The History and Domestication of Dogs

TLDR Dogs were the first animal domesticated by humans, with theories about their domestication ranging from East Asia to Europe, Central Asia, and Siberia. Over time, humans selectively bred dogs for specific traits, leading to the development of over 360 recognized dog breeds.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Dogs were the first animal ever domesticated by humans, long before horses, cattle, sheep, or even cats.
02:28 The domesticated dog, scientifically known as Canis lupus familiaris, is the same species regardless of breed, and their closest living wild relative is the gray wolf, but there is still much debate about when and where dogs were domesticated.
04:34 Theories about the domestication of dogs include East Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and Siberia, with evidence of dog and human burials dating back thousands of years.
06:36 As dogs bred with other docile dogs and grew up amongst humans, their trait of being docile and not afraid of humans was passed down, and they eventually became born and raised among humans.
08:35 Humans began purposely breeding dogs for specific traits such as size, docility, and intelligence, and dogs were trained to perform various tasks, including herding, protection, and rodent control, but most dogs were still working animals rather than pets.
10:27 Dogs can be rapidly developed with certain traits through selective breeding, and there are currently 360 recognized dog breeds with new breeds still being registered today.
12:27 Through a selective breeding experiment, Russian scientist Dmitry Believ was able to breed a population of foxes that showed no fear of humans and exhibited many of the same behavioral and physical traits as domesticated dogs.
Categories: History Education

Browse more History