Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Have dogs evolved like humans?

Evidence from the archaeological record suggests that the dog (Canis lupus familiaris) was the first animal to be domesticated. It diverged between 14,000 and 40,000 years ago from an ancestral wolf from which modern wolves also descend (Canis lupus). Dogs, as the first domesticated animals, share our physical and social environment, which affects their behavior and cognition.

Human influence on dogs

  • Selective Breeding: For centuries, we have selectively bred dogs to develop different breeds with specific behavioral characteristics and abilities. Through this process, humans have shaped their aggressiveness, assertiveness, intelligence, and willingness to work, among other characteristics.
  • Constant interaction: Our daily interactions and coexistence with dogs over time have influenced their behavior. Our company and care have provided them with a unique social environment, where they have learned to interpret our cues and adapt to our norms and expectations.

Importance of dogs as a study model

The diversity of dogs, both in their physical appearance and behavior, makes them an ideal study system for understanding behavior and cognition. By comparing them with dogs, we can gain valuable information about evolutionary processes and the influence of the environment on human behavior.

Manidogs: a project to get to know dogs better

A project known as “Many Dogs” arises with the aim of improving our understanding of canine behavior and cognition. Bringing together researchers from around the world in a large-scale collaboration, the project seeks to establish an experimental method to address scientific questions about behavior and cognition in a uniform and reproducible way.

In addition, citizen participation will be essential, allowing dog owners to accurately describe and document their dogs’ behavior through citizen science. This will guarantee the quality of the data and the correct interpretation of the results.

In short, the “ManyDogs” project aims to deepen our knowledge of dogs, their behavior and their relationship with humans. Through objective science, we seek to better understand our faithful companions and improve their well-being in our daily coexistence.

Benefits of better understanding dogs

Scientific knowledge about dog behavior and cognition has the potential to improve their well-being, address behavioral problems, promote responsible adoption, and strengthen our relationship with them. Through the application of this knowledge, we can guarantee that dogs are treated with respect and care, allowing them to have a happy and fulfilling life with us.

  • Dog Wellness – By understanding their emotional, social and cognitive needs we can provide them with an environment in which they can be happy. This includes providing them with appropriate environmental enrichment, mental and physical stimulation, as well as a relationship based on mutual respect and clear communication.
  • Address behavioral problems more effectively: Understanding the underlying causes of unwanted behaviors allows you to identify behavior modification strategies based on scientific principles rather than resorting to punitive or harmful methods. Let’s not forget that behavioral problems are a major cause of animal abandonment and must be addressed with wisdom.
  • Promoting Responsible Adoption: By educating people about the specific needs of each breed or individual, we can reduce abandonment and ensure that dogs are placed in the right homes and families. Additionally, by better understanding dogs’ abilities and limitations, we can foster realistic expectations and avoid situations where dogs are mistreated because of insufficient understanding of their behavior.
  • Enrich your relationship with them: By recognizing and appreciating their emotional intelligence, ability to learn, and ability to connect as human beings, we can develop a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship. It promotes a harmonious coexistence and strengthens the human-animal bond.


  • Alberghina, D. et al. 2022. The ManyDogs Project: A large team science approach to investigating canine behavior and cognition.
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com/
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news