Last Updated 15 Feb 2021

History of Dogs

Category Animals, Dog, Hunting, Pets
Words 1104 (4 pages)
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There are hundreds of breeds of dogs all over the world today. These dogs started off as wild animals that were domesticated for the benefit of humans. Purposes for breeding and domesticating dogs have changed since the beginning of the process. However, humankind has always taken advantage of what dogs can do for us. Dogs have been a large part of our lives from the very start. Some of their purposes have changed from more aggressive characteristics in hunting, to more passive behaviors to assist those in need.

As humans have changed and evolved over time, so have our dogs. Early dogs were used for hunting large animals. Cave paintings dating back ten thousand years ago portray dogs helping a hunter take down extremely large animals (Coren 120 picture 2). These dogs were usually tamed wolves that could be used for hunting and protection. These dogs had a pack mentality and were very protective of the other dogs and humans apart of their pack (Coren 120). Later, hunting dogs would still be use, but for different reasons and animals. Later in society, more breeds of dogs were showing up, but for similar purposes.

Breeds of dogs, such as pointers, piels, hounds, and terriers were used for hunting smaller animals. They would hunt for birds, foxes, ducks, deer, and rabbits (Coren 120 picture 9-13). Other breeds were used for service work to assist with jobs at home, transportation, or to help move objects. Many breeds of sheepdogs were used on farms to herd livestock. They were sought out for herding because they lacked a tail. This was “a desirable trait because of a tax structure that defined as taxable livestock anything born with a tail” (Coren 120 picture 14).

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Breeds such as the husky were and still are used in team to pull people and objects across snow-covered grounds. “The dog teams are organized much like a wolf pack, with a leader, or king whose movements coordinate the activities of the other animals” (Coren 120 picture 15). The other dogs on the sled team pay attention to the pack leader and follow that dog. Other, smaller breeds were used to pull small carts with objects such as rags (Coren 120 picture 16). Saint Bernards are extremely large dogs that came from Italy and the Swiss Alps.

These dogs were used in search and rescue mission in the mountains. They were also used as herding dogs, livestock guardians, hunting dogs, and watchdogs (Saint Bernards- History and Information 3). Currently, dogs are still a huge part of our lives. As we have adapted to society and technology advances, so have our purposes for keeping dogs and certain breeds close in our lives. Dogs and dog breeds have also adapted to our everyday needs as they have changed in society. More commonly now, we see dogs as family oriented.

They still assist in safety work and service help, but breeds are now commonly bred for family and show purposes. Commonly German Shepards are used as police dogs. These dogs sniff out drugs and bombs at bus stations, airports, checkpoints, and many other places. The key positive about using sniffing dogs is that it is not considered a search. There does not need to be evidence of drugs or bombs to bring out a sniffing dog. They simply sniff and detect or do not detect illegal objects (Savage). Dogs are also used to help the public through service.

Many breeds that are known to be more docile and passive work with people who have special needs. These may include children, adults, elderly, and people with disabilities. Therapy dogs can be found visiting patients in nursing homes and hospitals to help ease the pain and anxiety for the residents. A study was done to see how therapy dogs affected anxiety levels in patients that needed an MRI. In order to get a clear picture from the test, the patient must be very still. If they are nervous and moving slightly, the picture is not clear.

The study had two groups of people that needed an MRI. One group spent time with a therapy dog beforehand and the others did not. The study showed that “time spent with a dog seemed to substitute for the anti-anxiety medications some patients need to get through and MRI” (HealthDay). Dogs have a calming affect on people and can be used at substitute for drugs in certain situations. Other dogs that are also calmer and more docile have been used for service work. These dogs work with blind and deaf people.

Guide dogs for the blind are ranked as “one of the most useful modern occupation for a working dog” (Serpell 52). Commonly Labradors and golden retrievers are used as guide dogs. Thanks to these dogs, people with disabilities are able to function on their own in society. Most commonly you can find dogs of all different breeds in people’s homes. Although many dogs are used for working purposes, many are also simply house pets. Dogs that are family oriented and friendly with other people and pets are most likely what one would find in a home setting with a dog.

Certain breeds, such as the pug have not been used for anything else other than companion dogs and pets. Another breed, the King Charles piel, has been bred to be loving and gentle. Some characteristics are specifically bred for housedogs and pets (Coren 120 picture 17-18). Dogs that have certain personality traits and physical characteristics have been bred for multiple purposes. Newly, purposes have been for helpful and caring reasons. It has become increasingly popular to breed dogs with strong physical and personality characteristics for show and sport purposes.

Today, dog breeding “in most countries is dominated by the show-ring” (Serpell 61). Exemplary models of dog breeds are bred and trained for sport or show. Dogs in top physical condition compete in dog shows where their bodily skills are shown off in obstacle courses and physical tasks. Other dogs that are in top condition for looks and behavior compete in dog shows where judges pick the best in show for certain categories of dogs. The categories where a dog is picked as the winner include; sporting, hounds, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, and herding (American Kennel Club).

Over time, humans have used dogs in ways that best benefit our lives in the time period. As we have changed and evolved, so have our dogs. From the wildest and newly domesticated, to the simple house pet, dogs have always had a purpose in our lives. We have bred them over time to help us with our everyday needs, and in return they have been loving and loyal companions.

History of Dogs essay

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