Dogs, the domestic mammals that we know today, come from the gray wolf. Being a subspecies of the gray wolf, the dog is also considered related to foxes and jackals.
The dog has evolved from the gray wolf into four distinct and unique breeds that exist up until this day today. Their evolution was also greatly dependent on humans as they were the ones who used genetic engineering to breed dogs based on their needs and desires.
If we look back to history, it is evident that dogs have fulfilled several societal roles alongside the human. What is very interesting is that the perception of dogs in different parts of the world varies.
For example, in the western countries, the relationship between dogs and humans is of great importance. This is due to the characteristics that dogs have portrayed throughout the history such as friendliness and loyalty.
Unfortunately, some countries fail to perceive dogs like that and give them little to no value. In fact, some countries solely use dogs as guards or for food. It is more common for western countries to domesticate dogs while protecting them and giving them affection.
Here are some of the most interesting roles that dogs have played throughout history:
In Ancient Egypt, dogs were believed to have god-like characteristics which made them superior to other animals. People who owned dogs and domesticated them were thought to be of a higher class in their community.
In fact, dogs were pampered and spoiled by their owners. If you ever take a look at Ancient Egyptian pictures, you cannot disregard the dog with jewelry and gold. They even had the fanciest food at their service.
Dogs were not only a best friend, but also a protector. Their servants relied heavily on their protection to the extent that they even wanted the dog to protect them in the afterlife. Once a servant passes away, they bury their dog with them.
Hunters and Protectors
Dogs have been such an important aspect of human evolution and human life. They were among the first animals to be domesticated!
In hunter-gatherer societies, dogs were added to the community as a helper in the hunting process and a protector against predators.
The fact that dogs proved to be faster and stronger than humans has given them a lot of value and admiration in such societies. They could also see and hear better which makes them a great fit in a community that relies on hunting and gathering for a living.
Also, around 7,000-9,000 years ago, when people started adding livestock such as goats and sheep to their lives, dogs were part of that too.
They were responsible to protect the herds from danger. In other words, they were herders or guardians.
Companions and Partners
As mentioned before, humans have bred many dogs to serve different societal functions based on the community needs and desires.
For example, it is said that the terrier breeds were found mainly in England to hunt down rodents from farms and granaries. In addition to that, the Chihuahua was a breed that was intended to fulfill the need of companionship. These small dogs are referred to as lapdogs and they are considered small pets for company and play.
The dogs’ roles were not restricted to that. In fact, dogs have become an integral part of the police departments in many countries. You probably often see trained dogs alongside police cops in a crime scene. This is because their sense of smell and sight allows them to be a great resource in such situations.
Also, dogs are now recommended to blind people who require guidance and companionship during their daily life.
Therapists and Healers
Recently, we have been seeing that a lot of awareness is being raised about mental health and wellbeing. Well, dogs are part of that too!
You often see people who resort to their dog for emotional support. In facts, having a pet has proved to improve mental health for many people.
They are bubbles of joy who bring a sense of comfort and serenity to those who enjoy their company!
Dogs have also been used as part of nursing homes and hospitals to motivate patients into healing faster.
The relationships between dogs and humans have existed for a while now. It is very interesting to see how dogs have marked their prints in our live. They protect us, they give us company, and they even have a healing power over us!
We certainly do love dogs. Do you?
Let us know what you think by adding your comments below.