Experts around the world believe the first domesticated dogs appeared in Central Asia over 15,000 years ago. If they are right, then it really gives meaning to the term “man’s best friend”. Can you think of any other friendships spanning that amount of time? Didn’t think so.
When you think of the domestication of dogs you might picture some villager petting a nice, friendly dog and thinking “You know what? I think I’ll take you home as my pet and let you hang around my wife and kids”. What you may have forgotten is that these dogs began as wild animals; Eurasian wolves, to be precise. These pack hunters roamed vast distances, sometimes as large as over one hundred wolves strong, and searched for any kind of prey they could get their paws on. What is interesting is once humans came along they were essentially going after the same species of prey. This had to have led to some conflicts between the groups which may have made it difficult down the line to domesticate these wild beasts. Maybe once the wolves saw how smart and resourceful the humans were at capturing prey they decided to let us do the work so they could lay around all day and let us feed them. Whatever the case, it has turned out to be an amazing friendship.
Nowadays, the World Canine Organization recognizes around 340 different breeds of dogs. Right about now as you are reading this you may have just looked at your dog and wondered what kind of ancestors he or she has. If your dog is less than 10 pounds and fits in your hands, can you picture a pack of them taking down a huge elk and feasting on its entrails? What’s crazy to think is that a dog like a Chihuahua is actually the same species as a Doberman. If you simply must know where your best friend came from, Groupon has these coupons for Wisdom Panel that can tell you the breed of your dog and give you insight into its ancestry. The more you know about your best friend, the better an owner you can be. And the more you can brag to family and friends about how much you know about Fido.