Guest speaker is Roger Tabor and the conversation is hosted by Colin Tennant.
From watching this DVD I learned that early humans did not possess the skills necessary to tame the wolf and that they had no reason to even want to although it is broadly accepted now that our domestic dogs do originally come from wolf type canids. Food availability and geographical landscape are major factors in the development and distribution of dog types. Archaeological, DNA and historical evidence have converged to make the strong case that humans did not befriend the wolf and selectively breed them for tame types but rather the wolves self-selected to become more adaptable to human proximity and their food sources.
Tabor Tabor explains how through DNA research (Parker) we know that some types are more closely related to the wolf such as the spitz types but no-wild dogs have curly tails which can be explained by the genetic mutations that come about from the domestication of a wild breed (Belyaev). Tabor’s expertise and knowledge comes bursting through in a lively and amenable fashion throughout the video.
He concedes that Coppinger has a strong case for his theory of the proto-village dog evolving from wolves but the timing of the village food sources do not explain the dog types found earlier than the time of agriculturalism and food dump surplus. He contends that the theory is still relevant but with earlier hunter gatherer humans and the by-product food sources of animal bones and meat surplus. Humans may not have intentionally domesticated the wolf but they have provided the conditions for the self-selection of wolves to domesticated animals to thrive.
In turn dog trait selection by humans for various reasons – including cuteness – (plus climate and regional landscape variations) has resulted in the many different types of breed we see today.