We all know that they demand love, attention and a lifetime of companionship - but dogs may have been man's best friend for far longer than we thought.
Durham University has been given one million pounds to work out the date of the first pet dogs.
And as Dan Ashby reports, from wolves to poodles, our canine companions may have been there for us for more than thirty thousand years.
Watch his full report below.
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Emma Jesson brings you Sunday night's forecast
Wet and windy spells, interspersed with drier interludes this week. Breezy with wintry showers, variable temperatures and a weather warning
Mostly cloudy, some bright spells, rain on and off and blustery. Milder temperatures than on Saturday