More than 15,000 years ago, humans began a unique collaboration with a fellow predator – the wolf – that changed the course of evolution for both species. How did dog traits evolve in response to selective pressure from humans? How has our dependence on dogs affected our evolution? What are the genetic differences between the wild, distinguished wolf and the stout, lovable pug? Why do dogs have such a profound effect on human physiology? How do dogs understand human language and read human facial expressions?
Our First Year Seminar course (Man’s Best Friend: The history and science of our unbreakable bond with dogs) will be exploring these questions. We’ll be considering the evolution, genetics, psychology, and physiology of the human-dog partnership, including how our brains have evolved to respond to each other. Most importantly, we’ll be blogging about the Dickinson dogs we meet and how they fit – or don’t fit!- with our understanding of dogs from an evolutionary, genetic, physiological, or psychological perspective.
Please enjoy and feel free to leave comments!