Dogs and Cats
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ALL ABOUT DOGS and CATS   Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
History of the Dog
Grey Wolf
Blackbacked Jackal
Arctic Wolf
Although the origins of today's dog are shrouded in the mysteries of time, archaeological
evidence suggests that dogs had been domesticated as far back as 10,000 BC. Early
remains have been found in present-day Denmark and West Germany.

Very likely, the canine is the result of a mixing of genes from the many different types of
canids,  which is the family of which the dog is a member. Other members include wolves,
coyotes, jackals, dingos and foxes, all of which can interbreed.   There are over 30
different species of canids.  They exist everywhere - from the jungles of South America to
the glaciers of Arctic Canada

Not only do dogs share physical similarities between the skeletal structure of other
canids, many behavioral and instinctive traits we see demonstrated by our domesticated
dogs are typical of the pack hierarchy of canids. Canids are  noted for their intelligence,
strength and adaptability.  .

Stone-aged people tamed dogs to help them track and hunt for food. About eight
thousand years ago, ancient Egyptians raised
Saluki hunting dogs. Saluki is an arabic
word meaning noble one. These dogs are probably the oldest known breed.

Although many
breeds lay claim to being the oldest, it is probably the hound family that
can come closest to this.  Ancient Egyptians domesticated dogs that are closely related to
today's greyhound family (current breeds are the
Pharaoh, Saluki, Ibizan, Basenji and
Afghan). While the Greyhound may be the most elegant member of the hound family,
today's family of hounds include such well known breeds as the
Bloodhound, Beagles,
Bassetts and Dachshund among many others.  Probably the first domesticated use of
dogs, other than hunting, was for herding purposes. Shepherds have used dogs to
assist for millenia.

Eventually, man began to realize dogs could be used to perform other functions in
society.  Selective breeding was used to develop dogs suitable to fulfill these specific
tasks - guarding the village, attack dogs during wars and carrying or hauling goods were
just a few examples. In relationship to their size, dogs can haul prodigious weights as
evidenced by such  breeds as the
American Eskimo dog.

Special dogs are trained today for many tasks to help humans.

As the popularity of dogs as companions developed in the mid 19th century, breeding
became more deliberate with the idea to produce breeds suitable to more specific
purposes. The introduction of breed or
kennel clubs encouraged not only the introduction
of the "pet", they were also primarily responsible for the growth in breeds today
considered show dogs.
Kennel clubs introduced acceptaed breed specific traits and
introduced the idea of groups of dogs, such as sporting group, toy group and working
Pharoah Hound
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Asiatic Wolf
Arctic Fox
Golden Jackal
Fennec Fox
Red Fox Cubs
Bedtime for Beau, Bubba, and Brady
Learn more about canine history through these great books:
Dogs in Antiquity: Anubis
to Cerbrus the Origins of
the Domestic Dog
by Douglas J. Brewer, Terence,
Sir Clark
, Adrian Phillips
Paperback: 120 pages  Publisher:
Aris & Phillips (2002)

Examines archaeological evidence for
the origins of the dog and the
process of domestication in
prehistory.   Lavishly illustrated,  .
The developing story of the
relationship between man and dog
from its origin in remote antiquity
Dogs Through
by Maxwell Riddle
Hardcover: 192 pages   
Publisher: Denlinger's
Publishers, 1987.

Accessibly written for the
non-specialist general
reader, Dogs Through
History is an informative
and fascinating look at the
role of man's best friend
down through the centuries.
The Domestic Dog: Its
Evolution, Behaviour and
Interactions with People
by James Serpell
Paperback: 280 pages  
Publisher: Cambridge University
Press (1995)

An unusually scientific approach to
the natural history of the dog which
examines its evolution, behavior,
and interactions with humans.
Dog-lovers with an interest in
understanding how and why dogs
behave as they do will find this
fascinating reading.
Dogs: A Historical
by Lloyd M. Wendt
Hardcover; 258 pages  
Publisher: Hungry Minds,
Inc. (1996)

This book follows the
history of dog and man
through the Dark Ages of
Europe and the
Renaissance to the present
The Lost History of the
Canine Race: Our
Love Affair With Dogs
by Mary Elizabeth Thurston
Paperback: 301 pages  
Publisher: Avon (1997)

Thurston, an anthropologist,  
believes that dogs are an important
facet in the spiritual and emotional
evolution of humans: They give us a
sense of the other, foster the deep
pleasure of empathy, even serve as
four-footed therapists.
First Friend: A
History of Dogs and
by Katharine M. Rogers
Hardcover:  280 pages
Publisher: St martins Pr

An exploration of the
historical relationship
between humans and dogs  
discussing such topics as
dog-human companionship
in the ancient world, the
canine's roles as a working
animal and beloved pet.
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