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Dogs That Changed the World

Dogs That Changed the World is a two part PBS Nature documentary narrated by F. Murray Abraham, exploring the 15,000-year-old relationship between dogs and humans and the evolution of wolves into the wide variety of dogs we know today. From the tiniest Chihuahua to the powerful and massive English Mastiff, modern domesticated dogs come in a bewildering array of shapes and sizes, with an equally diverse range of temperaments and behaviors. And yet, according to genetics, all dogs evolved from the savage and wild wolf - in a transformation that occurred just 15,000 years ago. The first episode "The Rise of the Dog" tells of how the domestication of dogs might have taken place.

Over 400 breeds of dog are recognized around the world, each unique for its personality, habits, and form. Most of these breeds exploded onto the scene over the past 150 years, spurred by the Victorian-era passion for the "dog fancy" - the selective breeding of dogs to enhance particular characteristics. By tinkering with its genetics, humans made the dog the most varied animal species on the planet - and also created a host of hereditary health problems. The second episode "Dogs by Design" tells of how "man's best friend" changed human society and how we in turn have radically transformed dogs. (from pbs.org)

Episode 1 - The Rise of the Dog
This episode tells of how the domestication of dogs might have taken place, including the theory of biologist Raymond Coppinger that it was the animals themselves - and human trash - that inspired the transformation.

Episode 2 - Dogs by Design
This episode tells of how "man's best friend" changed human society and how we in turn have radically transformed dogs.


Related Links
Dog - wikipedia
The domestic dog is a subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), a member of the Canidae family of the mammalian order Carnivora.
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