New genetic evidence suggests that humans and dogs evolved together as far back as 32,000 years ago. Parallel evolution means that dogs have influenced humans and vice versa through time by selecting for genes that affect disease frequency, behavior, and even some physical processes.
In some places–like the U.S. and the U.K.–dogs are man’s best friend but they are considered dirty, unhygienic, and dangerous in many countries around the world. It’s likely that these cultural differences are influenced by that parallel evolution–man’s best friend evolved with some groups but not necessarily with others.
So the next time you’re out on a jog with your dog or you see those cute puppies at the pet store, just think about the tens of thousands of years that went into those adorable little faces–and how people around the world may have a very different perspective.