The behavorial evolution of dogs through domestication

The behavorial evolution of dogs through domestication
The exact date when dogs were first domesticated (Canis familiaris) is unknown. Domestication most likely occurred in diverse civilizations and regions of the world and, according to certain authors, is thought to have begun at the end of the Paleolithic period. The dog is often said to have originated from the gray wolf (Canis lupus). For a long time, authors did not all agree. According to some, the golden jackal or even the coyote are the ancestors of the dog. They believe dogs came about as a result of successive crossbreeding between these animals. However, recent DNA studies seem to corroborate the wolf theory.
Dogs Are The First Species To Have Been Domesticated: Several hypotheses have been advanced as to the reasons why dogs were domesticated. It is currently thought that young wolf cubs were brought back to campsites and were cared for by the women. These wolf cubs were kept for various reasons: emotional or religious reasons, or for food. Their utility as guard or hunting dogs was not discovered until later.
There are numerous known subspecies of wolves that are distinguished by their size. They are thought to have played a role in the ancestry of the dog to varying degrees since it seems that the domestication process occurred in several places. The great diversity in the subspecies used is precisely what explains, at least in part, the polymorphism of the canine species and the large number of different breeds.
Throughout the centuries, dogs have been used for hunting and in some cases, to guard houses. In the Middle Ages, numerous hunting dog breeds began to appear in response to the substantial development of hunting with hounds.
The Evolution Of Domestication: Because of domestication and human intervention, the 21st century dog is a far cry from his ancestors. Humans have selected dogs, their build, size, color, coat and ears (wild dogs all have erect ears by the time they reach adulthood).
In terms of physiology, sexual maturity is reached earlier in dogs. It has gone from the age of two years in wolves to six to ten months in the average-sized dog (10 – 25 kg) (22-55 lb). Moreover, the following have been observed: the reproductive cycle of dogs has doubled, the anal and perianal glands have become smaller and the morphology of the breeds has become more diverse. In addition, domestic dogs emit more sounds than wild dogs. Human-trained puppies are more vocal than dogs that live in packs. Numerous behavioral modifications have also developed such as docility and socialization to other animal species and to humans, which have thus eliminated predatory behaviors.
Negative Consequences Of Domestication: Domestication does not only have positive effects. In cases of bad breeding practices or poor training by the owner, some dogs may develop behavioral problems such as noise or people phobias, or may become aggressive and bite.
Since humans furnish food and shelter, predation and the search for shelter are no longer necessary. They provide health care, which increases longevity and may in turn lead to aging-related problems. Humans regulate reproduction by sterilizing certain animals and by choosing to breed others.
Humans seek to avoid confrontations between different dogs and in so doing, may modify the dominant/submissive relationship. If several dogs live in a human household, the dominant/submissive relationship may manifest itself among the dogs. Owners should bear this in mind and should never interfere when the dogs fight. By separating the dogs, owners in fact cause the conflict to be aggravated or prolonged because the fight cannot be pursued until one of the dogs submits.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments