If other animals, like silver foxes, domesticate similarly to the way a dog evolves then why were dogs domesticated rather than a different species? The topic of dog domestication poses many unanswered questions. When and where did wolves first interact with humans? How did these two different species interact and why? Even with the species barrier, humans and wolves have a lot in common.
Traditionally, humans acquired canines to serve functional purposes (Marston & Bennett, 2003). We have been able to document a relationship between humans and dogs as far back as twelve thousand years. As our ancestors began to become less nomadic, they settled down and started forming small communities where they learned to grow crops and raise livestock (Horowitz, 2009). These settled communities were sufficiently stable and it wasn’t long before wild animals began noticing that they produced a large amount of waste. Wolves are scavengers as well as hunters and may have been some of the first animals to discover this squander treasure (Horowitz, 2009).
"What is a Pit-Bull Type Dog?." Pitbull Advocate 101. 2009. Pitbull Advocate 101, Web. 19 Nov 2009. http://www.pitbulladvocate101.com/PitbullType.php.
For millions of years dogs have remained a constant companion of man. Bred from the aggressive and formidable Gray Wolf tens of thousands of years ago the domestic dog now lives in many homes across the world. Where in the far distant past the domestic dog was bred as a guard animal, a beast of burden, and even a food source the dogs of today are bred for a far more endearing purpose-companionship and love. Finding a pet dog that is more of a joy than a chore is necessary when asking: How much is that puppy in the window? “The American Kennel Club recognizes 150 different breeds of dogs and that number can soar to more than 400 if you count mixed breeds” (Sarah McCurdy).