I am sure as you already guessed – I LOVE DOGS! They are truly a woman (and man’s) best friends!
Did you know archeologists have found fossil records of domesticated pet dogs alongside humans from as long as 14,000 years ago! Wow - that’s a long time. That’s 140-280 generations in human terms, or nearly 100,000 dog years!
It’s fascinating what can happen in as long a time. What started presumably with frail wolves ousted from their packs, gravitating towards early human settlements for scraps and protection – have evolved into over 300 breeds of dogs we know and love today.
Over these 14,000 and probably more years, humans only selected the genetic variations in the offspring of these initial outcast wolves which best suited our needs. Which is why all puppies look cute to us today, because the ones which didn’t, or those who were extremely aggressive towards humans - we never further developed their genetic variations, all those thousands of years ago.
We only developed the genetic variations/behaviors/ characteristics we liked or needed in our new best friends. So, the dogs we know and love today, have come down a very long line of natural genetic variations and human selection – leading them to look and behave the way we know them too!
But all these variations in dog breeds only exploded over the last 200 years, when humans began cross-breeding dogs in the 19th century. Before then dogs were groomed over thousands of years in somewhat isolated pockets across the world for different and unique characteristics. From small cute ones for royalty to bigger, sportier or more protective ones for working alongside humans.