Actually not too long ago in terms of evolution, it started 15.000 years ago. Archaeologists found the remains of the Bonn-Oberkassel dog buried alongside their human companions about 14.200 years ago. This is the first time that undisputed evidence was found of a domesticated dog.
Even though this is where the domestication of the dog started, this was a tame wolf, not the dog or puppy we have & love today. There is still much contention over when exactly wolves evolved. Based on fossil studies we can see when wolves physically evolved into dogs, but it doesn’t tell us when they started to act like the domestic dogs we know today.
Based on DNA studies we can see that wolves evolved into dogs between 19.000 and 32.000 years ago.
There are a number of theories about what happened all those generations ago when humans and wolves embarked on an evolutionary journey together to become the best of friends:
One would think that humans domesticated the dog based on our modern habits and way of life, however there are some who would argue that dogs actually domesticated us! It is believed that wolves began to adapt to human society long before humans actually settled down and practiced agriculture. Their canine instincts allow them to “read” human behavior and there is speculation that as wolves began to “read” the humans around them, they learned to adapt their behavior.
For example, as wolves hung around the outskirts of human, hunter-gatherer camps looking for scraps of food, they began to learn that being aggressive was not the way to win the humans over. However, if the wolves demonstrated a bit more trust and friendliness, the humans tended to show more interest and the relationship between man and dogs grew from there.
As this domestication continued, humans began to experiment with breeding and again, over the course of the years various breeds began to emerge onto the scene.
One thing we know for sure is that the domestication has been good for dogs and even greater for us humans, because we love them and they are our best friend!
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