THE EVOLUTION OF THE DOMESTICATED DOG
The origin of the domestic dog began with the domestication of the Grey Wolf.
Biologists have debated over the history and evolution of the domestic dog for hundreds of years. Most Scientists now agree that dogs are directly descended from Canis Lupus—the Grey Wolf.
tamed by man, but one thing is for sure, the wolf and man definitely had some.
We have never been sure exactly how wolves were things in common!
They hunted in packs.
They were both hunters.
It is widely believed that man domesticated wolves by feeding them and adopting wolf cubs.
A semi-tame wolf would have brought a lot of value to a hunter gatherer group, it would have used its hunting senses to aid humans and also guard things for them—almost acting as a warning system.
The cubs were taken into human tribes and raised among people.
These wolves were selectively bred for particular traits. Slowly they became more tame and their characteristics reflected the needs of the group of humans that they lived with.
As the number of humans grew, wolf puppies would have been traded and swapped between groups of humans based on the traits that they possessed.
These thousands of years of selective breeding have resulted in the artificial "evolution" of dogs into the many different dog breeds that exist today.
HOW DIVERSE HAS THEIR EVOLUTION BEEN?
A great example that shows just how diverse the evolution of the dog has been is to have a look at the variety in the shapes of their skulls. Years of selective breeding has led to an incredible amount of skull diversity.
We began with a creature that had been conditioned to hunt and turned It into a huge variety of creatures. From Chihuahuas to h Afghan Hounds.
The shape of a skull will affect a breeds ability TO SMELL, BITE, SEE
THE THREE DIFFERENT SHAPES OF SKULL DOGS
This is a flat skull shape. The largest part of the skull is the cranium, and the nasal cavity is extremely short.
Common in dogs bred to hunt and sniff. The largest proportion of the skull is the nasal cavity, meaning that they have a long snout.
The most common skull shape for dogs. The proportion of nasal cavity and cranium is fairly equal.
A joint venture between the University of Washington and the Veterinary School at UC Davis mapped the variation in the genomes of a mere 10 different breeds of dogs.
About 2/3 of these areas contain genes that were uniquely modified in only one or two breeds, suggesting they contain genes that are highly breed-restricted like the skin wrinkling in the Shar-Pei.
At least 155 different regions of the dog’s genome show evidence of strong artificial selection.
Each region contained on average 11 genes.
So it's harder to identify exactly what about each area was under the most selection, though there were clues.
HOW HAS THE SELECTIVE BREEDING OF DOGS HELPED THEM TO DEVELOP CERTAIN SKILLS?
Most of these breeds came onto the scene in the past 150 years, encouraged by the Victorian-era’s pass for the "dog fancy" - t selective breeding of dogs to enhance particular characteristics.
HOW DO DOGS EXCEL AT INTERPRETING HUMAN SOCIAL.AND COMMUNICATIVE BEHAVIOUR?
Human infants find this task trivially easy from around 14 months of age, as they are just beginning to learn language.
look at or point to that location in an attempt to help the subject find the hidden object.
Domestic dogs are unusually skilled at reading human social and communicative behavior—even more so than our nearest primate relatives. For example, they use human social and communicative behavior (e.g. a pointing gesture) to
find hidden food.
Give domestic dogs a crack at it and they show impressive flexibility in solving the same problem.
There are 3 possible explanations:
1. Dogs' social skills evolved during the process of domestication during the 10s of thousands of years that our two species have lived together.
2. Dogs have evolved multiple times from old world wolves and as wolves are social pack hunters they need to read the social behavior of their fellow hunters as well as prey.
3. Domestic dogs grow up with humans and learn from them—the ability to read human social behavior should develop over a dog’s lifetime.
NUMBER 3 IS THE MOST LIKELY
When fox kits from this domesticated population were compared with age-matched dog puppies on the basic pointing and gaze following tests, the foxes were as skilled as the dogs in using the human social cues.
A unique population of foxes has also been experimentally domesticated. During the process of domestication individual foxes were selected for breeding based solely on their tendency to approach humans fearlessly and non-
HOW THE POPULARITV OF CERTAIN BREEDS OF DOG HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS
To get a feel for trends over a longer period of time, the classification, size, grooming requirements and activity levels
AKC analyzed nearly 100 years of registration data and looked at popularity
Dogs that require a high level of activity (lots of exercise): 50% Dalmatian Airedale Terrier
Dogs considered to have grooming needs:
2006 MOST POPULAR DOGS
- Labrador Retriever
- Yorkshire Terrier
- German Shepherd
- Golden retriever
- Shun Tzu
- Miniature Schnauzer
2012 MOST POPULAR SONGS
1. Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Yorkshire Terrier
- English Bulldog
The Rottweiler made news by unseating the Shlh Tzu - which had been in the top 10 since 2000
The Beagle has overtaken the beloved Yorkshire Terrier to become the third most popular dog breed in the U.S, alongside the Golden Retriever who moved into position 4 putting the Yorkshire Terrier in position 5.
From this data we can see that the Labrador retriever has remained in the number one spot, in fact it has been going strong in position number one for 21 years!