It’s widely believed that dogs originated over 17,000 years ago; recent DNA testing and closer fossil examination is suggesting that dogs originated as far as 150,000 years ago. However, dating in relation to the Bible seems a little far fetched. We know they were around in Bible days because it is mention in several passages.
Scientists and researchers have come up with several possible paths that the development of modern dogs has followed.
Dogs have lived and worked with humans in many different roles throughout the ages. Even today people are continually finding new ways in which dogs can enhance their lives, or perform useful services to people.
In order to understand dogs and their complex relationship to humans we need to look back to the origins of the species; and take a closer look at the habits of wolves.
Wolves are very social animals; they live in packs and derive not only assured survival but also enjoy relationships within the pack. We can clearly see evidence of wolves’ social structure systems if we look at our own dogs today.
In a healthy relationship the human is the alpha member of the pack. A less socialized dog is widely believed to think that he is the leader of your pack, instead of you – the owner.
Today it is widely believed that domestication is occurring at a much greater speed than was previously thought. It seems dogs are now born with highly prized traits.
Not only their temperaments but also the way they look is greatly changing. Scientists have had a tough time telling some skull and bone fragments apart. It’s mainly differences in the skull and teeth that scientists can sue to determine if the specimens are wolf or dog remains.
At a farm in Siberia researchers have been experimenting with foxes and how quickly they can be tamed. They believe that this might lead to an understanding of how our own dogs have evolved.
Researchers around the world are also becoming interested in the cognitions of our dogs and how our dogs have become accepted into our human social structures. History cannot trace the exact routes of wolf to dog.
Wolves are now on endangered lists around the world. Many valiant efforts are being made to curb the steady decline in wolf numbers.
Is it all part of evolution?
Dogs have evolved slowly from wolves and found a home with humans. They’ve become an essential part of human life. If all wolves had formed such relationships with humans they too might be assured of life without extinction.
It is far easier to envision a world without wolves than it is to imagine a world without Boston Terriers, Vizsla, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Shih Tzu’s or Pugs.