From wolf to dog

Although there are several theories nearly everyone is in agreement that all our dogs (Canis Lupus Familiaris) in all their variety are descended from wolves (Canis Lupus), as different breeds. That they belong to the same family (Canis / Canidae) and, in spite of differences in appearance, are still very similar to each other, is apparent from the fact that the basic behaviour of our dogs is still the same as the behaviour of a wolf.

Thousands of years ago, in the course of history, a simbiosis (living together to the advantage of both) arose between man and wolf. Wolves are opportunistic and learned that it was beneficial to stay in the area of people travelling around (nomads). The wolves ate the remains of food from the people during times of scarcity and the people learned that it was advantageous to use the characteristics of the wolf, for example, in hunting and keeping watch.

a king and his dog slaying a wolf

Throughout the world (with a few exceptions), wolves existed. What is striking is that, independent of each other, a bond of cooperation between man and wolf came into existence throughout the world. Slowly, over many generations, man began to adapt “his wolf” to his wishes. He made the animals mate  together which had the most favourable characteristics for him and the environment; he began to breed! In this way Canis Lupus Familiaris came into existence .

Because the desired characteristics varied from continent to continent and from district to district, the diverse types of characteristics that were useful came into existence. In this way the basis was laid for the various different breeds.

By constantly selecting the “dogs” that were the most suitable for the objectives and by breeding them together, the desired sort of dog slowly but surely came to exist. By constantly breeding the biggest with the biggest, the smallest with the smallest, the shortest legs with the shortest legs, and the flattest snout with the flattest snout etc., the various breeds were created.

It is scientifically important in this that the species (Canis) came into existence by natural evolution and that the various dog breeds only came to exist through selection on the basis of desired characteristics. This means that our dogs (Canis Lupus Familiaris), in all their diversity, are still at the same evolutionary level as their ancestor the wolf (Canis Lupus).

The fact that we have to take account of this doesn’t just apply to our dogs’ basic behaviour, but also to their digestive system and because of this, their daily nutrition. It is only when we respect every aspect of the basic needs of our dogs, that we can expect optimal health.

 

Evolution of dogs Explained by Neil deGrasse Tyson – Excerpt – Cosmos A space time Odyssey (5:10)

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How Dogs Became Our Best Friends (3:54)

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