The genus Canis/Dog underwent a mixed fate at the end of the Pleistocene. The gray wolf and coyote survived the extinction thatoccurred approximately 10,000 years ago. The dire wolf, however, was one of the animals that did not survive. Perhaps the dire wolf depended on scavenging the remains of the large herbivores of the last Ice Age. The extinction of these herbivores may have then led to the extinction of the dire wolf. Scientists do not know if this is the case; however, they continue to search for the reason that many kinds of mammals went extinct about 10,000 years ago.
The evolution of these three species of canids is very interesting. Paleontologists think that, although all three of the species were found in the same area at the same time, each comes from a different evolutionary lineage within the genus Canis. That is, none of these three species is the direct ancestor of either of the other two species.
The grey wolf was well was established in North America by the time the first Native American and Inuit Peoples came across the Beringia, about eighteen thousand years ago.
The Evolution of the domestic dog is still a matter of much debate. Some Believe that the dog is descended from the wolf, while others think they are evolved separately from a common ancestor. Recently the American Society of Mammologist recommended that the domestic dog be reclassified as a new subspecies of wolf, Canis lupus familiaris. There is some genetic evidence that the dog is descendent from the wolf and that the domestication of the dog took place several times over the course of history.