3 March 2021

A Brief History Of Dogs

By Nicole Walker

Dogs have played a large part in human history, dating back as far as tracking and courting animals. With that said, dogs do have their place in society and many consider them a loyal friend and playmate. The word “dog” does not come from any type of dog breed but instead is derived from the Old English word “Dug.” The domesticated dog is actually a wolf-like animal which is located primarily throughout the globe, excepting North America where it lives in the northern states.

The origin of dogs has been traced to several different genetic strains, though the most common variation found among different breeds is the dog (or Labrador retriever). The dog was domesticated from ancient wolves and survived into the early times of the early settlers in the New World. The history of dogs and their domestication is intertwined with the rise of agriculture across much of Europe and the Middle East. The rise in population caused a significant rise in demand for farm products, which led to more land needed to be devoted to growing crops, resulting in an increase in cattle, sheep and pigs (all of which required more food) and, as these livestock animals grew in numbers, an increase in competition for meat among the various carnivores that lived alongside man.

With this rise in population, there was also an increase in genetic variations among dogs, meaning that some breeds were more prolific than others and were considered less desirable. With this issue in hand, dog breeds were developed and those that proved more docile (or desirable) were created. The more desirable dog breeds became more popular and through the centuries, these dog breeds have been used to serve as assistants to humans in their daily lives. Some dogs even served as watchdogs, as well as companions for the elderly and disabled.