Although initially thought to have originated as a manmade variant of an extant canid species , extensive genetic studies undertaken during the 2010s indicate that dogs diverged from an extinct wolf-like canid in Eurasia 40,000 years ago. Being the oldest domesticated animals with one study claiming for the past 33,000 years, their long association with people has allowed dogs to be uniquely attuned to human behavior, as well as thrive on a starch-rich diet which would be inadequate for other canid species.
Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship, and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This impact on human society has given them the nickname mans best friend in the Western world. In some cultures, however, dogs are a source of meat. (source : wikipedia)