History of Dogs: Do Pugs Come From Wolves?

Aside from being dogs, pugs and wolves don’t seem to have much in common. In fact, pugs even have little in common with other dog breeds, from the regal Great Dane to the friendly Golden Retriever. The evolution of the dog, which has spawned numerous breeds, took place over thousands of years, resulting in cuddly animals that, in their own way, are everyone’s best friend.

Best Dog

Canis lupus, also known as the gray wolf, first appeared in Eurasia during the early Pleistocene, about a million years ago. Shortly thereafter, about 750,000 years ago, gray wolves are said to have migrated to North America. For a short period of several thousand years, gray wolves and dire wolves (Canis dirus) coexisted, but climate change and prey extinction led to the decline of dire wolves, and gray wolves became the alpha dogs of North America. By the time the Inuit came to Beringia, the gray wolf was an established predator in North America.

A 33,500-year-old “Altai dog” skull. (Nikolay D. Ovodov, Susan J. Crockford, Jaroslav V. Kuzmin, Thomas F. G. Higham, Gregory WL Hodgins, John van der Pricht/Wikimedia Commons)

Dog Evolution of

The first step towards a particular breed is early visit a dog adoption facility. No documents or photos required. The Inuit “adopted” wolf cubs (or simply adopted them from their parents) and trained them to be docile, or at least as docile as wolves. Dubbed “one of the most extraordinary events in human history”, no one knows exactly how long it took for the first docile dog to emerge, but is known as man’s closest friend. The scientific community believes that the next animal to stand originated somewhere in the South. From China, Mongolia and Europe. Canine researchers (scientists who study dogs) have examined the DNA of two Neolithic German dog fossils and found that domestication first occurred between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago. concluded that.

Development of the brachycephalic skull of English bulldogs in the 20th century. (Marc Nussbaumer)

Breed Classification

Researchers believe that dogs were domesticated in a single event, but multiple domestication events have resulted in multiple breeds of dogs with at least three different skull types. is also thought to have been born. Dogs have hunting dogs. The most common middle skull. and a flat brachycephalic skull.

These different versions of the domestic dog split about 14,000 years ago, and split again about 7,000 years later into East Asian and West Eurasian dogs, many of which are now extinct. According to ancient DNA, when these dogs interbred, they produced multiple mixed-breed dogs, which interbred to form a hodgepodge of dogs that either became one breed or disappeared from the map entirely.

Dogs and Humans

It may not be a straight line from wolf to domestic dog, but it’s not as curved as you might think. Researchers believe that many wolves engage in a form of self-domestication, eating less and conforming to their personalities. In experiments with domesticated foxes in Russia, researchers found that good-natured foxes are better at picking up social cues from humans and are more likely to be kept nearby. So this may have been a survival strategy. As these respectful wolves bred, they became friendlier animals. Thanks to this kind of domestication, dogs and humans have evolved to need each other on a chemical level. When dogs and humans look each other in the eye, the brain releases oxytocin, a hormone associated with maternal bonding and trust.

Victorian Pug

So how did a mighty wolf become a clumsy pug? Researchers believe that pugs existed around 400 BC. They were bred as pets for Chinese kings and Tibetan Buddhist monks. It’s not entirely clear how the dog bred to be a hardy, sniffing pug, but their small stature and lack of exercise make them incredibly adaptable, and that’s what this breed is all about. This is probably the reason why it has survived for thousands of years.

Pugs may have played a role in the explosion of dog breeds during the Victorian era when the British were obsessed with Darwinian concepts of natural selection. During this period, many of the structural characteristics of dogs as we know them today were blocked, as pug genetics may have been used to make them smaller or a little more well-mannered. But it’s just as likely that later Victorian dogs beat the darkness. when mixing races. Through experimentation, the Victorian era downsized the dachshund and defined what the breed should be like. For example, a pug should have “an elegant coat that is tan, not vulgar, almost black, shiny and smooth to the touch.”

Whether through genetic manipulation or sheer luck, the journey from gray wolf to domesticated dog is fairly straightforward, but researchers pinpoint exactly when the switch happened. you can’t.