From Wolves to Dogs: The 10,000-Year Journey of Man’s Best Friend

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Our furry friends have great importance in our lives. From snuggles and belly rubs to attention-craving antics, dogs are adorable pets. Remember when you were watching a movie, all warm and cosy on your couch, and suddenly your dog pounced on you for a hug?

Man’s Best Friend

The affectionate bond they share with humans has taken years to develop. Thousands of years to be precise, according to the latest scientific findings.

Scientists confirm that all dogs have descended from wolves. Imagine that! The ferocious, ruthless, and cunning hunters of the wilderness somehow became docile and caring pets. But it did not happen overnight.

The Birth of a Relationship

Wolves were the first animals to be domesticated, even before pigs, goats, cows and cats. It all started more than 10,000 years ago. At that time, humans led a nomadic lifestyle. They would hunt in groups, defend themselves against wild animals, and were constantly on the move. Wolves often followed human settlements, stealing leftover food. And some human communities began tolerating the presence of those wolves that seemed friendly and less aggressive.

In return, humans benefitted from the wolves’ strong sense of smell which could detect the presence of enemies, predators or prey.

Artificial Selection

Over time, humans experimented with artificial breeding. The wolves of Asia came in contact with those from Europe. This and the effects of genetic mutations changed their bodies and behaviour. Affectionate and obedient dogs were preferred over unruly aggressive ones. Some were selected for their strength, speed or looks. That is why, today, you will find dogs of different shapes and sizes.

And this is how the frightening shaggy wolf turned into the ‘good boy’ who would happily fetch a ball or a stick.

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Written by: Akash Dubey. Akash is a freelance writer and editor. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing the guitar and taking long walks.

 

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