Man’s best friend.

A dog can do anything; from saving lives to sniffing out drugs, helping others to hunting for food,  our canine friends are more than mere companion.

Many of us have dogs at home. Some people love their pet so much they allow the animal to venture into home and bedroom. But we all know that dogs are the direct descendants of the Gray Wolf.

Some said that early humans adopted wolf pups and that natural selection favored the less aggressive and better at begging for food animals. Others said dogs domesticated themselves by adapting to a new niche—human refuse dumps. Scavenging canids that were less likely to flee from people survived in this niche, and succeeding generations became increasingly tame.

Wolves and people have several things in common.
Firstly, we were both hunters and also hunted in packs. It was certain that during the course of our evolution our paths would have regularly crossed, we would have even hunted and eaten each other. That’s the beginning of our relationship with our canine friends.

Wolves live in packs, headed by an Alpha male and Alpha female. The Alphas are the most aggressive couple in a pack, and the only pair that breeds. The resulting cubs will be taken care of by all members of the pack. Other wolves involve in hunting and the cubs’ protection, but never allowed to breed. While generally accepted this particular theory has fallen out of practice.  In fact canine society is a bit more complex than merely an ‘alpha’ dog.  There certainly is an alpha, but along with other dynamics and behavioral complexities, a pack dynamic is formed.  With humans it takes more than being an alpha, the dog must have trust and loyalty.

Upon reaching maturity, the young wolves will be driven out from the pack to start a pack of their own. They must venture out from the packs’ territory to avoid future confrontation, sometimes as far as 30-40 kilometers away.
There are, however, weaker and less aggressive members of the pack. They get the least food during hunting. However some altruistic wolves allow the smilers pack mates to eat first.  Why? It is thought to maintain the strength and integrity of the pack.  In lean times the pack is only as good as the weakest member.

Sometime around 15,000 years ago, some of these less aggressive wolves started to approach human to eat the scraps from their leftovers.

After wolves learned not to bite the hand that fed them, French poodles weren’t far behind. The wolves got food from us, and in turn they helped us in hunting, and some even ended up as food. 

People eat dogs

Though there was evidence to suggest that dogs genetically diverged from their wolf ancestors at least 15,000 years ago, some believed domestication has occurred earlier. Domesticated dogs first appeared in East Asia, probably China. They then spread across Asia and Europe, and then accompanied their two-legged companions into the Americas.

Today, some breeds are still dangerously aggressive because breeders retain their aggressive trait for our benefit; for guarding warehouses and crime fighting. Some are exceptionally gorgeous, a far cry from the shadow that once inhabited our nightmares.

Dogs are our companions, our friends and our helpers.  In most cases this partnership works out well.