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.
More top news
It is now five years since all eyes were turned on this region as events unfolded that would result in the death of the gunman Raoul Moat.
A woman described as being 'allergic to life' has opened a craft centre in Hartlepool to help her cope with her rare condition.
An extreme sports show has rolled into Wearside. The Torque show features everything from monster trucks to motorbikes.