Awesome question, great thinking!
Many believe the origins of domestication date
back to between 15,000 - 20,000 years ago, when
wolves were tamed by humans. At this time, two
groups of hunters, wolves and humans, had
developed the community social structure necessary
to successfully attack larger and stronger animals
such as bison. These communities were based around
the family, and each was headed by a dominant male
figure. Lower-down members within each community
were friendly to each other, and all adult members
watched over the newly-born to ensure the group’s
However, humans and wolves were very suspicious
of any outsiders. These similarities between
human and wolf hunters allowed for wolf cubs to
adapt well to a human group. Once
domesticated, the wolves worked alongside the
humans to hunt down big animals. The wolf provided
the humans with new speed and intensity of attack,
and the human provided the wolf with protection
and even more food. This relationship, which was
beneficial for both humans and wolves, was
So how were the first wolves tamed?
Some theorize that abandoned wolf cubs may have
been picked up by human hunting groups, and raised
among humans. Others believe that the trail of
waste left behind by humans attracted wolves, and
wolves who did not attack these humans were able
to live off of the human’s leftover food
peacefully. These wolves lost the need for
sharp teeth and strong jaws, and began to evolve
into what we today call dogs.
Click Here to return to the search form.