It is hard to believe that a chihuahua, pug, or poodle can trace their bloodlines back to wolves. Scientists, however, do have the DNA evidence to show that the dog did indeed descend from the gray wolf. The oldest fossils of a domesticated dog are from a 14,000-year-old dog grave, although DNA evidence suggests dogs diverged from wolves much earlier than that, some suggesting even from 15,000 to more than 100,000 years ago. Making dog man’s oldest friend, if not his best, historians agree that humans domesticated dogs before any other animal. Today, we at Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings would like to elaborate on the history of domesticating dogs.
How Did Dogs Evolve to Become Domesticated?
Ultimately, it is a guess that scientists have when dogs and humans first became friendly. One fairly popular theory suggests that humans’ pup-napped wolf pups and eventually tamed them. As they were not afraid to rummage through human trash sites to find food, another theory proposes that the tamest wolves that fed this way, proved to be tamer, helping their survival, which eventually evolved to the dogs we know and love today. Humans easily took the place of the highest-ranking wolf, being that wolves operate in packs. As a result, these animals quickly learned obedience. From there, people would only continue to breed tamer and tamer wolves, until we eventually got to domesticated dogs.
Dog & Wolf Similarities & Differences
So, many people still wonder why dogs look and act so much different from wolves. Able to solve part of the mystery surrounding how a wolf made such a drastic transformation, a 20th century Russian Geneticist, Dmitri Belyaev attempted to breed tame foxes. Foxes not only became tamer, which Belyaev found that after several generations of selective breeding and expected, but they also began to take on dog-like characteristics. This experiment uncovered surprising facts about behavior and appearance could have changed wolves into dogs, though to clarify, DNA evidence tells us that wolves, not foxes, are the ancestors of dogs. Neither artificial nor natural selection could intentionally draw them out as many of these characteristics are absent in wild foxes, much as they are in wolves. It is also suspected that genes that account for tameness must also carry a code for such things as floppy ears.
Guide to Dog Breeds
Compared to wolves looking relatively uniform, Belyaev’s findings also gives us a better understanding as to how different dog breeds ended up looking so different from each other. People embraced this variation of tameness brought about variation unseen in wild wolves. Bigger, faster dogs are better at hunting where the smaller, cuddly dogs are better at keeping your lap warm. People bred different dogs for different purposes, instead of choosing one or the other. Along with the advent of dog shows, in the 19th century we saw a surge in the number of dog breeds.
Dog & Wolf Wood Chainsaw Carvings & More in Las Vegas, Nevada, Helena, Montana & Nampa, Idaho
As so many dog breeds, or mixed breeds, have become a dominate part of the human word, there are many breeds that people are drawn to, or just dogs in general. In any case, Clark the Carver of Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings can custom chainsaw carve your favorite dog breed or your can choose from our inventory of dog or other wood sculptures!