It is commonly believed that dogs have been around for around 12,000 years give or take a couple thousand. But new evidence is beginning to show that the change from wolf to dog might have begun long before that.
Christine Dell’Amore’s article for National Geographic News titled Ancient Dog Skull Shows Early Pet Domestication discusses the discovery of a skull in Russia that is believed to be about 33,000 years old and one of the earliest dogs.
If you’re interested in learning more about the domestication of dogs and evidence as to when and where it might have begun, there are two recent books that discuss this in much greater detail.
One is The Animal Connection: A New Perspective on What Makes Us Human by Pat Shipman.
The other is Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet by John Bradshaw. Both are worth reading, but if you only have time for one, definitely ready Bradshaw’s book!