How did domesticated dogs evolve
From wolf to dog: how long have dogs existed?
Human history began around 15 million years ago. Our ancestors had to go through numerous stages until Homo sapiens finally developed.
During this long time, humans or our ancestors came across dogs at some point. Since the dog accompanies people.
Once upon a time, dogs were just workhorses. In the meantime the dog has become a real family member.
But how long did it take for that to happen? How long have dogs existed?
Once upon a time, many, many centuries ago. It was then that the ancestors of man and the ancestors of wolves met.
How long have dogs existed?
Scientists suspect that this point in time was about 15,000 years or even longer. It was then that humans began to raise dogs as comrades. Even before people settled down and started farming and raising livestock.
The scientific name of dogs is Canis lupus familiaris. Translated, this means “tamed wolf”.
How did the wolf become the dog?
It is not easy to pinpoint the exact time when the wolf (Latin canis lupus) became a dog. Because the anatomy of dogs and wolves are very similar. Therefore, bone finds from the distant past can usually not provide any clues.
The fact is that two and four-legged friends met. Then began man domesticate the wolf. This means that humans have made a tame companion out of the wild animal.
How and when exactly this happened will probably remain a mystery for a long time to come.
Where did the dog originally come from?
It is also unclear on which part of the world the story of the dog began. Because wolves are native to many parts of the world, or at least they were.
- Some researchers suspect the origin of the dogs in Europe.
- Others see the dog's birthplace in Asia, East Asia or China.
- And yet other scientists are betting on the Middle East.
It is very likely that people on several continents had the idea to domesticate wolves at the same time.
How were dogs domesticated?
However, this cannot be determined exactly, and neither can the point in time. The reason for this is again the anatomical similarity between wolf and dog and the very long process of domestication.
It is also unclear to this day whether humans approached wolves or whether wolves sought to be close to humans. So it could have been a community of convenience at the beginning, in which neither of the two saw duties. Wolves are hunters and humans were hunters and gatherers.
Emotions were probably also left out at the time. Perhaps the only exception was the puppy child scheme. Puppies will have enjoyed this human bonus thousands of years ago.
You are sure to know the joyous calls:
Oh, the puppies are so cute!
The head and paws of each young animal are disproportionately large compared to the rest of the body. This triggers a protective instinct in humans and is known as the child scheme.
It is not known with certainty whether the child scheme really played a role in the domestication of wolves.
In ancient Egypt, dogs were sacred
However, it is believed that at some point humans began raising wild wolf pups by hand. So these animals got used more and more to the bipeds and made friends with them.
Dogs have developed completely differently from country to country. That has to do with the position of animals in society.
So were about in Egypt dogs sacred. The well-known Pharaoh Hound decorates the tombs of the ancient kings.
The dogs of that era were doing very well. They were decorated, only got the best food and were buried together with the Pharaoh. Pharaoh dogs exist to this day. They are known under the name Kelb tal-Fenek and are similar to the Podencos.
Wall paintings tell stories
In Europe or the Middle East, however, the dog was more popular as a working dog. Old murals and artifacts suggest that humans liked to take the dog with them on the hunt.
The smallest dog in the world developed on the American continent. The Chihuahua should been a victim dog be. As the darling of Aztec princesses, he was considered the guide of souls and accompanied them to the afterlife.
That of course meant that the dog found death with it. Chihuahuas may also have served as a meal for the indigenous people.
Development of the breeds of dogs
Over time, people find themselves breeding dog breeds as needed.
This is how breeds such as hunting dogs, hounds, lap dogs, shepherd dogs and herding dogs came into being. There are now around 350 different dog breeds around the world.
Each breed has its own unique characteristics. So there is exactly the right dog for every dog lover, whose character and activity suits you.
Since when our favorite pet has existed cannot be conclusively answered.
Perhaps towards the end of the Ice Age the daughter of an Ice Age person begged her father to be allowed to raise a lone wolf pup. After all, the animal is so cute and would otherwise have to die.
Until today it has been a long way from wolf to dog. Many can no longer imagine a life without our four-legged companions.
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