No other animal has a closer mutualistic relationship with humans than the dog (Canis familiaris). Domesticated from the Eurasian grey wolf (Canis lupus), dogs have evolved alongside humans over millennia in a relationship that has transformed dogs and the environments in which humans and dogs have co-inhabited. The story of the dog is the story of recent humanity, in all its biological and cultural complexity. By exploring human-dog-environment interactions throughout time and space, it is possible not only to understand vital elements of global history, but also to critically assess our present-day relationship with the natural world, and to begin to mitigate future global challenges. In this paper, co-authored by researchers from across the natural and social sciences, arts and humanities, we argue that a dog-centric approach provides a new model for future academic enquiry and engagement with both the public and the global environmental agenda.
Sykes, N., Beirne, P., Horowitz, A., Jones, I., Kalof, L., Karlsson, E., King, T., Litwak, H., McDonald, R.A., Murphy, L.J. and Pemberton, N., Promislow, D., Rowan, A., Stahl, P.W., Tehrani, J., Tourigny, E., Wynne, C.D.L., Strauss, E., Larson, G. (2020). Humanity’s best friend: a dog-centric approach to addressing global challenges. Animals, 10(3): 502. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030502