What role has evolution played into how dogs behave?

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A large number of dog psychologists and researchers are particularly interested in how evolution has played into dog behavior. Much of what we currently know about dog behavior comes from our knowledge of primal dog breeds and genetic factors.  By studying ancient dog breeds, we know that modern, domesticated dogs do take after wolves, their closest relatives, in certain cues and behaviors.

Primitive dogs, such as wolves, were known to develop a complex means of communicating that we still see in several dog breeds today. Additionally, wolves formed social groups that had a defined structure. This resembles the behavior of a dog pack today, or what many dog behaviorists refer to as the “pack mentality.”

Dogs tend to have their own distinct personalities that are a combination of genetic factors and their environment. A dog’s playfulness, fearlessness, desire to run or be chased, social behavior and aggressiveness all have ties to both evolution and their current environment.

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