Dogs are domestic animals that share a common ancestry with the grey wolf. There is no overall consensus on when they were domesticated but it is generally accepted to be over 15,000 years ago. There is however, conclusive evidence that dogs began to genetically diverge from wolves at about the same period in history.
Dogs are one of the most widely kept animals for both working and companionship in human history. They were extremely valuable to early human settlements when they were used for pulling sleds, hunting, guarding the settlement, herding livestock, and companionship. Many of these roles have survived to the present day but towards the end of the 20th century, the role of the dog began to rapidly evolve. There has been a huge increase in the population of dogs as pets and most dogs today are considered an integral part of the family. There has also been a surge in the number of show-dog competitions as well as related dog services such as grooming and training.
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