Dogs Got Their Start in Europe
And a lot earlier than thought, according to new study
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2013 7:21 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Dogs have been hanging out with humans way longer than thought, a new study suggests. UCLA researchers say the first ones were ancient wolves that started following hunter and gatherers around Europe between 18,000 and 32,000 years ago, reports the BBC. The finding, which contradicts previous theories that domesticated dogs first appeared in the Middle East or Asia about 13,000 years ago, is based on DNA analysis of fossils and comparison with modern dogs. Two of those fossils were more than 30,000 years old, notes phys.org.

“The initial interactions were probably at arm’s length, as these were large, aggressive carnivores,” one of the researchers tells the LA Times. "Eventually though, wolves entered the human niche." The two species probably helped each other—the wolves got carcasses of woolly mammoths and the like, and the humans got an alarm system around their nomadic camps. One thing common in all the coverage of the study in Science: Nobody expects this to be the final word in the debate.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
Whitetrashgang
Nov 22, 2013 2:12 PM CST
But what do the Kardashians think,since they have sex with dogs I imagine.
winterfairy
Nov 20, 2013 3:05 AM CST
This article is totally racist. Everybody knows that everything and everybody came from Africa. The superior black African invented everything including electricity, rap and pop tarts. Those evil white Europeans, who really originated in Africa, stole some domesticated dogs the Superior Black Man had trained and took the credit just like everything else the Superior Black Man has done.
FarmerMichael
Nov 16, 2013 11:55 AM CST
Given that the one animal domesticated very long ago by American Indians was the dog, and Indians are not thought to have come from Europe and were in the Americas by the early ages shown in the study, I'm skeptical about the study. Add to this the cultural bit that horses, when first seen after the Spanish lost a few, were called "Big Dogs" by Indians.