The Evolution Of Dog
The exact origin of the dog is unknown, but some theories place the first doglike animals on earth at around 600,000 B.c. Domesticated dogs are thought to date back about 20,000 years, with their closest recognizable ancestor the wolf.
At a time when life was extremely harsh and food supplies limited, these primitive animals learned the benefits of grouping together for survival. Pack behavior developed, with the dogs assuming various ranks within the group. One dog assumed the leadership position, generally through an assertive show of power, and all pack members then worked out their own niche behind the leader.
ln earliest times, human and dog competed for the same prey-and human intellect and superior skills ultimately won this contest. Dogs were intelligent enough to recognize, however, the benefits of adaptation to a secondary role as assistant. The dog’s ability to subordinate it self to humans while still retaining its spirit has enabled the dog to become our
favorite domesticated animal.
Early humans utilized dogs primarily to aid in the hunt for food; as time passed, people learned how to breed dogs selectively to attain certain goals: fast runners, good hunters, avid watch dogs. Such useful qualities served humans well. Over time a bond of friendship also arose and dual-purpose dogs evolved: workers and companions.