News Stories

Dogs Have Been Our Friends Since Prehistoric Times

Getting a puppy for Christmas? It's amazing to realize that all dogs of today, that come in so many shapes and sizes, are all descended from the same animal--the wolf. Man domesticated the dog, as a working and hunting partner at first, then later as a friend. But what most people don't know is that the dog has been living and working with us since prehistoric times.

In the Chauvet Cave in southern France (home of the oldest representational paintings ever discovered--created over 30,000 years ago), there are the footprints of an 8- to 10-year-old boy and alongside one them, the paw print of a wolf or a large dog.

New research shows that humans and early dogs changed together and helped change each other: We chose to be with them, but they chose us too, and the fact that we evolved together may be why our two species get along so well today.

In the October 29th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Mark Derr writes, "Taken together, these recent discoveries have led some scientists to conclude that the dog became an evolutionary inevitability as soon as humans met wolves. Highly social wolves and highly social humans started walking, playing and hunting together and never stopped. The dog is literally the wolf who stayed, who traded wolf society for human society."

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