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The origin of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris or Canis familiaris) is not clear. Whole genome sequencing indicates that the dog, the gray wolf and the extinct Taymyr wolf diverged at around the same time 27,000-40,000 years ago. These dates imply that the earliest dogs arose in the time of human hunter-gatherers and not agriculturists. Modern dogs are more closely related to ancient wolf fossils that have been found in Europe than they are to modern gray wolves, with nearly all dog breed's genetic closeness to the gray wolf due to admixture  but several Arctic dog breeds with the Taymyr wolf of North Asia due to admixture.
Genetic analysis of a 40,000-year-old jawbone from Romania reveals that early modern humans interbred with Neanderthals when they first came to Europe.
originally posted by: admirethedistance
I suppose it's possible, but I don't think so. Neanderthals died out around 40,000 years ago, which is the upper limit on when modern dogs would have diverged from wolves. Given the seeming 13,000 year margin of error given for dogs' divergence, I'd say Neanderthals were probably long gone before dogs were around.
originally posted by: nOraKat
a reply to: Midnight4444
I forgot what country, but my friend mentioned to me a country where they raise dogs specifically to eat. They select specific breeds that taste good, etc.
He said they even have a festival there where they eat dog (which is a part of the festival), like the way we eat turkey on thanksgiving.
The key to your theory about the extinction of the Neanderthals is the domestication of wolf dogs by humans. Can you unpack that idea for us a little bit?
First of all I want to say that when I use the term wolf dog, I don't mean a hybrid between a wolf and a modern dog. It's not clear if it's appropriate to call these things wolves or dogs. They're not modern dogs, and they're not modern wolves. They're not ancient wolves, either. They're a distinctive group. Forty individual specimens, at a number of different sites, have been identified as what I'm calling wolf dogs.
They're large, have big teeth and all those predatory, dog/wolf characteristics. You have to assume from the anatomy that they could track very well from the scent of an animal. They were built to be fast running, as wolves and most dogs are. Humans don't run terribly fast. We have a crappy sense of smell. We do cooperate with each other, which is helpful, and we had long-distance weapons, like spears and bows and arrows.
Neanderthals seem to have specialized in stabbing an animal at close quarters with handheld weapons and wrestling it down. We had weapons we could launch from a distance, which is a very big advantage. There's a lot less risk of personal injury.
Add into that mix the doggy traits of being able to run for hours much faster than we can, track an animal by its scent, then with a group of other wolf dogs surround the animal and hold it in place while you tire it out. The advantage for wolf dogs is that humans can come in and kill from a distance. The wolf dogs don't have to go and kill this thing with their teeth, thereby lowering the risk of injury and death from very large animals like mammoths. For humans, it meant you could find the animals a lot quicker and kill them more efficiently. More food, less risk, faster.
originally posted by: Midnight4444
a reply to: admirethedistance
While I tend to agree with you, what if the Neanderthals were in essence farming the dogs (wolves)for a food source, selectively taming them over time.
originally posted by: admirethedistance
a reply to: Frocharocha
Not always. I used to know a woman who had wolves (6 total, 2 at the time I knew her; one adult, one pup). She said that as long as you get them when they're real young, they're basically like dogs, just with a bit of a wild streak. The ones she had when I knew her were about as docile as any dog.