How Dogs Became Our Best Friends (ft. MinuteEarth!)

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Of all the species that humans have domesticated, dogs are our oldest animal friends. But how did a group of wolves become the furry pup at the end of the bed? New research is finally unlocking the paw-in-hand evolution of dogs and humans. In this episode we’re answering one big question: Did we domesticate dogs, or did dogs domesticate us?

Special thanks to our friends from MinuteEarth!


Frantz, Laurent AF, et al. “Genomic and archaeological evidence suggest a dual origin of domestic dogs.” Science 352.6290 (2016): 1228-1231.

Freedman, Adam H., and Robert K. Wayne. “Deciphering the Origin of Dogs: From Fossils to Genomes.” Annual Review of Animal Biosciences 0 (2016).

Freedman, Adam H., et al. “Genome sequencing highlights the dynamic early history of dogs.” PLoS Genet 10.1 (2014): e1004016.

Thalmann, Olaf, et al. “Complete mitochondrial genomes of ancient canids suggest a European origin of domestic dogs.” Science 342.6160 (2013): 871-874.

Wang, Guo-Dong, et al. “Out of southern East Asia: the natural history of domestic dogs across the world.” Cell research 26.1 (2016): 21-33.


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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Director: Joe Nicolosi
Writer: Sarah Keartes
Producer/editor/animator: Andrew Matthews
Producer: Stephanie Noone and Amanda Fox

Produced by PBS Digital Studios
Music via APM
Stock images from Shutterstock
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