
"How the Dog Became the Dog" presents domestication of the dog as a biological and cultural process that began in mutual cooperation and has taken a number of radical turns. At the end of the last Ice Age the first dogs emerged with their humans from refuges against the cold. In the eighteenth century, humans began the drive to exercise full control of dog reproduction, life, and death to complete the domestication of the wolf begun so long ago.

About the Author
Mark Derr is the author of five books, including How the Dog Became the Dog, published by Overlook in 2011. His articles and commentary have appeared in The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Natural History, Smithsonian. and many other publications. He lives in Miami Beach.

Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011

Naturalist Mark Derr says our friendship with dogs and wolves goes back thousands of years more than previously believed. His new book explores how the relationship between humans and wolves developed. More at

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