The dog, or domestic dog, is actually a domesticated ancestor of the wolf, shaped by an upwards-pointing muzzle. The earliest known dog came from an extinct, long-extinct wolf, the only living member of its genus. Domesticated dogs have been around since ancient Egyptian times, and they were used as mounts for mules, making them an important part of Egyptian royalty. Throughout the middle ages, the French called dogs “bastards”, because they often fought with humans and other animals, especially with sheep. In Germany, the word “dog” meant man, while in England the word “dock” meant boat.
Domestic dogs were generally used as herders and hunters, although they were occasionally used to retrieve lost prey. They were most frequently used by humans as watchdogs, as their ability to sense danger was unmatched among any animal. The word “hound” actually meant “a dog of chase”. In general, the more highly evolved the dog, the less likely that it would attack another human being on sight, since it was usually used as protection. In general, wolves and dogs worked well together as watchdogs.
A separate, more domestic group of dogs was first recognized by the French naturalist Charles Darwin in 1838. He called these canines “canis lupus familiaris”. From this group of canines, the modern-day English Staffordshire Terrier and the Doberman Pincher are members. Throughout history, different breeds of dogs have been domesticated for various reasons. Ancient peoples loved dogs for their assistance in hunting, as they could track their quarry, listen to them, and attack and kill only when necessary.
Later, because people needed dogs for protection, the domesticated dogs became valued more as companions and family members. Over time, the animal-assisted therapy theory developed, wherein the domesticated dog would be recreated or molded to meet a human’s needs. Today, there is an extensive variety of dog breeds, each with its own special characteristic, personality, or breed standard. Because dogs interact so intimately with their human companions, they naturally form an enduring human-dog relationship.
Canines have helped mankind survive for as long as humans have existed. Through history, we have managed to find ways to develop strong and unwavering bonds with dogs. Through understanding, we have been able to better care for them, build stronger relationships with them, and improve their quality of life.
Wolves are some of the most popular canines used for research. Wolves, like otherCanine species, have been domesticated, but not to serve as pets or show animals. Although wolves are commonly used by scientists studying other animals, the value of domesticated wolves as study animals has been under debate since the 1970s.
If you’re looking for a long-term companion or an animal to protect your home or property, a domestic dog may be a great choice. These creatures have been domesticated for just as long as humans have, and they have contributed significantly to our culture and way of life. A new pet can be just as rewarding as an elderly pet, and you can make great lifelong friends with any number of breeds. Your next decision about getting a dog will likely be based on what you already know about these incredible animals, as well as what you’d like in a companion.