Why Do We Even Have Dogs

Our ancestors may have had more meat than they could consume, which led to the domestication of dogs. The wolves that hunter-gatherers kept as pets during the ice era may have shared any surplus with them.

Both the timing and the reasons for dog domestication are unknown. Genetic data reveals that between 27,000 and 40,000 years ago, dogs diverged from their wolf forebears. The oldest dog burial is from 14,200 years ago, indicating that dogs had already become widely accepted as pets at that time.

However, it is unclear if domestication took place in Europe or Asia, in multiple places, or for what reasons. All other animals were domesticated once farming became widely practiced; only dogs were domesticated by hunter-gatherers. One theory holds that humans domesticated dogs to aid them in hunting, while another postulates that wolves scavenge human waste sites and grow used to humans.

The Finnish Food Authority in Helsinki’s Maria Lahtinen and her colleagues hypothesize that an abundance of meat may have been the solution.

Why do people own dogs?

According to a 2003 study by J.S.J. Odendaal, humans who pet dogs experience oxytocin release, which is a hormone linked to bonding, affection, and happiness.

[56] The social support theory contends that companionship and social support, both of which are essential for wellbeing, can be found in animals. [57] The social impact of dogs on people is particularly important for those who are more likely to be socially isolated, such as elderly people or children without siblings[58]. [59] According to this perspective, the animal is an integral component of our society and a key factor in determining psychological health.

According to self psychology, an animal can be a “self-object” that provides a person’s sense of self with a sense of coherence, support, or nourishment. The importance of some animals to a person’s sense of self and overall wellbeing is explained by self-psychology. [60] Dog companionship frequently enables people to establish regular routines and gives them daily gratification. [2] According to studies, having a dog decreases stress, eases anxiety, and even increases lifespan[61, 62]. [63]

Why did people breed canines?

According to a study, wolves and dogs most likely diverged from one another at a single site between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago.

It was often believed that dogs were domesticated from two wolf groups that lived thousands of miles apart.

Researchers examined the DNA of three canines that were discovered at 4,700–7,000-year-old archaeological sites in Germany and Ireland.

Scientists were able to date the domestication of dogs to between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago by examining the rates of change to the DNA from the earliest specimen.

The study’s researcher is Krishna Veeramah of Stony Brook University in New York.

He claimed that when a pack of wolves decided to forage for food on the periphery of hunter-gatherer encampment, the process of domestication of dogs began.

The more subdued and submissive wolves “would have been more successful at this,” he said.

The humans would have gradually formed a symbiotic relationship with these animals, eventually turning into the dogs we see today, even though they did not initially benefit in any way from the process.

The complicated and contentious history of how wolves were domesticated into dogs is well known.

Scientists estimate that dogs first traveled the planet 20,000 years ago, possibly alongside their human companions.

They were essentially present everywhere by 7,000 years ago, although not being the dogs we would today consider to be pets.

They would have resembled what we now refer to as village dogs, which are free-breeding canines that do not live in particular people’s houses and are comparable to them globally, according to Dr. Veeramah.

Later, the dogs were bred for their prowess as hunters, herders, or gundogs, leading to the development of hundreds of contemporary breeds.

According to the study, which was published in Nature Communications, even the village dogs and dog breeds found in the Americas and Pacific Islands are largely descended from recent European dog ancestry.

Dr. Veeramah stated, “In this aspect, it indicates that our 7,000-year-old Neolithic dog from Europe is almost an ancestor to most modern breed dogs found throughout the world.”

This ancestry may go all the way back to the oldest dog fossil we have yet found, which is an about 14,000-year-old German specimen.

Previous research revealed that more than 12,000 years ago, on separate parts of the Eurasian continent, the first domestic dogs arose.

According to this idea, the eastern canines later traveled with migratory humans and interbred with those from the west.

It’s wonderful to see more ancient dog genomes being published, according to Dr. Greger Larson of the University of Oxford.

We’re simply scratching the surface of this interesting narrative, he remarked.

The more information we have, the better chance we may have of figuring out how we came to be such long-term, close friends.

We live with dogs, why?

It has always struck me as strange that dog lovers will adopt a dog even if they know it will die tragically. Dogs typically live for 12 years, thus it is practically a given that they will outlive their owners. Nevertheless, even knowing that the tale would never have a happy ending, we continue to welcome new pets into our homes. We determine that the ultimate sadness is worth the tradeoff.

We don’t deserve dogs, I’ve always maintained. How is it that we have access to such amazing, compassionate animals when, far too often, we don’t show them the same degree of love in return? Having said all of that, there is science behind why dogs and people get along so well.

Dogs and people are both social beings first and foremost. Both species desire (need) to be around other people. In large part, dogs are able to satisfy that social need for humans and we are able to fill that need for dogs.

Because they can read human body language so well, dogs can almost instantly tell when we’re in a good mood, pleased, fatigued, etc. They’ve learned this from 20,000 years of coexistence with people. They are much more adept at interpreting our body language than we are at interpreting theirs. It’s interesting how much canine and human body language resemble one another. Watch the video Understanding Dog Body Language to learn more about canine body language.

The similarity between the brains of people and dogs, as well as between their hormones and neurotransmitters, may surprise you. In essence, they resemble humans in their ability to think and feel. The fact that numerous psychopharmaceutical drugs—i.e., medications that alter mental position or state—that are successfully utilized in humans and dogs serves as evidence for this.

In some ways, the way we pay attention to humans and dogs is similar. They engage in behaviors including pawing at us, vocalizing or barking at us, and attempting to start play with us. These actions are taken in an effort to interact with us. Humans always direct their gaze at other people when they want to interact with them. The next time your dog tries to interact with you, pay attention to the direct eye contact that they make.

Like humans, dogs have territorial behavior. Even if it’s no longer believed that our dogs think of themselves as part of some sort of wolf pack in which the owner is the “alpha wolf,” they unquestionably identify with their human family and the actual house they live in. In essence, they are aware of the members of their “family” and the boundaries that define them. Please check 3 Words I Wish Dog Owners and Dog Trainers Wouldn’t Use for additional information on this topic.

Oxytocin. The hormone that makes people and pets feel good and in love. According to studies, when people and dogs connect, their levels of the hormone oxytocin rise. The molecular process involved in this is essentially beyond anyone’s control. We can’t help but love our pets, and the same goes for them. Please refer to Does my dog love me for more details on oxytocin. Dog lovers vs. scientists.

Without including domestication, there can be no discussion of canine and human interaction. Dogs have been tamed due to their 20,000-year history of coexistence with humans. It simply implies that they have organically evolved to live with people and have adapted to it; it’s in their DNA. It’s innate in puppies; they don’t need to be trained to get along and get along with people. Dogs are prone to interacting and residing peacefully with humans when they are still in the womb. Given that wolves are not a domesticated species, it would not be reasonable to anticipate that a newborn wolf would grow up to live contentedly with people.

The presence of dogs in our lives is a blessing. Recognize that it has taken many centuries for humans and dogs to arrive at the point where we coexist harmoniously and practically without effort.

Do dogs live independently of humans?

Dogs have become totally reliant on people as a result of domestication. They depend on us to provide for their needs, including food, exercise, safety, and medical attention. Therefore, could they actually endure in a world devoid of humans? If all humans vanished, what would this planet look like for dogs?

You may assume that a domestic dog would find it difficult to adjust to life without humans.

No more squeaky dog toys, leashes, dog beds, food bowls, or belly rubs. No more visits to the vet, doggie playdates, or obedience lessons.

Dogs would essentially have to live in a world where they would have to take care of everything, including food, safety, and survival.

Dogs would probably eventually figure out how to adapt, endure, and even even thrive in a world without humans. In addition, around 80% of dogs in the world now are free-ranging, thus most canines wouldn’t notice if people weren’t present.

Dogs Would Need New Survival Skills

Without humans, surviving would require certain survival abilities, such as the ability to build alliances and partnerships with other animals (including cats! ), have an independent personality, be street smart, be able to quickly adjust to changing circumstances, and be prepared to take some risks.

Additionally, size may be important: medium- to large-sized dogs may do better than tiny dogs (such as Shih Tzus) or huge breed dogs (like Great Danes).

Interbreeding With Other Animals Is Likely

Dogs would need to breed with other species to survive in a world without humans, especially wolves and coyotes. Offspring from such interbreeding would be able to live and thrive without humans, passing on survival genes to succeeding generations.

Finding Shelter Would Be Trial-and-Error

Dogs would need to find areas to dwell without human shelters, like burrows that would naturally protect them from predators. As the canines adapted to their new habitat and developed their survival skills, this would need some trial and error.

It’s probable that not all domestic dogs would be able to adapt, given the numerous adaptations and talents needed to thrive in a world devoid of humans. However, those that were adaptable would figure out how to live and even prosper in their new surroundings.

However, let’s hope that our closest friends won’t soon have to deal with life without us.

Do dogs believe we are canines?

Let’s not abandon you here, then. Do dogs believe that people are canines? The short answer is no. They undoubtedly wish we would occasionally enjoy the dog park with them and roll about in the mud with them. Beyond that, it’s doubtful that they perceive us as tall, hairless doggos with a supply of dog treats.

But what’s really intriguing is how dogs recognize our differences from them. So, cuddle up with your pet as we study how dogs perceive their four-legged friends.

Your dog needs to understand the distinction between dogs and people much like Snoop Dogg does between Bay Area hip-hop and East Coast hip-hop.

Do cats assume that dogs are cats?

Most of the research behind why dogs mistakenly believe they are cats has to do with influence and behavior. The dog is not really sitting there pretending to be a cat. However, because to the influence of having cats about and the effect this has on their behavior, they may exhibit specific feline traits.

between wolves and hunter-gatherers more than 30,000 years ago, was one of the most significant changes in human history.

[4] The only other large carnivore that has been domesticated is the dog.


[5] According to genetic testing and the archaeological record, the Bonn-Oberkassel dog’s remains, which were buried alongside humans 14,200 years ago, are the oldest known canine remains, with disputed ones appearing 36,000 years ago. The domestication of dogs predates the development of agriculture[1], and it wasn’t until the Holocene era, or 11,000 years ago, that people in the Near East began to interact with wild populations of aurochs, boar, sheep, and goats. [2] Although the exact location of the dog’s domestication is still up for debate, literature reviews of the available data indicate that it happened in Eurasia[12], with Central Asia, East Asia, and Western Europe being the most likely candidates. [2] [10] Ancient dog samples discovered in the Levant (7,000 years before present YBP), Karelia (10,900 YBP), Lake Baikal (7,000 YBP), ancient America (4,000 YBP), and the New Guinea singing dog represent five ancestral lineages that had diverged from one another by the end of the most recent Ice Age 11,700 years ago (present day). [3]

The dog was domesticated in Siberia 23,000 years ago by Ancient North Eurasians, who later dispersed it eastward into the Americas and westward across Eurasia, according to a literature review of the available evidence published in 2021. There haven’t been any finds of old dog remains from this time and place to back up this theory. [12]