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Domestic Dogs: Where Did They Come From?

By Hundidocom @hundidopuppy

Wolves, the ancestors of our pet dogs, are social animals that enjoy each other’s company. Humans have taken this trait and bred selectively over the generations so that the dogs we have in our homes are generally very sociable and loyal. However, it must never be forgotten that dogs evolved as pack animals that had to compete with others and kill prey to survive, and these traits are still there beneath the surface of domesticity.

Dogs were the first domesticated animal; however, many major questions about their domestication remain. For instance, it’s still not clear how many times they were domesticated, where in the Old World this happened, and how many different wolf populations contributed to the modern global population of dogs. - source

A number of theories exist as to how dogs were first domesticated in response to human needs.

dog hunting

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One of these theories noted that dogs were originally used by humans to help with hunting., in that the humans would scare off wolves from their kills and scavenge the remains. Perhaps by means of training orphaned wolf cubs, humans might have begun to employ wolves’ hunting skills more directly.

Another theory is that early domestic dogs were used for guarding rather than hunting, due to their superior sense of hearing and smell alerting humans to unnoticed danger threatening their homesteads. This guarding could then have been extended to use with flocks of sheep and cattle, since humans soon began to domesticate both of these as well.

dog and master

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It’s unlikely that the exact process of domestication will ever be fully known. Probably the relationship built up through a combination of reasons, and it may have started in slightly different ways in different geographical areas. As time went on, the wolf offspring must have come to live and grow in the closest possible association with humans, learning to respond to moods and obey commands.

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