The companionship between man and dog has been strong for many years with proof given in the Bible, Matthew 15:27 " ... but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from the master's table." Egyptians undoubtedly loved their dogs as pictures of hunting scenes with dogs we·re found in the tomb of Amten, in Egypt, dating back to the fourth dynasty, or between 2900 B.C. and 2751 B.C. These dogs were of the sight-hound type.
Prehistoric man also played an important role in the development of the dog. How or when the dog was domesticated is not known. The following theory is offered.
Primitive hunters brought wolf puppies home and tamed them. A species of wolves was bred that was unable to compete with wolves in the wild, and they thus haunted man's campfires and lived on what food was available. The wolf is pack-oriented and thus cooperated with man and recognized him as the pack leader. The early domesticated dogs, being animals of the chase by inheritance from the wolf, joined the ancient hunters in the excitement of the chase. The hunter recognized the value of these animals in obtaining food, and a partnership was gradually formed.
Through the evolution of man came many changes in the dog. Men selected for different traits and developed dogs for different purposes. Thus the many different breeds of today can be traced back to prehistoric times.
Recall, for a moment, some of these differences. Some fight silently, some with great snarling, some slash and tear, while others grab and hang on. Some dogs test the wind for scent, while others run by sight and still others trail by scent on the ground. Certain breeds have a strong sense of protecting property and life, while others have a stronger commitment of gaining a friend.
The American Kennel Club is the largest of the dog-recording organizations in the U n i t e d States. At this time 123 breeds are recognized. More breeds will likely be recognized in the future. These breeds have been placed in six groups according to their purpose. They are: sporting dogs, hounds, working dogs, terriers, toys, and non-sporting. (The United Kennel Club is another registry for dogs which compete in UKC field trials, foxhound trials, night hunts, and water races around the United States.)
Mason N McLary
|Publisher||Washington State University|
|Location of Publication||Pullman, Washington|