Dogs have been around for quite some time - maybe that's why they're called "man's best friend!" Even before the human species was completely evolved, dogs were by their side. And not just ran away from them or towards them, but beside them.
Scientists have been puzzled for quite some time as to just how this bond happened. In our lifetime, we have always viewed dogs as pets. But how did this come about? A study running out of the University of Oxford might find the answers.
Researchers' first belief was that dogs came originally from ancient wolves. The explanation of the dog here was that the original hunter-gatherers took home a wolf puppy in order to reverse the role of hunter-huntee, taming the wolves to be tamer and tamer over time. The purpose of this was supposedly to use these tamer wolves for working purposes.
But this origin story has recently faced some problems. Why? Well to start, wolves are very difficult to tame, even as puppies. But if humans didn't invent the dog, who did?
The answer? The dogs themselves.
Yes, researchers at U of Oxford have recently come up with a theory that dogs gave themselves the role they have today. Researchers think that ancient wolves were less timid/less scared of humans as modern wolves are. Over time, those wolves began to realize that with humans, came food. Therefore, ancient wolves began to beg.
And with begging, wolves became dogs.
Most recent findings also indicate that location-wise, these domesticated wolves came from East Asia, Mongolia, Siberia, Europe and Africa.
So go on, trace your family history all the way back - maybe you'll find out your ancestors had one of the first dogs!