Interestingly, dogs are known to be man's best friend and the faithful companions on whom a human can depend upon.
They live with us, play with us and even sleep with us. But how did a once fearsome wolf-like animal evolved over tens of thousands of years to become beloved members of a family?
Through the power of genomics, scientists at the University of Michigan compared the DNA of a dog and wolf to identify the genes involved in domestication.
The research identified that in some places the DNAs didn't appear to match.
The researchers used statistical methods to tease out genetic changes of ancient dogs and wolves, found at burial sites from around 5,000 years ago. It resulted from humans' first efforts at domestication from those associated with the development of specific breeds.
"The neural crest hypothesis posits that the phenotypes we see in domesticated animals over and over again—floppy ears, changes to the jaw, coloration, tame behaviour—can be explained by genetic changes that act in a certain type of cell during development called neural crest cells, which are incredibly important and contribute to all kinds of adult tissues," explained Amanda Pendleton, a postdoctoral researcher.