Skip to comments.How did the wolf become dog ?
Posted on 08/05/2012 10:18:13 AM PDT by djone
Derr acknowledges that the story of the dogs emergence (as distinct from its evolutionary forebear, the wolf) cannot be neatly distilled. Different estimates place the first appearance of dog-like creatures anywhere from 12,000 to 135,000 years ago. But Derr argues that the dog itself was an evolutionary inevitability. He suggests that dogs and humans similar animals who simply took to traveling with each other tens of thousands of years ago, and never stopped
(Excerpt) Read more at salon.com ...
One could argue that co-evolution/co-dependency is the same thing, but I think he makes some important distinctions in how the wolf became the dog.
I do take issue with the main thrust of most of the dog/man analysis in that I don't believe the wolf ever truly left the dog. Most dogs, if left to their own devices and survival, revert very quickly to a feral state very similar to the classic wolf pack. The difference between feral dog packs and the wolf pack is that the feral dogs have a rather loose organization with more than one top dog and those aren't always breeding pairs as they are in a wolf pack. In fact, the feral dog pack behaves much in the same way Derr describes when he was doing his research on the wolf researchers.
I love his commentary about The Dog Whisperer" - Cesar Millan. The guy is a good trainer no doubt, but he's got some rather outdated ideas about human/dog interactions.
In any case, I've read his other two dog books "A dog's history of America : how our best friend explored, conquered, and settled a continent" - 2004 and the first "Dog's best friend : annals of the dog-human relationship" - 1997. Highly recommended if you can find them - I think they are both out of print.
Anyway, the article is very good - enjoyed it. Hope you do..."
I cannot comment on the veracity of the conclusions or assumptions she makes in the paper, but since it's an open paper I'm sure there are capable behavioral geneticists who can. In any event, the premise is intriguing and the outcomes certainly seem to support it - could you do the same with a lizard?
“Dogs have been fighting alongside U.S. soldiers for more than 100 years, seeing combat in the Civil War and World War I. But their service was informal; only in 1942 were canines officially inducted into the U.S. Army. Today, they’re a central part of U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan — as of early 2010 the U.S. Army had 2,800 active-duty dogs deployed (the largest canine contingent in the world). And these numbers will continue to grow as these dogs become an ever-more-vital military asset. So it should come as no surprise that among the 79 commandos involved in Operation Neptune Spear that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s killing, there was one dog — the elite of the four-legged variety. And though the dog in question remains an enigma — another mysterious detail of the still-unfolding narrative of that historic mission — there should be little reason to speculate about why there was a dog involved: Man’s best friend is a pretty fearsome warrior.”
Dogs think they are still wolves — inside.
Very interesting. Thanks for posting.
I seem to recall a Sci-Am article from years ago where urban dogs were studied. It seems that even purebred in urban settings soon end up breeding after a couple generations, something that quickly resembled a very generic, feral dog.
The Russians did the opposite with wild foxes. After selective breeding, observation, and lots of human contact, after 10-15 generations of foxes, the resultant animals are as domesticated as your average poodle.
Amen, Olog-hai. They’re different creatures—from the start. God gave them different purposes.
“How did the wolf become dog ?”
He got married?
There are some interesting physiological differences that make man and wolf/dog very effective as complementary hunters.
A dog’s hearing and sense of smell are very acute, but humans have an almost unique adaptation among mammals of large sinuses. Because of these, our vision does not blur when we inhale and exhale, which happens to other mammals.
Humans also stand upright, which is very useful to look over tall grasses and bushes. And strong arms with opposing thumbs to hurl distance weapons.
For their part, wolves/dogs have a distinct hierarchy, and can use hunting tactics. Importantly dogs can imagine humans in their hierarchy.
Humans breed for diversity and specialization, but wolves/dogs breed for dominance and success.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks djone. I won't ping blam, he's been here. :')
Post of the day!
One day, 4 year old Cave-ette was skipping around the fields and spied a cute furry little creature with a wagging tail and big brown eyes. Little Cave-ette brought the warm fuzzy back to the cave and since she had Papa Caveman wrapped around her little finger, he let her kept the creature. It was fed well, petted and sheltered from the elements and decided life was good so stayed.
It does seem to me (if I remember the article—the fox one— it’s been quite awhile since I read it) that the coats ended up spotted or mismarked tho, and unsuitable for fur. What I remember from the breeding experiment was that the gist was that dogs (and the foxes) never get past the juvenile state. Is this the same article? It was fascinating.
A feral cat will often form a bond with a person that feeds it.
Some of the wolf pups may revert as they mature to 'the call of the wild', as described in Jack London's novel of the same name, but some may prefer to stay with the human.
Now that’s funny ....:o)
“Wild Dog said, O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy, what is this that smells so good in the Wild Woods?
“Then the Woman picked up a roasted mutton-bone and threw it to Wild Dog, and said, Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, taste and try. Wild Dog gnawed the bone, and it was more delicious than anything he had ever tasted, and he said, O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy, give me another.
“The Woman said, Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, help my Man to hunt through the day and guard this Cave at night, and I will give you as many roast bones as you need.”
Kipling...enjoy it in full here:
Fun article. Thanks for posting, and happy FR anniversary!
... dogs and humans ... simply took to traveling with each other tens of thousands of years ago, and never stopped.Ah! Just like an Outlaw Biker Gang.
No offense meant to any Motorcycle Club (M.C.) present, past or future.
(Carry on men, fire up them Choppers.)
Some aren’t quite as far removed as others... I cannot tell you how many times I get asked if it is legal to own a wolf when we are walking our 120 pound Malamute around town. The differences are obvious to me, but to an awful lot of people any big dog is the same as a wolf.
So glad it isn’t just me! (Thank you for that referral, Olog!)
@LuckyLady- & Thank you, too.
The thing is they aren’t that different. Recent studies with breeding are showing that wolves can become dogs in just a few generations, breed the mellow ones together and walla. Saw an interesting show about it in the 90s where they were trying to get them to have the dog attitude but keep the wolf look, they found it impossible, every time the breeding resulted in dog behavior they got the dog look.
It really is too bad that many people “over-think” these things desperately trying to explain our amazing world without involving God—the Creator of all that is—in it. They’re trying in vain.
I agree. It surprises me that so many people buy into it even when they don’t believe in evolution per se. While changes occur with cross breeding, the Middle Eastern hounds & Volpinos of Italy are just 2 of the breeds which have not noticeably changed in over 10,000 years (& have always been beloved & kept close by their masters).
I was driving through the small town I live in when I spied a running dog dragging a chain as it crossed the road in front of me.
Oh ho! An escapee, I thought.
I u-turned and followed the dog behind a small market. As I pulled up the dog was on its hind legs, rummaging through a gargabe bin.
The chain was lying there, so after getting out of the SUV I picked up the chain and called to the dog. When it turned around I realized the “dog” had yellow eyes.
A friend once had a wolf-hybrid named Sweetie, and what I had here looked like her twin though smaller.
This bitch was about 50 lbs., with gray fur and yellow eyes. There was no growling, just that cold, calm assessment of me that dogs rarely give humans, if at all. A wolf-hybrid can summon that look, no sweat.
“Come on,” I said, and opened the passenger side door.
There was no hesitation. She jumped up and sat on the seat.
Meanwhile, my black Lab in the back behind a barrier is going nuts. She glanced once at him, accurately dismissed him as an idiot, and proceeded to ignore him all the way to the Humane Society.
Because she had tags the HS personnel were able to contact her owners, who never knew she had left their backyard!
And yes, she was a wolf hybrid.