Dogs are often called “The Man’s Best Friends”. And that’s because they tend to be very loyal to us, they guard us, help us hunt, find things or people that we search for, rescue people and so on. But the question is: when did we – humans and dogs begin our relationship and how did it develop throughout the ages. That being said, let’s get into Brief Dog And Human History.
The First Human-Canine Interractions
Most peoples know that dogs evolved from wolves. Not modern wolves, but rather they diverged from the same ancestors in the past. These ancient wolf ancestors are now extinct, but were once very common. So dogs are, essentially, by-products of artificial selection – results of evolutionary genetic adaptations caused by humans.
The first human-wolve interactions seem to date back to 40,000 to 20,000 years ago. That’s when humans first began taming first wolves and slowly turning them into dogs.
Humans, based on current data, have originated from Africa and slowly spread throughout the world. After Africa, middle east was inhabited.
Early Farming Communities
It’s also important to note that the origins of farming, which is important for this topic, seem to go back to a place known as the Fertile Crescent, in the Middle East. Nowadays, this area includes parts of modern-day Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Egypt.
That’s when human societies began to advance from hunter-gatherer to agricultural ones and humans began growing various crops like wheat, barley, peas and lentils.
After we began growing various crops, we also began taming and domesticating various animals, including, but not limited to: sheep, goats, cows, pigs and wolves.
About 9,000 years ago, humans began moving out of the Middle East to Europe and they’ve brought their agricultural practices, as well as their animals, with them. Wolves, slowly turning into dogs, also went with them. There is plenty of DNA evidence in certain old canine remains found at archaeological sites across Europe and Asia.
Dr Morgane Ollivier of the University of Rennes in France, said this: “Our study shows that dogs and humans have an intertwined story – dogs followed humans during this migration across Europe. We show in this paper that dogs and humans were already really connected.”
Dogs who began travelling from the Middle East to Europe, began breeding with the dogs already living in the Europe – creating new mixed breeds. This was happening for centuries, up ot this point, and these modern mixed dogs are very different from the original Middle East farm dogs.
Also, evidence seems to suggest that these modern mixed dogs have been created from two different original wolf populations who have lived thousands of kilometers apart.
And so, modern dogs continue to evolve, largely because of artificial selection, creating more and more breeds. Nowadays, there are about 339 different breeds of dogs and many mixed variants.
Different dogs are being bred for different purposes and are constantly moving further away from original wolves that they’ve evolved from. And that will be all for Brief Dog And Human History.