Many dogs are honorary members of human families, loved by all but tending to be particularly close to one person. Much successful scientific work has been carried out on the evolution of humans, but there is not much success in telling where mans best friend came from.
Canis Lupus Familiaris
Scientists have been unable to establish how dogs evolved but they do know they have the same ancestors as wolves, coyotes and dingoes – Canis Lupus Familiaris. This basically means they are a sub species of the family Canis Lupus.
Going back further is more troublesome as they do not know where the Canis Lupus originated, although most of them think Europe is probably the best guess, but Asia is another possibility. The one thing they all agree on is that it is with the last 9,000 to 34,000 years that humans and dogs became friends.
All modern dogs come from just 23 ancestral dog clades, and it is the interbreeding over time that has produced all the different dogs we see today.
The difference between a Great Dane and a Chihuahua is obvious and it is hard to imagine that they are related, but they are. You may be wondering if that is the case are all dogs the same species? According to experts, dogs are a perfect example of how animals can have the same genetic blueprint and originate from the same species, but look nothing alike at all.
They are distinct from the other members of the Canis Lupus family, such as wolves, whose gene variants are different, and some of the genes found in dogs are not found in wolves at all. However, that does not mean that domestic dogs cannot successfully breed with wolves, as they have in the past.
There are other differences as well, like dogs have smaller teeth and more prominent foreheads. It appears that these sorts of features are passed to the puppies through the maternal line, which leads us to the answer that yes, all dogs are the same species.
The Oldest Breeds
Some breeds of dog have been around longer than others, and the general opinion is that the Afghan Hound is one of the most ancient of all. This together with the Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Basenji, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow, Saluki, Samoyed and Siberian Husky were all bred in ancient times, and it is amazing that these breeds still survive today.
For most of us though, we are not concerned with where our dog originated from, and whether it is a purebred or a mongrel is not something to concern ourselves over. They are usually more than a family pet, but tend to become the focus of the household, their needs being considered all the time. Even working dogs are well treated, often getting better food and shelter than humans are in some parts of the world. It is said dogs are man’s best friend, but the reverse can be true as well because they can be so pampered, they would not survive without us.