Evolution of a Dog
The majority of studies and research agree that modern day dogs originally evolved from the grey wolf between 35-40,000 years ago. Once this started happening the evolution from a wolf to the diverse range of dogs we have today was relatively quick. The main reason for this, domestication. Dogs were the first species of animal that were domesticated by humans, which in itself is quite a remarkable fact. Imagine if humans had not done this, its possible that no animals would have been domesticated and if this was the case then it is unlikely that we would have civilization at all.
Initially very gradual and random changes occurred, which resulted in subtle characteristics forming such as slightly different sizes and shape. From here it is our domestications of dogs that quickly accelerated the creation of the diverse and wonderful breeds that we have today. 10-15,000 years ago humans began to choose dogs and selectively breed them based on the characteristics that they desired. Initially this process was a bit hotch-potch but over the centuries we became more sophisticated in our breeding methods and humans began to select dogs based on criteria such as size, speed, colour of coat, temperament and nose for game.
Anatomy of a Dog
The physical anatomy of a dog, and indeed all canids, is based on that of a natural predator, a species of animal that can move with speed and grace in order to hunt efficiently. While humans have done much to adapt the characteristics of canines, the basic anatomy of a dog across all breeds remains the same. Our experts at Puppy Essentials have put together this fantastic useful little diagram to help show you the design of a dog and the names of all their major body parts.
A Dog’s Body Plan