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Traditionally, the experts studying the evolution of modern dogs believed that domestication was a conscious effort of humans. The theory was that ancient people took wolf pups from their dens, adopted them, fed them, trained and tamed them.
Biologist Raymond Coppinger has another idea: the wolves domesticated themselves.
“People are organized into continuous settlements — villages where they remain for a long period of time, whether there were sitting on the edge of a shell fishery or on the edge of a coral reef. When humans live in the same spot for a long period of time, they create waste, including both sewage and, more importantly for the dog, leftovers. There are things people can’t eat, seeds that fall on the ground, things that have gone bad,” Coppinger says, “The garbage, which might be found in dumps, or just scattered near houses, attracts scavengers: cockroaches, pigeons, rats, jackals — and wolves.”