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History of the dog

By 10,000 BC it is believed that dogs had in fact been domesticated and were residing with humans. The remains of a young puppy, lying beside its owner, were found in a grave in Israel. By 5,000 BC dogs were discovered within North America.

So where do dogs actually derive from? This is a question that has been extensively debated, it has been argued that the dog is a descendant of the wolf, during history the wolf’s path would of crossed with mans on several occasions.

The common trait with both hunters and wolves is that they both prefer to hunt in packs. One theory is that a hunting group came upon an abandoned wolf pup and befriended it, the wolf grew in their company and soon man and wolf were working together to hunt just to stay alive.

This would of occurred several times over and any wolf displaying undesirable traits would have been deemed useless to the humans and destroyed; so already selective breeding was being accomplished without even realizing it.

Over time the tamest wolves would have developed certain characteristics in relation to their group of humans, their size, colouring and coat length would have reflected the hunter’s requirements. Eventually the hunters would trade and wolves would be swapped and this is reputedly where the evolution of the domesticated dog began.

After this came the development of varying breeds and the fine-tuning of their particular skills and characteristics.

Labradors were discovered to be ideal candidates for working as assistant dogs due to the breed being so placid and calm; they rarely become stressed, even if their owners do. The Border collie with its perfect ability to herd, its endless energy and its highly strung nature are ideal for working on farms, herding the sheep and working closely with the farmer.

Newfoundland’s make wonderful search and rescue dogs as they have a natural bond with the water, their feet are actually webbed naturally and they have a water resistant coat. They are also very passive dogs, true gentle giants.

German Shepherds make ideal guard dogs, as they possess a natural guarding instinct. So most breeds seem to of discovered their niche in the world, working alongside the humans that helped to domesticate them all those years ago.

If you take a look throughout history the dog has featured largely. Anubis is the name given to a jackal headed god who was connected with the afterlife; he would either be shown as a man with the head of a jackal or in total canine form. Anubis is associated with cemeteries because in ancient Egypt dogs and jackals used to frequent the dessert edge where the dead were buried.

Werewolves are the creatures of legends, a person with the ability to change into a wolf-like man when a full moon is present. There are certain diseases and illnesses that can produce hairy hands and feet. There is even an extremely rare mental disorder called, Clinical Lycanthropy, which has the sufferer genuinely believing that they are or can transform into an animal. Perhaps not changing into a werewolf but nonetheless metamorphosing into sort type of animal.

Ghostly apparitions of dogs are often witnessed. One such event concerns, ‘The Snarly Yow’ or ‘The Black Dog’, it is reputed to haunt the South Mountain, Maryland, USA.
One of the main animals scared of the dog are horses, they often rear up and retreat. The Snarly Yow simply appears in front of its frightened witness and just blocks their route so they could not pass, then as soon as it appears it vanishes. It never inflicts any pain on anyone. Nobody really knows why the dog haunts this particular area but there have been too many sightings to just dismiss the whole story.

Myth also surrounds reported hauntings around the South West of England where it is claimed that if a person were particularly nasty during their lifetime they would return as a dog in their afterlife. They would be doomed to literally walk the earth as a ghost dog.

Whether you choose to believe the stories and legends concerning dogs or not you cannot help but notice that throughout the history of man the loyal and faithful dog has always been there.

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