Many families value their pets as members of their family, but have humans always had such a close relationship with their dogs? According to scientific discovery, man’s best friend has much to owe to its ancestor, the grey wolf.
What advantages would a semi-tame wolf have brought to a human hunting group? Well, it looks like they acted as ‘early warning systems’ for human settlements, and would perform admirably in a guard capacity. It’s widely held that man domesticated wolves by feeding them and adopting wolf cubs.
However, there is other evide . But if wolves are descended from dogs – how is there so much diversity? It is thought that there are well over 400 distinct breeds of dog worldwide.
It seems humans are to blame/thank – during the Victorian era the fashion was in selectively breeding animals for desirable (if not always practical) traits. This breeding has resulted in the seven main groups of dogs we know today: Sporting Dogs, Hounds, Working Dogs, Herding Dogs, Terriers, “Toy Dogs” and the harder to classify “Utility” group.
Check out this infographic by Invisible Fence for information on the diversity of dog evolution, their relationship with humans, and stats on the most popular breeds of dogs over the last 100 years.