Book Reviews: The Dog & The First Domestication

The First Domestication: How Wolves and Humans Coevolved is by Raymond Pierotti and Brandy R. Fogg. I love its perspective–it’s the first book I know of that incorporates indigenous perspectives on the origin of the domestic dog and the relationship between people and wolves.


(FYI, for a short time I lived outside of Leupp, Arizona, on a Navajo Indian Reservation. My first husband, Doug McConnell, was accepted into the Teacher Corps right before we were married. We both learned a great deal about the Navajo culture, and I’ve been attuned to the differences between European and Native American perspectives ever since. Yá’át’ééh!)


The authors argue that European perspectives, because of their focus on competition and aggression, have ignored the basic biology of wolves as well as indigenous accounts of cooperative relationships between wolves and humans. Specifically, they make the case that lone wolves–those pushed out of their packs–initiated our relationship by seeking companionship with other social mammals, including groups of humans.


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