Posted Feb 26, 2020 in Fun Dog Stuff
Dogs are a part of our history and have been loyal companions at our sides for centuries. We had our furry friends by our side before we domesticated any other type of animal. While we may not know the exact point in time in which the wolf became the dog, we do have a rough idea of the roles they’ve played in our society throughout history.
At the very start, it shouldn’t be hard to believe that our relationship with canines was a delicate one. A planet covered in glaciers is a harsh environment to live in, but regardless a relationship was built on our joint need for survival.
As time went on, and as early as 33,000 years ago, those relationships turned into lasting bonds. We know through archeological discoveries that many ancient canines were given ritual burials by their beloved human companions. There was even a dog found with a mammoth bone tucked deliberately in his mouth, as if his ancient owners were sending him to the afterlife with one last gigantic treat.
Many homes nowadays are equipped with electronic alarm systems. Yet we know our furry friend would be the first to sniff out trouble before anything triggered an alarm. Canines were known then and still now to be fierce and intelligent watchdogs. A likely reason humans took to dogs so quickly was due to the added protection they felt with them around – sounding the alarm at the first sound or sight of danger.
Earlier on, mammals relied heavily on their sense of smell to collect information, but through evolution (especially for humans), sight became a sense more heavily relied on. Having a four-legged friend by your side, who also happens to have an amazing sniffer, most likely made this transition easier.
When most people think of canines having a role in our past, hunting comes to mind. And rightfully so as complex hunting techniques seem to coincide with the first intentionally domesticated pups. This relationship could be argued as a monumental effect that changed the course of human evolution.
With domesticated dogs, permanent settlements became more realistic as hunting became easier, and security around camp became more reliable. After this stability was reached, we began domesticating other animals, building our agrarian societies. It’s not hard to assume then that the speed and tracking abilities of our furry friends also had an effect on the tools and weapons we crafted. Studies have helped verify this by discovering a 50% increase in hunting success when dogs were added to the mix. Our canine companions, in return, received stable and safe homes, with loving companions, and a steady flow of meals – making their lives more comfortable as well.
Taking a look at dogs today, we see they’ve only continued to become more integrated into our society. Through hard work and training, these intelligent creatures have become service dogs for those with disabilities, worked with law enforcement to discover bombs, drugs, and missing people, able to detect dangerous diseases, and so much more. Our relationship with our four-legged friends has only continued to grow throughout time.
The fact that both us and dogs are social animals by nature was probably a significant attribute to the creation of this lasting relationship, plus the security we were able to provide one another. It’s still hard to wrap your head around the fact that canines have been loyal companions to us for over 30,000 years. A bond that truly is something special.
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