From Wolf to Dog

How has “the dog” become “man’s best friend”? Today, we see dogs as a very important part of most people’s lives. They are treated like other humans, almost as equals, and sometimes even better than most humans in the world. People used to think that animals were just for guarding and hunting, and they treated them like regular animals. However, this change of public opinion about dogs was caused when people started having them as pets.

Dogs are the oldest pets. People and wolves became close, and humans bred the different types and created dogs. People are so close to dogs because they have been so close for such a long time. They were domesticated at least 30,000 years ago, but it could have been earlier. The species of dogs are estimated to be around 15,000-20,000 years old. Later pets would be sheep and goats, 11,000 years ago, and cats around 10,000 years ago. Humans first began taking in wolf pups, which tamed the wolves because they had taken them in when they were puppies. They first started domesticating them for hunting. Humans gave the wolves food, and the wolves told the humans when strangers or predators approached. When wolves became dogs, they evolved to have smaller skulls, brains, teeth, and paws. They like having a job to do, like herding. The evolutionary advantages of wolves was that they got smaller teeth, paws, etc. Dogs have evolved to eat other stuff besides raw meat. They are omnivores now. There are different kinds of dogs in different cultures. For example, in Alaska, dog sleds are pulled by Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. Afghan hounds are from Afghanistan. There are also many breeds of English dogs. When you take a dog and breed it in a certain place, it may evolve to fit the environment, creating a new breed of dog.

The historical and cultural evolution of the dog in public opinion has changed how people like and view dogs. There have been many famous dogs throughout history that have changed people’s views about dogs. For example, many presidents had dogs like Fala, Franklin Roosevelt’s dog, Bo, Obama’s dog, and Buddy, Bill Clinton’s dog. Fala even has a statue at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. There are also dogs from TV and comics like Snoopy, Scooby Doo, and Pluto.

People have seen dogs as pets for a long time. In different parts of the world, humans have created 339 different dog breeds, not including mixed breeds. Even if someone does not like dogs, there is practically a dog breed for everyone. Short ones, tall ones, big ones, little ones. The 339 breeds are sorted into seven groups, Terrier, Working, Toy, Sporting, Hound, Herding and Non-Sporting. The breeds in the Herding group, for example, are bred to herd. If someone is looking for a certain dog to be a gift, they might pick a Toy dog like a Pug or Pomeranian. When people first started domesticating dogs, it was usually for hunting or as guard dogs. Nowadays, a lot of dogs are for pets and police dogs and for herding on farms. People have dogs as pets today because it makes them happier, and some people just really like dogs. They think that dogs are cute, cool, and most dogs have very good personalities. Most dogs follow their owner around everywhere, and having a dog prevents loneliness. In the past, people may have just thought of dogs as working animals, like they might think about farm animals like horses. People use dogs for other domestic things like therapy and guiding the blind. People started treating dogs better because they were helping them more. They started treating them better and better, until they began to think of them as man’s best friend.

Dogs are arguably the most popular pet. However, in the past, dogs weren’t the most popular pet; they were just working animals. Public opinion has changed because there have become even more types of dogs, and they now are celebrated in pop culture. Now, we love dogs more because they have done more stuff for us, like protecting us, helping us, and just making us feel better. We celebrate them because we have had them for such a long time, and they have been very useful.



List of oldest dogs

  • Saluki
  • Pekingese
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Chow Chow
  • Basenji
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Akita Inu
  • Afghan Hound


Works Cited


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