These genes may be why dogs are so friendly | Science News

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These genes may be why dogs are so friendly

DNA differences among dogs and wolves hints at how canines came to live with humans

By
2:00pm, July 19, 2017
bro with dog

FEELING THE BOND  Dogs' friendliness to humans may be tied to tweaks in a few of the animal's genes. A new study examines how variations of these genes may have allowed for the domestication of dogs from wolves.

DNA might reveal how dogs became man’s best friend.

A new study shows that some of the same genes linked to the behavior of extremely social people can also make dogs friendlier. The result, published July 19 in Science Advances, suggests that dogs’ domestication may be the result of just a few genetic changes rather than hundreds or thousands of them.

“It is great to see initial genetic evidence supporting the self-domestication hypothesis or ‘survival of the friendliest,’” says evolutionary anthropologist Brian Hare of Duke University, who studies how dogs think and learn. “This is another piece of the puzzle suggesting that humans did not create dogs intentionally, but instead wolves that were friendliest toward humans were at an evolutionary advantage as our two species began to interact.”

Not much is known about the underlying genetics of

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