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The Domestication of Animals

To domesticate an animal means to train it to live

with and be of use to people. No one knows for sure
when people started domesticating animals. Some
scientists found clues that tell us that some animals
have lived with humans many years ago. Learning
about these animals also helps us to learn how these
people lived.

Domestication of animals was one of the first things that people did to
change their world. They domesticated animals so they could raise them for food
and use them in doing work. Some animals, like the dog, became a friend and a
helper to humans.

The dog

was one of the first animals that people

Early people had to hunt for their food. There
also wolves that stayed around the camps of the
hunters because they smelled the food. The
hunters may have tamed the wolves by
throwing food scraps to them. Once they
had tamed the wolves, they used them
to hunt other animals. After a while, people used dogs to herd goats and sheep.
Dogs are also used to protect peoples crops.

A very long time ago, people were always looking for

food. They never lived in just one place. Later on, they
stopped moving from place to place.
They used the land to plant and grow
their food. When they began to stay in
one place, domestication of animals
started. Some of the first animals kept in herds were
goats and sheep because these animals were easy to
care for. They ate grass and other plants. They are
useful because they gave people milk and meat and
hide to use for clothing.

When the size of

people staying in one
place grew, people had
new problems. Now
that they lived in one
place, they wanted
things, such as
wood, brought
to them. Because of this, people needed animals that were strong and large.
People began to domesticate bigger animals like elephants and camels.

When the people began storing

grain, cats were domesticated. It was
because rats and mice would eat the
grain. Since cats are rats and mice, the
cats were very useful to the farmers.

Among the last to be

domesticated were horses. For
a long time, horses were used
only for hunting and war. One reason may
be that early harnesses did not work
very well on horses. They forced the
horses head up too high, and they could
not pull heavy carts or plows.
: look for
: controlled
: leftovers
: gather together
: skin
: leather straps by which a horse, mule, etc. is fastened to a vehicle, plow or load
These are just some of the ideas about how and why people domesticated
animals. By continuing to study them, we can learn more about the past.


Match the word to its meaning by writing the letter of the correct answer.


a. to bring up


b. leftovers


c. gather together


d. to look for


e. controlled


f. ropes used to tie an animal or object


g. skin


Underline the correct word inside the parenthesis to make the

sentence complete.
1. The hunters gave some (scraps, harnesses) to the wolves.
2. Animals were (raised, scraps) to be used for food, or for work.
3. Early people had to (hunt, tame) for their food.
4. The (hides, herd) of some animals can be used for clothing.
5. Wolves were (scraps, tamed) by the hunters.
6. These wolves were used to (raise, herd) sheep and goats.
7. People used (harnesses, scraps) to tie animals to be domesticated.

Vocabulary Quilt
Are there any more words that you dont understand? Write them in the

Think Alongs

1. Why did early people domesticate animals?

2. What animals was one of the very first to be domesticated?
3. What things do animals give us?
4. Why were horses among the animals domesticated last?


Put a check mark on the line beside the animal that was domesticated
according to the story.












Draw a

if the sentence tells about the uses of animals, according to the

________1. Hunters used wolves to hunt other animals.
________2. The early people rode on birds to go to other places.
________3. Cats were used because rats eat the grains that the people stored.
________4. Goats provided people with milk, meat and hides.
________5. Tigers were used to guard houses.
________6. Elephants were domesticated so they can marry large objects for people.
________7. Zebras were caught to put in zoos.
________8. Horses were used to pull heavy carts and plows.

Skimming and Scanning

Skimming and scanning means to read something very fast, just
enough to find the answer to a specific question.

Answer the following questions by skimming the paragraph numbered inside the

(5) What kind of animals did the early people needed for carrying heavy


What reasons were given why people domesticated animals?



What word means to to train it to live with and be of use to people?



What did goats and sheep eat that made them easy to care for?


What did the rats eat that made them a problem to farmers?