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The history of the dog

From living in the wild to companioning as man’s best friend, the evolution and journey of dogs has quite the history. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and can be found all over the world, but how exactly did they come to be such an integral part of our lives? The fact is that dogs have helped us hunt food and guard our possessions for so long that neither archaeology nor science can quite decide exactly where, when and how we got together in the first place.

A magnificent Czechoslovakian wolf dog
A Czechoslovakian wolf dog - early domesticated breeds would have looked a lot like this.

Where did dogs originate?

The canids - or the family of animals that includes dogs and wolves - first appeared on our planet around six million years ago. And while the actual origin of dogs remains elusive, we do know that dogs are direct descendants of modern grey wolves. Kind of hard to imagine your Chihuahua being related to a wolf, isn’t it? Many experts believe that dogs started separating from their wolf ancestors around 16,000 years ago in Southeastern Asia. It was at this point in their evolution that paleolithic dogs who had shorter snouts and fewer teeth first emerged, making them less threatening to humans than their wolf ancestors. And so man’s best friend was born.

Chihuahuas are a popular dog breed, although difficult to picture them as descents of wolves.
Chihuahuas are a popular dog breed in the United States, although difficult to picture them as descents of wolves.

How did the canine-human bond form?

Archaeological evidence shows us that dogs were living with humans in the Americas as early as 15,000 years ago. It is believed they migrated with humans as hunters and gatherers - essentially, the first animal companions. Because there was no agriculture at this time in history, dogs would have made useful allies in tracking and killing prey and alerting their owners to possible danger by barking. An early domestication theory suggests that as humans began migrating to colder climates, the canine-human bond formed very quickly. Humans relied on dogs to help them spot prey and dogs began to rely on humans for a constant source of shelter, safety and food. Centuries later, that bond has grown to include love and companionship.

Abraham Lincoln and Fido

Did you know the word 'fido' may have originated from the White House? A shorthand word used to describe any dog, fido is one of the most popular dog names on the planet. And it may have all started with Abraham Lincoln. Five years before he became president, Abraham Lincoln named his mixed-breed, light brown, flop-eared dog Fido. Deriving from the Latin meaning “to trust”, President Lincoln chose this name as his dog was every bit the faithful and trustworthy hound of legend. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t have a happy ending. Two years after Lincoln’s assassination, Fido himself was assassinated by a drunk with a knife. While Fido may not have lived forever, his name is still alive and well today!

Omlet dog care

Dogs and humans have a long history together. At Omlet, it is our mission to celebrate those relationships with the products we create. With dog crates that resemble ancestral dog dens, dog beds for your winning dog to rest on and a whole range of essential dog products, we engineer our designs with your dog’s comfort, safety and happiness at the forefront.

Chihuahuas are a popular dog breed in the United States, although difficult to picture them as descents of wolves.
The American Kennel Club has been registering breeds such as this German Shepherd since 1884.

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A breed developed by humans to have a strong will to hunt


Dan, 25 June 2017

Thanks. Very interesting article. Good stuff to share with my daughter. I watched some documentaries and still got a lot of new info here. I just found this website and enjoy it very much...