Man´s Best Friend: Dogs

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Dogs are the first domesticated animal, and commonly known as "man's best friend.'' Dogs have accompanied humans, and been considered pets, for around 10,000 years. They have been used for working, hunting, but most commonly as a pet. To this day, hundreds of different dog breeds exist, coming in various sizes, colors, and shapes. Although dogs are currently viewed primarily as pets, they have not always been viewed this way and have had an evolution of their own. To fully understand dogs, one must take a look at where dogs came from and how they have evolved.
Dogs are a subspecies of the gray wolf. Dogs have inherited many behaviors from the wolf ancestors they have evolved from, which make up a great part of who they as dogs are. Wolves, however remain more wild than dogs with tendencies such as dieting on "ungulates, or large hoofed mammals, like elk, deer, moose and caribou. Wolves are also known to eat beaver, rabbits, and other small prey," (basic). Wolves unlike dogs, prey on other animals to survive, while dogs that are domesticated eat dog food typically. Dog food typically comes in three varieties, including raw food, wet food, and dry food, most of it being commercially branded and store-bought. Many forms of dog food are meat based, though, similar to the carnivorous diet of the gray wolf. Beyond commercial store-bought food, domesticated dogs do, however, form natural instincts that tend to have them go after smaller prey at times. Communicative patterns were also handed down from gray wolves to dogs, as behaviors dogs have inherited from wolves include "a complex communication system ranging from barks and whines to growls and howls" (Basic). Dogs commonly display barking to show a variety of emotions and barking i...

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...of wolves, and have evolved from the gray wolf species specifically. This evolution began about 10,000 years ago when the first dogs became domesticated. While it is still disputed as to how exactly dogs became domesticated, it has been accepted that human interaction most likely had something to do with it. It is also still however a possibility that dogs domesticated themselves rather than humans having a major impact in the domestication of dogs. The exact circumstances may never be known as to how it officially happened. Dogs have evolved and become domesticated into the animals and pets that humans know and love today. They are used for many jobs in the workforce and are one of the most popular pets for people throughout the world. Hundreds of different breeds of dogs have been bred, and dogs continue to be one of the most genetically diverse animals on Earth.
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