Why were dogs first bred anyway?

During class today is was assumed that dogs were first bred and domesticated as helpers to humans, and that the breeding of dogs as pets came later.  This seemed like a reasonable assumption, however, new speculation from biologists suggests that dogs were actually domesticated as livestock.  This speculation comes from that fact that dogs were first domesticated in rural southern China, where eating dog has been a common practice for thousands of years, and is still very prominent today.  While it has long be thought that dogs were first domesticated in Africa, evidence shows that populations of dogs in southern China have greater genetic diversity than dogs in Africa, thus proving that dogs did not originate there.

Adam Boyko, a biologist at Cornell University, finds this study very interesting but would like to see more evidence before this hypothesis is confirmed.  “But clearly, it is a very interesting result,” he said. “There is a ton of data backing it up, [and] they put forth a really interesting hypothesis for dog domestication.”

I find this interesting because it agrees with my hypothesis for breeding and domestication of animals.  I meant to say this in class, but I wasn’t able to because the topic was changed.  My hypothesis is that humans have breed and domesticated animals simply to benefit themselves.  Whether dogs were first breed as food, helpers, or even pets, the only purpose was to benefit humans.  This leads me to the conclusion that humans only ever do anything to benefit themselves.  No matter what you can think of that a human has done, the root intention of that human was to benefit him or herself.

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