ArchaeoCafé Podcast – Episode 2-07 – Domesticating dogs: An interview with Robert Losey

hosted by Otis Crandell

In this episode I talk with Robert Losey about the domestication of dogs and their ongoing adaptations as they interact with humans.

Listen to this episode online:



Some useful terminology and links

A long term process by which behavioural or physiological changes occur in a species of plant and animal over many generations due to human control over or influence on reproduction. It involves the a long term relationship with humans, so much so that the plant or animal population evolves to living with humans. This may be intentional or unintentional.

The conditioned behavioural modification of a wild-born animal when its natural avoidance of humans is reduced and it accepts the presence of humans. This does not involve genetic modification of the individual animal or of a population.


Selected publications

Dogs were domesticated in the Arctic: Culling practices and dog sledding at Ust’-Polui
by Robert Losey, and others
Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 2018, Vol. 51, p. 113-126

Dogs in the north: Stories of cooperation and co-domestication
edited by Robert Losey, Robert Wishart, and Jan Peter Laurens Loovers
Published 2020, Routledge, 310 p.

Storing fish?: A dog’s isotopic biography provides insight into Iron Age food preservation strategies in the Russian Arctic
by Robert Losey, and others
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 2020, Vol. 12, article 200

Dog body size in Siberia and the Russian Far East and its implications
by Robert Losey, and others
Quaternary Science Reviews, 2020, Vol. 241, article 106430

Buried, eaten, sacrificed: Archaeological dog remains from Trans-Baikal, Siberia
by Robert Losey, and others
Archaeological Research in Asia, 2018, Vol. 16, p. 58-65


About Robert Losey

Dr. Losey is a professor at the University of Alberta specialising in the archaeology of human-animal relationships. He has worked extensively in the North American and Siberian Arctic and Eastern Russia where much of his recent research focuses on dog and reindeer domestication, and the long-term history of dog sledding.






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