Dogs: Forever at Our sideEdit
Dogs have been with humans for 33,000 years. Dogs (aka canis lupus familiaris) is a member of the Canidae family and the term: "domestic dog" is generally used for both domestic and feral varaites. The dog was the first domestic animals and has been kept as a working, hunting, and pet dog over the years. The word "dog" also refers to the male of the species opposed to the word "bitch" for the female of the species.
Caveman's Best FriendEdit
Dogs have been with us since the very beggining. Dogs love us. They act in tune with our emotions. But before we bonded with dogs, dogs were wolves. (Before they were wolves they were other canids, stretching back more than 40 million years to a weasel-like tree climber that also spawned cats and thier kin as well as hyenas , racoons , and bears )
The first domestic dogs looked much like those half-mutts wandering in packs: dense-furred, golden, with curled tails and perked ears. In a way, you could say that dogs have become less wolf and more woof. Coats varied, tails wagged- early humans must have been delighted at these softer, gentler beasts. As favored traits were bred for, people stretched dogs into myriad shapes and sizes molding their tempers and bodies to gaurd, chase, sniff, flush, point and more
Modern Man's MiracleEdit
Today nearly 400 breeds pull at the end of the human leash. New studies show that their DNA reamins remarkably simlilar- both to wolves and to one another- despite all our meddling. Yet there's no mistaking a dachshund for a Great Dane or a Chihuahua for a chow chow . Intensive selective breeding has drooped ears and tails, molded some heads into squares and pulled others long and sleek, turned tails, molded some heads into squares and pulled others long and sleek, turned coats smooth or coarse, made legs lanky or squat,swapped yaps for barks, even flattned muzzles for that punched- in look. Old- timers include huskies and malamutes , Akitas , Chinese shar-peis , and Salukis . But most breeds have existed for only a few centuries (breed clubs got started in the 1800s, quickly expanding the list.) Regardless, in going from predator to pet, dogs have won. We feed our pups well, brush their coats, scratch their bellies, follow along behind them with pooper scoopers at the ready. We give them toys and resturant treats and sweaters and blankets, and they gaze back at us with smiling eyes and press lolling tounges against our hands. We have walked side by side with dogs since the beggining. And we are better for it.