The history of dogs and humans

Have you ever wondered how and when the amazing bond between people and our furry friends developed? The history of dogs and humans has long been a subject of research and debate. It was first thought that dog domestication happened in eastern Asia some 15,000 years ago. Researchers believed that after the introduction of farming, wild wolves came to the settlements to forage for food. They were then gradually tamed by the villagers and trained both for hunting and protection of their settlements; however, new genetic evidence now suggests that Humans domesticated dogs thousands of years earlier than thought. An ancient, doglike skull was uncovered in the Siberian Mountains, suggesting that the first dogs were domesticated as far back as 33,000 years ago in Ice Age Europe. As humans and wolves began to work and live together, the physical features of the wolf gradually began to change and evolve. Its skeletal frame grew smaller and its jaw shortened. Interestingly, Geneticists also found that both humans and dogs underwent similar co-evolution in several brain processes, digestion and metabolism. Wolves that socialised well with humans began to travel with them and passed on these new genes to the wild wolf population. The debate may continue, but all the evidence suggests that the history of dogs and humans goes back a long way. Most researchers agree that domesticated dogs have been firmly ensconced in human society as man’s best friend for at least the last 10,000 years.

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