40,000 Years Ago
History of Dogs – Wolves – Through DNA analysis, it is believed that nearly 40000 years ago, wolves began to be domesticated and eventually evolved in to what we today call dogs. The analysis by some scientists suggest that the original location for domestication, was in East Asia, while others state that it may have been the middle east or Europe.
Historians again have two completely different beliefs as to how wolves were domesticated. On one hand, we have historians telling us that wolf pups were taken from their litters and trained for certain roles and eventually domesticated. On the other hand, due to the nature of the beast, being a wolf, many say that this would have been unlikely.
The second thesis is that as man became more settled and began leaving or discarding food waste around their property and with wolves being scavengers, this became an attractive source of food for them. This theory has some wanting us to reflect on the idea that most animals and wolves being afraid of humans, possess a natural “flight distance” that would cause them to flee when they saw, sensed or smelled humans.
Flight distances most likely kept the wolves away from humans, but it is said that eventually, the flight distance instincts between wolves and man decreased. What this means is that wolves were no longer scared of the smell or approach of humans and so began the bridge or gap between the wolf and the dog as we call them today. Again, this mostly theory, but these theories were gathered throughout the years from experiments that scientists observed while seeking to domesticate wild foxes. These scientists observed that foxes most comfortable to approach humans were also very good at picking up on social cues.
Scientists and researchers agree that most domestication occurred when man was a hunter and had migrant lifestyles. This meant that as man migrated so did his canine counterpart. Later in the years through the start of trade networks, not only did the human population mix, but so began the admixture of dogs.
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