Fifteen thousand years ago, wolves stepped out of the forest and began one of the most remarkable journeys in evolutionary history. Within only a few hundred years, these wolves changed from deadly predators into man?s best friend. How did it happen? And where will it end? This two-part mini-series explores the origins of dogs, their place in our history, and our place in theirs.
Part 1 - The Rise of the Dog: From the tiniest Chihuahua to the largest St. Bernard, all dogs claim the wolf as their ancestor. But how did the wolf become the domesticated dog, and how did the hundreds of breeds we know today come to be so different? Using DNA analysis and other research, scientists have now pieced together the puzzle of canine evolution, creating a fascinating picture of how dogs became an indispensable part of our own history.
Part 2 - Dogs by Design: Some working dogs are able to use their skills to perform tasks they were bred for; there are still jobs today for herders, hunters, and guard dogs. But as we multiply and transform the many breeds of dogs, honing their looks and their sizes, we also change our relationship with them, and theirs with us. How can we learn to cope with the hard-wired instincts of our pets, and what roles can they play in a world their ancestors would hardly recognize?