“Were The First Dogs Wolves Who Never Grew Up?”

Alaskan Malamute


Video: Courtesy YouTube National Geographic

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Biodiversity, gray wolf, dogs

Tags: dogs, wolves, evolution of dogs, wolf research, National Geographic

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22 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. dansk.- vidioen er ikke tilgængelig i mit land. øv. Jeg har haft mix blanding af husky-malamute, Dejlige smukke hunde, active , og jeg valgte den race, da de lignede ulve, og var så tæt på naturen, Ulve er jo vant til at færdes i naturen, hvor hunde som er bleven smidt ud fra hjemmet, er de største rovdyr, da de ikke er vant til at færdes i naturen, som ulven , Jeg er stor modstander af drab på ulven, og mennesket må lære at absetere naturens smukke dyreliv, Naturen har altid klaret sig selv, men nu er det bleven moderne at være jæger.!!! :-((((((((

  2. “Wolves and humans started walking, playing, and hunting together and never stopped. The dog is the wolf who stayed, who traded wolf society for human society.” ……Mark Derr, The Wall Street Journal

    One would think with such an obvious connection between wolf and dog ( same species, canis lupus) that the anti-wolf movement would ‘see’ this and respect the dog that stayed wild!

  3. Dogs came from wolves. People would get two wolves, male and female and would breed them. Then bred the puppies together to get the dogs we have now.

  4. Interesting. So dogs are derived over time from wolves whose length of curiosity was a bit longer than average…and humans relied upon their knowledge and skill to help us evolve and survive. We know this already. Dogs are “well habituated” wolves. Right, then “curiosity killed the cat!”

  5. Has anyone ever thought that wolves are wolves and dogs are dogs??? Yes, canines, but different! Like big cats and small, domestic cats, different, but both felines. Is there really any proof that domestic dogs came from wolves, or is this just another theory? Does anybody have absolute proof?

    • catherinespoems…It’s pretty settled science. Dogs and wolves share 99.8%of their DNA.
      “The domestic dog is an extremely close relative of the gray wolf, differing from it by at most 0.2% of mDNA sequence…”
      Origin of dogs traced
      Friday, 22 November, 2002, 05:03 GMT


      There is no question that dogs descended from wolves.


      • It’s probably more accurate to say that domestic dogs and modern wolves share a recent common ancestor.

      • D, I don’t think that would be accurate, the domestic dog descended from the wolf so the common ancestor the dog shares with the wolf is the wolf. Dogs are a sub species of canis lupus, canis lupus familiaris , just as wolves are categorized in subspecies.


      • very interesting

      • People have put a female dog who was in heat cycle. Wolves mated with her and therefore the wolf-hybrid.
        Also with the Coyotes. Therefore the coydog.
        Wolves are very understood. That is why they are being killed.

      • Relevant to the last paragraph of the linked article, a study that refutes the idea that domestic dogs are inherently better at interpreting human social cues:

      • Thanks D.


      • Chimps are almost as close to humans as dogs are to wolves. To learn, among other things, how to manipulate DNA, a learned ‘We’ torments 115 million lab animals every year. Many are dogs the brothers of wolves. All die in agony. Science assumes preeminence. Research is published on the chill percentiles of our interconnectedness. What real difference can anyone find between a sports hunter and a research worker? Both kill. Both use stylized language of self justification. If there was any greatness in Olson it was that he recognised something greater than himself in wilderness. But what Olson discovered as he crouched near the wolf he’d shot was no true discovery.That which he felt was somehow felt by the trees, the land, the wolf, quite as an instrument resonates with a note when it’s played but what he felt had always been his, just as Mountains have always been a microcosm of existence. If one feels empathy intellectual proof of connectedness will seem less than real, but for those who are without empathy proof of our connectedness is without meaning. ‘Clever people and grocers, they weigh everything.’ Congress is full of grocers.
        Wolves are a part. Wolves are needed. Yellowstone must become a sanctuary.

      • Perhaps I’m being a bit too nit-picky, but if one says “dogs descended from wolves”, I think it may give the wrong impression that the wolves that domestic dogs diverged from are biologically identical to the ones we can find today. They may fit into the same taxonomic category, but they do have some differences. Modern wolves probably even inherited at least one mutation from domestic dogs through hybridization (http://www.world-science.net/othernews/090206_wolf.htm). Added to the complication is the ability to hybridize with other related canines we don’t refer to as “wolves”, such as coyotes. The phylogenetic “tree” often tends to be a complicated mess in reality, so I just think it’s safer to say “X and Y share a common ancestor Z” rather than just “X descended from Y” or vice versa. Some food for thought: http://hampshire.edu/~lasCCS/pubs/what-wolf-preprint.pdf

    • I agree – I have read several studies done in this Field – and there was such an Animal called “First Dog” – it’s very interesting because they are not Wolves at all –
      But I would not argue the point I wasn’t there – but Humans have changed Dogs in so many ways and killed so many of their natural instinct that you can not compare them with Wolves any longer – to me they are two different Species – maybe slightly related way back – maybe not – but now they are surely many generations removed from the Wolves.

      There is a man I forgot where that is raising “First Dog” – there is no other name – but he says that you can go all over the World and still find them – they are mostly yellow and look like what we would call a mutt – they all have the same features and size and so on – and they find them mostly in the Third World Countries.

  6. Wolves are very mis-understood. This goes with my comment above.


    • Agnes…Sorry the video was blocked in France, I know you would have enjoyed it. It’s fairly old, probably filmed in the late nineties but the footage was beautiful. Unfortunately everyone was still believing in the process, that wolves would be recovered and live happily ever after until the Obama admin caused it to come crashing down.


      • I’ve just been collecting photos and input for an article re the Wolf Moon vigils.. I expanded the topic into current Canadian news topics.. for CTV here in Toronto.. the peice is complete except for links or details to vigils that made the news.. hopefully CTV will do something with it.. and collecting for ‘Who Speaks For Wolf’ because that is on going.. I notice someone in France couldn’t open the video. I tried. Nor can I. Is this something to do with the properties.. as by the provider? or is it blocked? Blocked is an interesting idea. That might imply vulnerability to EU censorship.

  8. Thank you for all of the information you have shared as a result of my comment:) I have a burden for the wolf and wolf dog and have three rescued wolf dogs, one that we are fostering, one adopted, and one pre adoption phase. People should not breed these majestic animals because they most often end up in the wrong hands, they suffer as a result, and end up getting killed and / or abused. I am all for a person that is willing to learn and get the correct way to handle a wolf dog, to get involved. Their behaviours are very intense and they can also be one of the more social creatures. There are many experts out there who can help!

    • You’re welcome catherinespoems!

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  9. There is a lot of misinformation about the origin of the domestic dog and whether or not they are descendants of wolves. Recent scientific research has provided definitive DNA studies that verify that all domestic dogs are indeed related to wolves. Wolves are members of the Canidae dog family and all dogs are related to wolves. Because dogs and wolves share the same characteristics, the American Society of Mammologists recommend that “the domestic dog be reclassified as a new subspecies of wolf, Canis lupus familiaris”. Scientist Carles Vila conducted an extensive study about the origin of dogs and found that DNA evidence has ruled out any other possible ancestor except the wolf. All domestic dogs are approximately 75% wolf and German Shepherds contain a higher percentage of wolf DNA. That is why wolf pups adopted before they are 21 days old can be easily tamed and socialized by humans.
    Toni Stark- Truth About Wolves

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