But DNA studies have implicated east Asia and the Middle East. Now a large DNA study is lining up with the fossils, suggesting dogs originated in Europe some 19,000 to 32,000 years ago. The DNA of modern dogs showed similarities to the genetic material from the ancient European specimens and modern-day European wolves, the researchers reported. The first dogs evolved by associating with hunter-gatherers rather than farmers, since dogs evidently appeared before agriculture did, they said. He said his results suggest a better case for Europe than for east Asia or the Middle East.