How Dogs Became Our Best Friends (ft. MinuteEarth!)

[PBS BUMPER] There’s about 7.4 billion people on Earth
today …and over 200 million dogs. So exactly where, when, and why did warm-hearted
wolves join our pack? And who trained who? [OPEN] So… Cat person? Or dog person? Me? I’m totally impartial. No matter where you sit – siiiiiiit, it’s
plain to see that the histories of dogs and humans are intertwined… maybe like no other
two species. If we take domestication out of the human
equation, it’s estimated just 1 or 2 million of us would be around today. And of all those animal alliances, our relationship
with dogs is the oldest. But figuring out why, where, and when domestic
dogs first originated is still a bone of contention. Why? Is the easiest to answer. Every continent is home to wild canids – like
Africa’s painted dogs or Asia’s doles, but thanks to genetic research we know modern
pups didn’t descend from those local species. Today’s domestic dogs all trace their
DNA back to ancient wolves. You may have heard that wolves and ancient
people were hunting buddies that used teamwork to run down bigger prey. That’s a nice story, but wolf packs can
hunt just fine on their own – and usually aren’t too big on sharing. Plus, early humans tended to kill off most
carnivorous competition. It’s most likely that humans didn’t adopt
dogs. Dogs adopted us. Any “wolves gone mild” that were tolerant
of humans could have scrounged our scraps. They didn’t need us, but our leftovers could
have made their lives easier. Today, about 85 percent of domestic dogs still
survive on our waste – no matter how many times we tell them “STAY OUT OF THE TRASH” But a tame wolf isn’t a dog, and scientists
are still trying to figure out when and where that change occurred. Studying living wolves tells us the line that
led to our pups is extinct today, but we can still find their footprints in modern dog
genomes. Looking at DNA in mitochondria tells us dogs
split from their wolf ancestors somewhere in Europe between 19 and 32 thousand years
ago, but whole genomes from dozens of living dogs put the split somewhere in South Asia
around 33,000 years ago. It’s tough to pin down because dog genes
have mixed so much. Fossils don’t tell the whole story either,
because bones alone can’t tell us when the thing that looked like a wolf started to act
like a dog. But combining the two, fossils and DNA, could give us some hints. DNA extracted from ancient dog fossils has
suggested a new story: the domestication split happened in two places, at least 12,000 years
ago. And then at some point, Eastern dogs followed
people west, and became the dominant ancestor of our canine compadres. Dogs became useful herders, sled pullers,
and guards – against predators AND neighboring human tribes. And in a pinch, they could have served as
an emergency food supply. Dogs probably saved us more times than we
can count. We’re paying them back – pups now have
access to insurance, healthcare, some even have more instagram followers than you and
me. From a wolf mold, we’ve crafted 340 or so
dog breeds, even a few weird ones. It’s hard to believe every domestic dog
is still part of the same species, one whose story is so tightly wound to our own, that
we still can’t quite tell where it begins. Stay! Staaaay. Curious.

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100 Responses

  1. It's Okay To Be Smart says:

    The story of dogs? It's an interesting tail.

    Everyone head over to MinuteEarth and subscribe!

  2. kalvin john says:

    How about cats? Cats save people too!

  3. Positive Mentality says:

    Who trained who? What a stupid question

  4. Luis Angel Blancas Cruz says:

    I herd that new research says that it wasn't from Wolfs, but from Foxes
    So, what is the correct Info?

  5. KenDrei says:

    Wolves and Huskies looks alike

  6. Kyle J. Norris says:

    "Who trained *whom*?" It's okay to be dumb.

  7. Trushiel Vallabh says:

    What type of dogs are Annie and Oliver?

  8. mrs mozzarella sticks says:

    I like both

  9. oi boi says:

    If you

  10. oi boi says:

    Connect these

  11. oi boi says:

    Comments your

  12. Graham Tolkoff says:

    I'm not hating. I wish this video went more in depth about how the dog was domesticated.

  13. a fucking chicken says:

    I pick both cuz my dog saved my belongings from a thief and my cats saved my home from snow infestation

  14. Karen Golar says:

    I have a dog Which is name CODY (Male)

  15. NAME S!!! says:

    A few quadraped beasts

  16. Shane Fairbank says:

    It's, (Who trained whom?.)

  17. ben bundidsilp says:

    kill all cat

  18. Harsh Chhabra says:

    Few days ago a dog came in front of my bike and i met with an accident 😂😂

  19. GlitchInTheSky says:


  20. Sumit Singh says:

    Our ancestors used to eat dogs???

  21. DneilB007 says:

    Just a thought on this topic: both wolves and humans are endurance hunters. The basic idea of endurance hunting is to keep the prey running until exhausted. Humans have a decided advantage over wolves as endurance hunters—while wolves have a terrifying bite, to use it they need to put their head within striking distance of their prey. Humans can throw pointy sticks to wound the prey, and don’t need to close with their prey until after they have collapsed. If the humans put a couple stone-tipped lances into the deer (or whatever), then the wolves harried the prey to collapse, the humans could then swiftly finish the kill with a stone knife or hand axe. This cooperation between wolf and human would likely result in fewer injuries during a hunt for both species.

  22. CounterCrafter says:

    Whats the difference between dogs and cats?

    Dogs have owners, Cats have staff

  23. bigpoppadawg says:

    I live in San Antonio Texas

  24. Meagan Higbee says:

    I don't use Instagram

  25. kassie raine says:

    Man's best *servant

  26. Sydney James says:

    I love cats

  27. 張於哥 says:

    Who says dog is human's best friend? No it's not. I don't want to be friend with that stinky thing. I hate dog. Dogs can kill human in a single bite. I heard many cases where dogs bite their owner. Also dog is stupid and stinky.

  28. The sapphire leo says:

    Dogs are only so-called "close" pets because of repressed fear, too and are very, very toxic, in most, if not every case. and thus, very negative underneath, that over exitement. Terrible meat based diet is most likely the problem along with the screwed up damaged DNA, through generations, no thanks to the desprate, toxic, lonely, crap end of humanity. Dog is "God" backwards, made in "Satan's" image, the false ego/sense of self, of delusion, and false hope. I myself can't stand "blind" hero worship, in fear. We are truly both "Satan" and "God", "Satan" in ego, "God", in true unconditional love, devoid of the "Seven Sins". You reap what you sew.

  29. Brian Tuazon says:

    Love your videos!

  30. The little Explorer Channel Nouran Mahmoud Ezzat says:

    Moreeeeeeeeee puns

  31. J, Williams says:

    dogs did not domestic us and we did not domestic them. we worked as a team so well we both decided to be best friends. there is no team on earth better then human and dog.

  32. Jango Fett says:

    haha.. alliance

  33. Howling wolf 1 says:


  34. Tommy Locust says:

    I LOVE dogs

  35. arju scarlet says:

    It's sad how some people eat these amazing creatures.

  36. Kimiko no Tsuki says:


  37. Greenyvilanboy says:

    I’m Sorry But you kinda Look like Link From GMM

  38. Crude Rhythm says:

    Lady said 200 million dogs
    N showed 2million only.

  39. Bob Bob says:

    When alpha was made

  40. Yung Kirk says:

    I'm getting a great dane tomorrow and I can't wait. I'm gonna treat that dog like he is the greatest good boye of all time.

  41. Darkness Incarnate says:

    Cat 🐈

  42. Cass the Nerd says:

    "emergency food supply" please tell me that was an Excel Saga reference

  43. crbastow says:

    Cats = Life | Dogs = HELP ME!

  44. Dane Tuboro says:

    My dog is bigger than my uncle

  45. eric kozys says:

    Dogs can go kill themselves

  46. Sam Lutfi says:

    only 200 million dogs?? hmmm

  47. Sam Lutfi says:

    There are 200 million dogs in China and India alone. The world has at least a billion dogs

  48. Trash account 4 says:

    MinuteEarth was useless.

  49. Aa E1 says:

    I love cats because they are not as intimating as dogs and they demand love and respect and they are super cute

  50. Ernawati chnadra says:

    I have a doggo! It's a pom pom dog! It is 2 months,1 week, 3 days

  51. Ratigan2 says:

    0:07 "And over 200 million dogs."

    I guess the artist doesn't know how much 200 million is..

  52. Leo Gomez says:


  53. Tiny Litten18 says:

    I bet together with minute Earth could be smarter than 5 super smart scientists

  54. Kimmy Kat says:

    pause at 0:34

  55. Audrey Foxspirit says:


  56. Igor Soares says:

    Never met anyone who thinks being smart is not ok….but ok!

  57. Ouis Sandy says:

    Dogs are parasites i have 2 and they love us cause its easier then fending for themselves. I still love my dogs.

  58. PointRequiem says:

    I like foxes

  59. *Crystal Spirit Wolf* says:

    Wolves and dogs are pawsome animals!!!

  60. jaan Khan says:


  61. Keke Gacha says:

    I am one of the people in the world who owns a dog, I have two dogs

  62. ripon rip says:

    Bad joe bad joe!,

  63. cnordegren says:

    God sent dogs to earth to keep us comoany and happy.

  64. IM A CAT says:

    We cats aint jeolous

  65. good boi says:

    The most surreal collab

  66. Stacy Sosa says:

    Tell Cantonese and Vietnamese people not to eat dogs, please! And also ask them to stop eating EVERY LIVING THING! including babies and worms. They all have horrible parasites in their stomach.

  67. B L T vlogs says:

    3:04 that seems messed up eating dogs there are best friend's not food

  68. Alex has a hat says:

    I’m a cat person.

  69. Lycan Thrope says:

    but this is wrong… dogs are not from wolves…. the historical facts are that they are closer related to the fox than the wolf the ancestor of the dog is not the wolf.

  70. Anthenor Jr says:

    I'm a cat person because I don't like pet slaves, I prefer then independent, they teach me how to treat others. But totally love dogs of course, how couldn't I?

  71. Fresh Inky Boi says:

    3:22 where is the Pomeranians???

  72. Relleno Culiao Brigido says:

    Humans don't teach dogs
    Dogs don't teach humans
    They work together.

  73. Noelkinz G.Roman says:

    I hate cats!

  74. good boi says:

    Just watch alpha

  75. Βεlανια Θδδεlατιοη says:


  76. Tarni Kumari says:

    I love puppies and kitties

  77. Howard Xing says:

    Cats Dogs are our feline canine overlords friends .

  78. Jorun Holm says:

    Stay curios

  79. Inferno Hybrid says:

    You sound and look like matpat (game theory – matpat)

  80. Hippie Hoppy Stoner says:

    Another reason why humans are the greatest to have ever walked in this planet

  81. Luz Rapoport says:

    do you have spanish subtitles for this? thanks!

  82. Saphir Thorn :3 says:

    Canis Lupus

  83. X perduction's says:

    Dog Pearson

  84. Ninja Tiger says:

    I am both

  85. Sara Hobzek says:

    why the cat pun at the end?

  86. brandy31313 says:

    I͛ a͛m͛ a͛ c͛a͛t͛ p͛e͛r͛s͛o͛n͛ 🐈🐈🐈🐺🐺🐺🐈🐈🐈🐺🐺🐺🐈🐈🐈🐺🐺🐺🐈🐈🐈🐺🐺🐺🐈🐈🐈🐺🐺🐺🐈🐈🐈🐺🐺🐺🐈🐈🐈🐺🐺🐺

  87. Panic Wolf Frolly Productions says:

    Fun Fact: Humans are canines
    I mean, c’mon, you never see a monkey as expressive as dogs and us

  88. C Lockett says:

    Wolf 1: those humans never eat all there food I'm going to eat their left overs from now on
    Wolf 2: I'm going to eat one of those humans
    Wolf 1: get out here you, those are my humans
    Human: Did you see the that. That wolf just protected us from that other wolf. Let's feed him and scratch his belly
    Wolf 1: man these humans are easy to train

  89. Just Some Guy without a Mustache says:

    I'm here because of John Wick.

  90. Velotic ZX says:

    We chewed bones together.

  91. Crystalgleam Is in skyclan says:

    Hello??? I am a dog, right? I mean, I am a cousin of dogs, i am a wolf but thank you for telling me this information I’m working on an animation on how wolves came to be dogs, and that’s a message on why you should be thankful for dogs and not kill wolves
    Why do people do that to wolves, what did they do to you?

  92. Mike A says:

    why did dogs evolve faster than we did?

  93. Jacob Masten says:

    I got a commercial called everyone wants to be a cat

  94. a regular person says:

    We have the same instinct for puppies as babies

  95. Pete Dechoudens says:

    I CALL DIBS ON DOG! Cuznima doggyo person

  96. shivam mishra says:

    Can you tell me where did actually cows emerged?

  97. Hιʀoツ says:

    I dog know if this is a fact
    Plus I'm a cat person a I purrsonally like dogs too!
    I'm looking forward to adopt one

  98. Kathy Ballard says:

    I love cats, dogs, reptiles, all of them!!!

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