I keep meaning to post something about this as I keep reading about it with interest. It has long been established that domestic dogs are related to the grey wolf, but the exact timing and place of this divergence is unclear. It has been thought that their beginings could be traced back to the Middle East or East Asia around 15,000 years ago. However, fossils of dogs have been found dating to 30,000 years, which gives us some conflicting data.
A study by Thalmann et al. (2013) have had another go at sequencing the genetic data revelaing that modern dogs are related to European wolves or dogs, particularly to the extint Euorpean wolf. Not only is this a new find but it also pushes back the date for dog domestication, as the oldest remains used dated to 18,000 years old. It’s a really interesting subject and I look forward to more research coming out about this subject!
See the BBC link below for more info!
- DNA hint of European origin for dogs (bbc.co.uk)