In 1959, outside of Novosibirsk, Siberia, Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut began what remains one of the longest-running experiments in biology. For the last 59 years they have been domesticating silver foxes and studying evolution in real time. Belyaev died in 1985, but Trut has continued to lead this experiment up to this very day. Each generation they and their team have been selecting the calmest, most prosocial-toward-humans foxes and preferentially breeding those individuals. Today they have foxes that are calmer than lap dogs, and who also look eerily dog-like—floppy ears, wagging tail and all. Belyaev and Trut’s results have fundamentally changed how we think of the process of domestication: to enumerate all their findings and discuss their importance would require a book, which is why Lyudmila Trut (now 84 years old) and I wrote How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog).
Dugatkin, Lee A.
"How to Build a Domesticated Fox: The Start of a Long Journey,"
The Chautauqua Journal: Vol. 2
, Article 23.
Available at: https://encompass.eku.edu/tcj/vol2/iss1/23