Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  148 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Marking the first time that dogs have been explained in such detail by eminent researchers, "Dogs" is a work of wide appeal, as absorbing as it is enlightening. Drawing on insight gleaned from forty-five years of raising, training, and studying the behaviors of dogs worldwide, Lorna and Raymond Coppinger explore the fascinating processes by which dog breeds have evolved in...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 27th 2001 by Scribner (first published 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinMarley and Me by John GroganA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
Great "Dog" Books
170th out of 549 books — 1,195 voters
Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos MontalvánA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronMarley and Me by John GroganThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
Top Dog Reads
148th out of 218 books — 414 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 306)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Anne
This must be the most interesting and most important dog book I've ever read. I can't recommend this book enough to anyone who owns a dog. It's written by Raymond Coppinger, a professor in biology, something that makes this book even better.

Too much of dog literature are written by people with no education in biology, zoology or dog behaviour. So this is one of the few dog books that is actualy rooted in science, and it effectivly strips away a lot of old myths about dogs relations to wolves, th...more
Bianca
Sep 02, 2007 Bianca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers interested in the evolution of the domestic dog.
I read this book for a class I was teaching on the evolution of the human-domestic dog relationship. I was worried it might be too specialized for me, but it was really accessible. And informative.
Heather
This book asked more questions then providing answers. I did not like this book and would not recommend it.
Susan
Apr 18, 2008 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with a dog
This should be standard reading for all dog owners, along with Culture Clash and Don't Shoot the Dog.
Laura
Raymond & Lorna Coppinger are not only biologists, but they are also former sled dog racers and have worked extensively with herd guarding dogs and village dogs along with herding dogs. Their book looks at 5 types of dogs-herding, guarding, sled, village and pets.
It has some controversial statements like assistance dogs are slaves, dogs are not directly evolved from wolves or trained by early humans but evolved to take advantage of village, and breeding for show (looks alone) is criticized...more
Diane
Oct 02, 2008 Diane rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: hardened scientists
"A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution."

Marking the first time that dogs have been explained in such detail by eminent researchers, "Dogs" is a work of wide appeal, as absorbing as it is enlightening.
Lorna and Raymond Coppinger explore the fascinating process by which dog breeds have evolved into their unique shapes and behaviors. Concentrating on five types of dogs - modern household dogs, village dogs, livestock-guarding dogs, sled dogs, and herding dogs - th...more
Shaya
I'm not exactly sure what to say about this.

I really I enjoyed how well-researched the ideas about dogs are and found them very interesting. But it does turn how we think about dogs on its head.

Coppinger discusses the dog's biology as village dogs rather than early humans domesticating dogs. He talks about how different breeds became what they are and tries to get across the point that behavior and shape are related. We damage dogs by trying to breed them so they have the same shape of a workin...more
Abby
Interesting to me, because I always like reading hard science about dogs, but the Coppingers are SO intense about them, often in unreasonable ways. For example, although I agree with them that dogs are best bred if they still preserve a working line, I disagree that dogs are just worthless "parasites" (their words) if kept as household companions. They seem to believe that dogs are only worth having if you can use them for a working purpose. This conclusion is obviously NOT the conclusion that m...more
Sheena
Kopeklerle ilgili okudugum en ilginc ve onemli kitaplardan biriydi. Kopek sahibi olup da kopegin evrimini, davranislarini merak eden herkesin okumasi gerektigini dusunuyorum.
Katildigim noktalar kadar katilmadigim noktalarin da oldugu, kopeklerimin asalak olarak nitelendirilmesinin hosuma gitmedigi, kopekler olmasa biz oluruz ama onlari kendimize oyle muhtac duruma soktuk ki biz olmasak onlar da olamaz sav'ini ciddi ciddi dusundurdugu, working line'larin korunmasina sonuna kadar katildigim bir k...more
Cwalsen
The Coppingers present here a theory about the evolution of dogs from a canid ancestor, but also include their strong opinions about the current use of pet dogs in the Western world. This is a good book to read if you are interested in dog behavior and morphology. However, the Coppingers become offensive (to most of us) when they talk about assistance dogs as slaves. Their discourse on the cost to the environment and the national economy of maintaining a large population of pets is well-reasoned...more
Shawndra
Aug 13, 2008 Shawndra rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: dog lovers, behaviorists, trainers
Recommended to Shawndra by: Bark magazine
Somewhat rambling and repetitious in spots, but the message is fascinating - a biologist's summation of how dogs evolved differently from wolves and the impact this fact has on how to interact with dogs. Goodbye pack mentality and tired old "alpha" business. By turns refreshing and alarming - I definitely had my buttons pushed by the biological assessment of the family pet as parasite. Overall quite readable at least for a dog geek like myself.
Heywu
"To be descended from a wolf is not to be a wolf"

This is a must read for all dog lovers and trainers. The title is perfect. I gained a new understanding of origin, evolution and behavior.

Trish King gave a great lecture in our Marin Humane Society Canine Behavior Academy class illustrating many theories from this book.
Lize
Jun 17, 2010 Lize rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010, dogs
I'd been hauling this one around forever. It's about dogs from an evolutionary biologist's perspective. Occasionally fascinating, it's also very dry and academic, and yes, often preachy. I'd rather read Temple Grandin's books five more times than slog through this again.
Dev Scott Flores
Sometimes sophomoric, but more often informative - excellent jumping off point for those who haven't been exposed to canine ethology (good revisit for those who have)
Christina
Eminently readable history of dogs by a biologist. Proposes the most plausible explanation yet for how dogs and humans co-evolved.
Caroline
Contained some useful information, but was written with an extremely biased, snobby attitude towards pet owners.
Katie
A tad on the dry side, but super-informative on the science and biology of dogs.
Saraberry
I don't think he understands hounds and hunting, but good for the rest.
Hanna
Essential reading for anyone interested in dog behavior.
Fulden
a must read for anyone interested in canine science.
Jocelyn
Fascinating book. Made me look at dogs in a whole new way!
Tracey
Jan 14, 2008 Tracey marked it as to-read
636.7 Coppinger 2001 -- Ginnie gave 4 stars
CrimsonFlamez
CrimsonFlamez marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2014
Jeff Hourihan
Jeff Hourihan marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2014
Nikkiemarie
Nikkiemarie marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2014
Carrie
Carrie marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Fishing Dogs Fishing Dogs: A Guide to the History, Talents, and Training of the Baildale, the Flounderhounder, the Angler Dog, and Sundry Other Breeds of Aquatic Dogs (Canis piscatorius)

Share This Book