Your Pet Dog is NOT a Wolf!
Indeed, Domesticated dogs (canis familiaris) are ancestors of Wolves (canis lupus)! This can be proven via scientific DNA analysis.
Further to this, they are only loosely related to the wolves of today…..Rather, all dogs and wolves are directly related to the ancient wolf as illustrated in psychology today.
However, with this being said, pet dogs are simply not wolves and it can be scientifically proven that there are some fundamental differences between them.
We won't focus on all their differences in this article, just a couple, but before we do, lets think about how this difference has actually occured?
Humans have been breeding and cross breeding dogs for over 15,000 years. Much of this cross breeding has been to deliberately encourage traits in the dog which humans find either useful or desirable.
Because of this, many changes have occurred in dogs whom now possess different skills to their ancient ancestors….. the Wolf.
For example, Wolves don’t seem to have the ability to read a human’s facial expressions. In-fact, they don’t even look at humans for support like a dog does.
Studies conducted, and supported, by Hungarian Academy of Sciences (F226/98) found that when they tested a wolf and a dog to solve a problem, when that problem became un-solvable to them, the dogs would look back at the humans face to see if there was some information it could learn to solve the problem. As such, they would read a facial que and solve that very problem.
The wolf, conversely, would not look at the human, and as such, could not solve the problem.
In the instances when they did look, they could not read such facial ques.
One of the conclusions from this study found that humans and dogs have created a sophisticated communication system between one and other over thousands of years…… As such, developing a set of skills in dogs which wolves do not posses.
One other such difference is the eating, or diet, characteristics.
Because of domestication by humans over 15,000 years ago, dogs have been able to evolve from eating a purely carnivorous diet, likes wolves still have, to a diet high in starch.
As dogs became ever present in our lives, our human ancestors started feeding them the left overs of the food we ate. And this was a varied diet, and different to the pure meat diet of the Wolf.
This change has happened over thousands of years and as such, they can trace this into the dogs DNA…….
My point is this, it’s not new for dogs to be eating a diet with starch and other vegetables in it! Humans have been successfully feeding dogs for thousands of years a hihgly varied diet with both meats, fruit, grains and vegetables being widley consumed.
In fact, it's totally natural, and normal now, for a dog to have a wide variety of ingredients within their diet today.
Wolves have not evolved in this way and thus, their diet has not changed during that time.
Evolutionary geneticist, Erik Axelsson, Uppsala University, in Sweden conducted an in-depth study of the DNA of dogs and Wolves.
Without getting too detailed, his team found proof that dogs have developed, and evolved, different enzymes which means they can handle quite a different diet to wolves.
These two enzymes are the Protein Amylase and Maltase. Both these enzymes are key to digestion of starch from foods like grains and lupins and vegetables.
They found that the protein amylase gene is present 30 times more, and is 28 times more active, than it is in wolves…..
Further-more, the gene which produces the enzyme Maltase, was vastly more efficient at breaking down starch in dogs than it was in wolves.
These two discoveries explain why dogs can eat such a wide variety of food yet wolves simply can-not. Even if they did choose to eat the same as dogs, wolves would not be able to survive as well as dogs can on the diet the dogs have today.
So, next time you have a moment and think that your dog is the same as a wolf, take a minute to think about how long dogs have been around humans and how that has changed their evolutionary dietary abilities……
Put simply, they are not wolves!
They have evolved, and thus, are supposed to eat a varied diet which includes Starchy vegetables, grains and lupins…..This is backed by science.
Understanding this is a good start to comprehnding why some dog foods, and dog treats, are made with a wide variety of ingredients.
Band wagons are easy to get on, but keep an open mind next time you see something promoting your dog as a wolf or highlighting that in the wild, they didn't eat this and that!!!
Your pet dog hasn't been in the wild for 15,000 years!
I hope this is something enjoyable to think about?
Have a great day from all the team @ Huds and Toke Gourmet Dog Treat Artisans.
PS: Please feel free to post a review on one of these review sites…….we appreciate the thought and it all helps. Thanks.