dog kissesAs humans began to understand modern genetics, we began intentionally breeding dogs for a wide range of specific traits. Through this process, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds—with more behavioral and morphological variation among their species than any other land mammal.

Over time, the dog has become more adaptable to humans than any other mammal; a relationship that has earned them the name “Man’s best friend.”  Through a combination of genetic breeding, behavioral adaptation, and ancestry, the dog is one of the most relatable mammals to humans.  Here are three specific human-like traits dogs exhibit:

1.     Dogs have a social hierarchy.  They have inherited this leadership and pack hierarchy from their wolf roots.

2.     Dogs have sophisticated social understanding of when to play, protect, and relax, allowing them to adapt to social cues and establish relationships with humans.

3.     Dogs have responded to their environmental surroundings, evolving and adapting over time to new roles (though it is argued that this evolution was mostly a result of selective breeding by humans than environmental evolution).

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2253978/?tool=pmcentrez

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