Humans likely domesticated dogs more than 11,000 years ago. Dogs were the first animal species to be domesticated, 5,000 years before the invention of agriculture.
Human beings were still hunter-gatherers back then, and yet they domesticated wolves, which are pretty scary carnivores.
If I’m reading this right, all present-day dogs likely descended from a single, relatively small population of wolves. And European dogs were a diverse population 4,000-5,000 years ago, but present-day European breeds are descended from a relatively small population.
Cats became pets when humans settled down to farm, in fixed communities, a little more than 6,000 years ago. Cats were probably useful for controlling vermin attracted by the waste around dense settlements.
I am endlessly fascinated by how little time human beings have been civilized, and had written history, and I wonder at what came during that much longer period for which there is no record.