The ways in which domestic animals and husbandry techniques appeared in north-western Europe remain a controversial topic within the scientific community. Two opposing theories are current. One, featuring colonisation as the main driving force behind the diffusion of domesticates and husbandry technique in this area, is mostly represented within the continental scientific community, while the other, featuring native acculturation, is more common within the Anglo-Saxon community. This paper, using a combination of existing information and fresh evidence, proposes a more subtle position. It argues that a wide variety of situations, which were not mutually exclusive, may have existed at the local or regional scale within north-west Europe.