A question that always has bothered a curious mind is that how on earth a wild animal descended from wolves evolved to be a cute, tail wagging pet dog?
Wolves and humans have similar social system. Sharing a social common organization gave humans and wolves the ability to recognize abilities in one another, which could be used for mutual advantages. But how did this happen in this first place? Well… No one has been able to prove a solid theory backed with scientific proofs so far. All though there are few theories of how dogs evolved to be man’s best friend and we shall try to throw some light on some of those theories in brief here...
Men hunted wolves for food. The Cubs of these wolves were then adopted by few merciful men, which eventually developed in a close relation between men and adopted wolves. But the theory of men hunting wolves is highly unlikely as believed by most experts and there are number of reasons for that…
humans where physically no match for preys nor for the predators they had to compete with. This theory suggests that men use to scavenge on hard earned kills of wolves. By throwing sticks and stones from distance they were able to drive the animals from their kills and enjoying the benefits of others hard work. But wolves had to remain close to feed on at least the leftover of their hard earned dinner. The relation over the period must have grown where men started to train the wolf cubs to enjoy the benefits of their exception hunting skills.
This theory suggests that’s human kids reared the cubs of wolves as a pet or a companion rather than working dog. But there was no reason for humans to share their food to support another species. Yes in Israel archeologists found a 12,000 year old fossil of a puppy skeleton with human hand on it in a configuration highly suggesting a companionable relationship between both. The Relationship may have developed in understanding which in turn developed other productive uses.
This Theory suggests that one adopted the dogs which were then used for guarding rather then hunting. Humans used dog’s superior sense of sound and smell to get alerted about the unnoticed predators or perhaps other humans. That could probably explain the barking behavior in domestic dogs. Since humans started domesticating both sheep and cattle, the use of dogs may have been extended for the same.
This theory suggests that may be it was the wolves that took the initiative rather then humans; Scavenging on leftovers by humans, rats and other rodents that live near small human societies may have attracted wolves toward humans. Perhaps humans may have tolerated the tamed individuals for possible usefulness.
It is difficult to accept that the actual theory may never be revealed, but it is possible that a combination of theories might have triggered the evolution, possibly differently in different geographical locations.