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Humanity’s Best Friend: A Dog-Centric Approach to Addressing Global Challenges

Sykes, Naomi; Beirne, Piers; Horowitz, Alexandra; Jones, Ione; Kalof, Linda; Karlsson, Elinor; King, Tammie; Litwak, Howard; McDonald, Robbie A.; Murphy, Luke John; Pemberton, Neil; Promislow, Daniel; Rowan, Andrew; Stahl, Peter W.; Tehrani, Jamshid; Tourigny, Eric; Wynne, Clive D.L.; Strauss, Eric; Larson, Greger

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Naomi Sykes

Piers Beirne

Alexandra Horowitz

Ione Jones

Linda Kalof

Elinor Karlsson

Tammie King

Howard Litwak

Robbie A. McDonald

Luke John Murphy

Neil Pemberton

Daniel Promislow

Andrew Rowan

Peter W. Stahl

Eric Tourigny

Clive D.L. Wynne

Eric Strauss

Greger Larson


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., …Larson, G. (2020). Humanity’s Best Friend: A Dog-Centric Approach to Addressing Global Challenges. Animals, 10(3), Article 502.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Mar 17, 2020
Publication Date Mar 31, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 19, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 19, 2020
Journal Animals
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 3
Article Number 502


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