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First dogs came from Asia - Comments

DallasDad's Avatar Comment 1 by DallasDad

I had always heard that Chows were one of the oldest domesticated breeds. Is this research new, or am I misremembering common wisdom?

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 04:20:20 UTC | #892719

Ranting Socrates's Avatar Comment 2 by Ranting Socrates

Well this is ironic.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 05:23:27 UTC | #892723

adiroth's Avatar Comment 3 by adiroth

I guess it would make sense to breed dogs/wolves if you consider them food.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 06:20:04 UTC | #892724

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 4 by Vorlund

Comment 3 by adiroth :

I guess it would make sense to breed dogs/wolves if you consider them food.

I wonder which came first in their domestication, their use as a food supply or their use in hunting and defence? I suspect the former.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 08:12:37 UTC | #892732

Ramases's Avatar Comment 5 by Ramases

Comment 4 by Vorlund :

I wonder which came first in their domestication, their use as a food supply or their use in hunting and defence? I suspect the former.

Adiroth, I have to compeletly disagree.

Dogs are carnivorous. It does not usually make sense to keep carnivorous animals for meat, as they have to eat other animals to grow to size. This creates another unnecessary step in the food chain and makes them far less resourse effective.

That is why nearly all the animals we eat are vegetarians - cows, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens.

There are occasional exceptions to this, as in some socieities which eat dogs. But these are the exceptions which prove the rule and probably brought about due to exceptional social circumstances.

And I am quite sure it is a pretty new and limited practice which would not go back more than a few thousand years.

The relationship between wolves and humans which led to domestic dogs would almost certainly have come about due to hunting and defence.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 09:31:06 UTC | #892737

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 6 by Stafford Gordon

I think I ate dog when I was in Hong Kong, but I'm not sure; I certainly consumed snake. Now, I'm slipping back from being vegetarian.

Interesting article.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 09:57:40 UTC | #892741

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 7 by DavidMcC

It would be nice to jhave an estimate for the date at which this domestication occurred, but, unfortunately, there is no discussion on whether genetic clock calculations have even been attempted. I know they're tricky things to do, but it would be worth knowing, because of it's relevance to human history, as tame dogs have long been more than just pets, and may well have been so almost from the start, their hunting prowess (as adults) would not have gone unnoticed by early Asians.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 10:33:20 UTC | #892745

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 8 by Ignorant Amos

In The Greatest Show on Earth it states that it is widely thought dog domestication maybe having occurred in various places independently, it also says Evolutionists haven't always thought so. Seems like the article might be bearing out the latter. Chows are also mentioned in the same paragraph as one of Konrad Lorenz's favourite early derivatives of the wolf.

"Much of the domestication of the dog was self-domestication, mediated by natural, not artificial, selection."

"......natural selection had already sculpted wolves into self-domesticated 'village dogs' without human intervention. Only later did humans adopt these village dogs and transmogrify them, separately and comprehensively, into the rainbow spectrum of breeds...."
The Greatest Show on Earth, page 28 & 71, by Richard Dawkins.

There is much more on the dog story...an excellent read for those who have not yet had the privilege, although there can't be too many of those types reading this comment.

I'm for the defence of the village, then hunting, then food chronology. I guess a dog that had outlived it's guarding and hunting usefulness could have been used as a food source, even if only for the other dogs.

Just my own opinion mind.

All very interesting stuff all the same, science never rests does it?

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 10:35:24 UTC | #892746

hairybreeks's Avatar Comment 9 by hairybreeks

Comment 1 by DallasDad :

I had always heard that Chows were one of the oldest domesticated breeds. Is this research new, or am I misremembering common wisdom?

IIRC this was a hypothesis put forward by Konrad Lorenz. He also thought dogs were descended from more than one wild species including foxes and jackals.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 13:38:24 UTC | #892780

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 10 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator - sockpuppet of banned user

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 13:57:37 UTC | #892786

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 11 by DavidMcC

Comment 8 by Ignorant Amos

There is much more on the dog story...an excellent read for those who have not yet had the privilege, although there can't be too many of those types reading this comment.

Yes, and no. I, for one, don't always read such a complex book from cover to cover - I tend to give some chapters more attention than others, partly because of the varying subject matter.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 14:11:11 UTC | #892788

Phen's Avatar Comment 12 by Phen

Comment 8 by Ignorant Amos :

"Much of the domestication of the dog was self-domestication, mediated by natural, not artificial, selection." "......natural selection had already sculpted wolves into self-domesticated 'village dogs' without human intervention. Only later did humans adopt these village dogs and transmogrify them, separately and comprehensively, into the rainbow spectrum of breeds...." The Greatest Show on Earth, page 28 & 71, by Richard Dawkins. There is much more on the dog story...an excellent read for those who have not yet had the privilege, although there can't be too many of those types reading this comment.

Fantastic book, one of my favorites. I tried to get my mother to read it, but no, it's BLASPHEMOUS!

And Comment 10, since when are dogs omnivores? Just because they occasionally chew on grass doesn't make them omnivores.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 14:47:32 UTC | #892793

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 13 by Vorlund

Comment 10 by T4 :

Ramases - pigs are omnivores. As are dogs, actually, technically. Just saying.

Dogs are indeed omnivores, and rameses makes a good argument, however I still have doubts, if dogs originated in asia and I understand their domestication was about 10000 years ago then it happened outside the fertile crescent where the first farming of cereal crops occurred at almost the same time. In places where cereal crops were hard to come by keeping dogs which could run down and feed on smaller animals and vegetation and husbading them for food makes a plausible case for keeping them as a food source. The utlitarian use of animals for hunting and war is more advanced and requries an understanding of training the animal.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 14:50:12 UTC | #892794

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 14 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 12 by Phen

Fantastic book, one of my favorites.

Indeed it is.

I tried to get my mother to read it, but no, it's BLASPHEMOUS!

Try getting her to read the bible in that case. The most sold book in the world that is never read.

And Comment 10, since when are dogs omnivores? Just because they occasionally chew on grass doesn't make them omnivores.

I have an Imperial Shih Tzu that eats tomatoes....loves tomatoes in fact.

Despite their descent from wolves and classification as Carnivora, dogs are variously described in scholarly and other writings as carnivores or omnivores. Unlike obligate carnivores, such as the cat family with its shorter small intestine, dogs can adapt to a wide-ranging diet, and are not dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level of protein in order to fulfill their basic dietary requirements. Dogs will healthily digest a variety of foods, including vegetables and grains, and can consume a large proportion of these in their diet.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 15:16:06 UTC | #892802

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 15 by Neodarwinian

Further evidence!!

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 20:22:23 UTC | #892897

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 16 by rod-the-farmer

I have a Golden Lasagna Retriever.......and before that a Golden Roast Beef Retriever.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 21:24:49 UTC | #892909

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 17 by Michael Gray

Comment #5: We regularly consume carnivorous fish.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 23:54:35 UTC | #892928

JuJu's Avatar Comment 18 by JuJu

My little chihuahua would like to let all of you know that it is extremely offended that you would believe that it "evolved" from them stinkin' dirty wolf animals.

Fri, 25 Nov 2011 17:24:44 UTC | #893076

Helga Vieirch's Avatar Comment 19 by Helga Vieirch

This is not the final or the definitive study. There are plenty of other studies, which suggest that dogs were domesticated (originally? again?)in Africa, for instance. The dog is found in all places inhabited by contemporary hunter-gatherers, and there is a lot of empirical evidence that those dogs were there before contact with outsiders might have brought dogs to these locations. There is also a lot to be side for the idea that wolves were domesticated in a lot of times and places, as this experiment with foxes shows, similar selection methods could have very similar results again and again.

Fri, 25 Nov 2011 17:42:08 UTC | #893083

Capt. Bloodeye's Avatar Comment 20 by Capt. Bloodeye

My dog is an omnivore.....

Fri, 25 Nov 2011 17:57:11 UTC | #893086

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 21 by Alan4discussion

Comment 19 by Helga Vierich - as this experiment with foxes shows, similar selection methods could have very similar results again and again.

Here is a related article about the Russian domesticated foxes. There are also wolves, a wolf-dog hybrid, and other domesticated animals in the article and in the photogallery (2nd link).

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/taming-wild-animals/ratliff-text

Foxes bred through generations to be as human-friendly as dogs get a boost from Lyudmila Trut (center) and other staff at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, in Novosibirsk, Siberia.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/taming-wild-animals/musi-photography

In 2003 a young researcher at Duke University named Brian Hare traveled out to Novosibirsk. Hare is known for his work cataloging the unique behaviors of dogs and wolves, showing the ways in which dogs have evolved to follow human cues like pointing and eye movements. When he conducted similar tests on fox kits in Siberia, he found that they did just as well as puppies of the same age. The results, while preliminary, suggest that selecting against fear and aggression—what Hare calls "emotional reactivity"—has created foxes that are not just tame but that also have the doglike ability to engage with humans using their social cues.

In recent years the institute has been working to obtain permits to sell the surplus tame foxes as pets, both domestically and in other countries. It would be a way not just to find a better home for the unwanted foxes, they suggest, but also to raise money for the research to continue. "The situation today is we are just doing our best to preserve our population," Trut says. "We do some genetic work with our partners in America. But this experiment has many more questions to resolve."

Fri, 25 Nov 2011 20:24:40 UTC | #893102

Helga Vieirch's Avatar Comment 22 by Helga Vieirch

Comment 21 by Alan4discussion

Indeed. These foxes are, though relatively new, no different than all our dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, chickens, camels, llamas, and the multitude of other creatures, in all their thousands of local varieties, that are our fellow travellers in the anthro-ecology that has been the human environment for many thousands of years now.

The biggest question in my mind, about the tame and friendly foxes, as about all the other tame and friendly animals humans have selected, consciously or unconsciously, to be happy inter-acting with humans, is whether we humans have in any way earned the right, having done this to a fellow creature, to then throw it away, simply because we have not got the heart to also take responsibility for the quality of the lives, let alone the deaths, of these creatures?

I do not think we have earned that right - not unless we also have the heart to see it all through properly.

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 05:59:11 UTC | #893204

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 23 by Alan4discussion

Comment 22 by Helga Vierich

I think the main evolutionary lesson from these articles, is that the domestication process can happen very quickly.

There is also, as you say, the moral issue of responsibility for animals made dependent on humans.

On a humorous side, this is a rare example of an accurately reported item of "Fox News"!

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 10:30:24 UTC | #893250

Helga Vieirch's Avatar Comment 24 by Helga Vieirch

Comment 23 by Alan4discussion

On a humorous side, this is a rare example of an accurately reported item of "Fox News"!

The one and only, I have to say, in my own experience. Now, that should be funnier than it seems, but perhaps a need another cup of coffee this morning…. (wicked grin).

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 17:30:31 UTC | #893350