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Dogs: The History Behind These Amazing Animals

dogs-the-science-behind-these-amazing-animals

The Rise of the Dog as a Domesticated Animal

When we cohabitate with dogs, we're able to learn more about them. Scientists have learned that domestication of dogs can be traced back as far as 33,000 years ago. These animals were used for hunting and guarding livestock.

As time went on and their evolution came to pass, dogs became man’s best friend and eventually began living in human homes all over the world. This is because both humans and dogs benefited from these relations. Dogs got warmth and shelter from humans; we got protection and companionship from them.

Descended from Wolves or Coyotes?

Dogs are not descended from wolves. They share a common ancestor, but that common ancestor is actually a wolf-coyote hybrid.

It’s believed that the first domesticated dogs were tamer versions of the wild coyotes and wolves out there in the world. Over time, natural selection occurred and some of these animals became more tame than others. These tamer coyotes and wolves eventually became the first domesticated dogs.

The reason why? It's believed they were attracted to humans because we gave them food and shelter and also because human garbage dumps provided them with an easy meal.

When these animals started living closer with humans, they had puppies who were tame like their parents. These animals began to form a new species: domestic canines!

What are Dogs Trying to Communicate?

It turns out that dogs communicate in a variety of ways. Dogs use their gestures, body language and facial expressions to tell other animals and humans what they want or need. They also use sounds, including barking.

When you come home from work and your dog greets you with a bark, he might be trying to tell you something. Some common reasons for a dog's bark include:

- Barking is usually used as an alarm or warning signal when a stranger comes into the house.

- A low, quiet growl may indicate a fear of a new person or dog.

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- Barking is used to get someone’s attention when the animal wants something like food or going outside.

- Barking can also be used to show aggression or excitement.

Dogs also vocalize through whining, growling, whimpering, yelping and howling to get their point across with other animals and humans - but the main point is that they have many ways of communicating!

How Dogs Help Us

Dogs are great at making us feel loved and wanted. They're also great at sensing when we're sad or upset. It's not just the fur around our feet they want to cuddle with; it's because they can tell when we need some extra love.

Dogs are also known to be great therapy animals for people with mental health issues like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. They help people with these issues feel more calm and less anxious in their day-to-day lives. Dogs can help kids who have autism learn how to better interact with others by teaching them how to read expressions on other people's faces, which is something they might not be able to do on their own.

For example, one study found that children with autism were more socially engaged when interacting with a therapy dog than they were in an environment without a therapy dog. That said, there is still research being done on this topic, so it's difficult to know exactly how much of this benefit is coming from having the dog present in the room versus the attention of the caretaker in the room with them.

Conclusion

Dogs are truly amazing creatures with a history that goes back for more than 30000 years. Dogs are our best friends, our protectors, our therapists, and our most loyal companions. The list of ways that dogs enrich our lives is endless, and it's truly an honor to be a dog person.

Resources

https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna27240370

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/06/the-origin-of-dogs/484976/

https://www.worldhistory.org/article/184/dogs-in-the-ancient-world/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-wolves-really-became-dogs-180970014/

© 2022 Morin Kal

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