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Dogs Are Not a Subspecies of The Wolf


"The dog is first and foremost a biological being, and no mere subspecies of the wolf. Each individual dog represents an end product of a whole series of significant biological events. Our dog lying out there under the car on a hot day is not an evolved wolf in its simulated cave. It is a highly evolved, specialized new animal with behaviors that adapt it to its niche.

But when books about dogs begin, "Dogs are closely related to wolves..." and then go on to equate many dog behaviors with wolf behaviors, we wonder how such a superficial assessment would work if a book about people started out, "Humans are closely related to chimps..." Dogs may well be closely related to wolves but that does not mean they behave like wolves. People are closely related to chimps but that doesn't make us a subspecies of chimpanzees, nor does it mean we behave like chimps."

For more educational tips and tricks on dog training and behavior solutions, check out our social media pages @FromDuskTillDog.

Coppinger, Raymond, and Lorna Coppinger. Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, and Evolution. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2002. Print.

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