Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs

Feb. 15 – Sept. 7, 2014 | $7 adults, $6 Fla. residents and college students, $4.50 child, free for UF students and Museum members

“Wolf to Woof” is the world’s largest exhibition on the history, biology and evolution of dogs. This family-friendly exhibit reveals the fascinating history of dogs, their connection with wolves and what makes them man’s best friend. Four themed areas feature artifacts, multimedia displays, photomurals and dioramas on wild canines and modern dog breeds. Explore interactive hands-on components such as a “howling area” and “guess what dogs are saying” activity, or go nose-to-nose against a dog’s great sense of smell. Learn how dogs have secured a special place in human society as an incredibly diverse and versatile species, serving as hunters, herders, guards and companions.



Exhibit Highlights

  • Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs - exhibit photo - woman and child looking at fox displayDogs Come in All Shapes and Sizes
    Learn about the incredible adaptability of dogs and how their appearances have changed over time, naturally and due to breeding by humans. Also follow the geographical origins and history of some domestic breeds, wild canines and extinct relatives. This area also includes information from recent studies debating whether dogs originated in Asia or Europe.
  • A Little Wolf in Every Dog
    Humans have used selective breeding to retain certain wolf characteristics and eliminate others. Explore why domesticated and wild canine species behave the way they do. Compare and contrast the behaviors of wolves and domesticated dogs while exploring human intrigue with dogs.
  • Dogs Have Skills to Help Us No one can deny the intimate relationship between man and dog. Analyze this special bond and find out more about how dogs help mankind. Visitors can climb into an avalanche scene to experience what it’s like to be saved by a search-and-rescue dog. 
  • What Can We Do to Help Dogs?
    Explore the issues humans pose for dogs and what we can do to solve these problems. Learn about responsible pet ownership, the latest developments in veterinary science, wolf reintroduction to national parks and the fight to save the endangered Ethiopian wolf.


Did you know?

  • Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs - exhibit photo - woman and boy looking at wolf displayThe domestic dog comes in a mind-boggling array of shapes and sizes from the pocket-sized Chihuahua to a 200-pound Saint Bernard.
  • Depending on the job requirements, early breeders bred dogs for speed, stamina, aggression, strength or size. Dogs are also bred for looks and style.
  • Dogs first appear in the fossil record about 40 million years ago.
  • Today, the American Kennel Club recognizes 178 breeds.
  • A dog’s fur may raise as a sign of aggression or excitement, or to trap heat when it is cold, similar to human goose bumps.
  • Dogs have better night vision, the ability to detect motion and a wider field of view than humans. Humans have better color vision and the ability to see details six times greater than dogs.
  • American surgeon Norman Shumway achieved the first successful heart transplant in a dog in 1958.


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