What's the first word that comes to your mind when you think of a dog? "Loyal", isn't it? The word that comes to our mind when we think of a wolf is "cunning". If you think about it, the traits are almost opposite to each other. So how can two animals whose impressions are so different in our brain look similar to each other? Coincidence?
In this Now You Know, let's find out why some dogs look like wolves.
After years of research, scientists have realised that the DNA of wolves and dogs differ by only 1.2 percent. Yes, you heard that right. That means 98.8 percent of their DNA is totally the same. It makes you wonder how such a small percentage can make such a big difference on behaviour.
Dogs are from the same family as wolves. Wolves are their ancestors just like cavemen are ours. If we look at animal history, we notice that wolves and humans have always maintaned distance from each other. Ancient humans were hunters and so are wolves. After humans discovered fire, they could sleep safely and save their leftover food for the next day. Fire kept the wolves away from eating their food or attacking babies.
Scientists say that thousands of years of evolution and domestication has made wolves gradually come closer to us and become the loyal friend that we live with now. Over time, they realised they can't create fire but if they behave less "wild" and protect humans instead, food will be provided.
That's why there are some breeds of dogs, like alaskan malamute, siberian husky or german shepherd that still have wolf-like faces. Now you know why your relatives tell you that you've got your grandfather's eyes. In a way, our ancestors are living through us even after death.