Both humans and dogs went through more than one period of domestication. In fact at least one scientist-with a bit of tongue -in-cheek- has suggested that dog may have domesticated humans instead of the other way around. Regardless, both humans and dogs have inhabited the earth for about the same length of time and have learned to cooperate for the same commodity–food.
Humans followed dogs to pick up food left behind from a kill. Dogs followed to pick up left-over food that humans dropped after a meal.
The average time in history that scientists put dog’s domestication is around 13,000 B.C. But some are beginning to put dog’s domestication further out, to between 20,000 to 40,000 B.C. If that is so, then humans and dogs were competing for food and shelter at about the same time. Ancestors of the Grey Wolf appear to be the common ancestors of the dog.
Dogs may have domesticated themselves. The wolf packs noticed that human groups left food behind, whenever they packed up and moved to another hunting ground. Humans normally gathered in groups for safety, cover and hunting. The wolf packs stayed in groups for much the same reasons.
An ancient partnership grew between dogs and humans
Neither group seemed to be afraid of the other. In fact, they each appeared to accept the other. The Partnership centered around the human need for help with herding and hunting, and the need for an early warning alarm system. In return, dogs received companionship, protection, shelter, and a reliable food source. It is a partnership that has survived through many centuries and isn’t showing any signs of withering away in the future.
The domestication and migration of dogs occurred in several stages. The earliest domestication was in East Asia- later in the middle east- and finally in Europe. Some ancient dogs may have migrated from central Asia. The reasons for the migrations were much the same for dogs as well as for humans; weather changes and food supply.
Both humans and dogs gathered in tight knit groups. Dogs formed groups and became known as pack animals. Humans gathered in family groups. These two animal species already had much in common. They were hunter-gatherers. Their main food was meat that had to be tracked down and killed.
The dog was, and is a very intelligent animal. Dogs learned quickly that Humans with tools and herding methods, could bring down enough meat for many days. Humans also discovered that dogs could “herd” and surround animals into a small area that made hunting much easier. And so, the bond was made, and continues even now.
Some later studies in dog domestication seem to indicate there was a second domestication much later. In Western Eurasia and Eastern Eurasia, dogs from Asian wolf ancestors combined between 12,000 and 15,000 BC. Later, around 6,000 B.C., these Asian dogs came to Europe with humans and displaced the European dogs.
Man didn’t start developing special breeds until well into modern History. As man became more sophisticated, he wanted more specialized dogs, with special eyes, ears, fur, and a big variety of sizes, and peculiar hair. That is a subject we will take up later.
Dogs partner with humans in law enforcement–and for the disabled
Dogs are very trainable- they are highly intelligent and they want to please their human.. Dogs have been used for the good of mankind for a very long time. As well as being intelligent, they love to work. They never find an excuse to miss a day.
Dogs have been trained to work with visually impaired and those in need of therapeutic assistance. They have been trained to assist police and the military. They work as guard dogs for government and big corporations and anywhere there is a need for defense.
Seeing Eye Dogs
Seeing eye dogs are considered the elite of the canine world. These dogs are trained to give the visually impaired their independence. Common breeds that are selected for training as seeing eye dogs are Labradors, Golden Retrievers and a mix of the two, called Goldadors, and some German Shepherds. Occasionally, other breeds will be brought into the training. Whether they make all the way through or not depends upon the dog’s desire to learn and their stamina.
Guide Dogs of America, the primary training organization for Seeing Eye Dogs, relies solely on donations. Their fundraising efforts bring in enough money to pay for all training plus the dog itself for anyone who qualifies.
Dogs go through rigorous training on their own plus more training with their would be handler.
At about eight weeks the pups are placed with approved puppy foster parents. In foster care, they learn all about normal doggie life with a human.
When the pups turn 18 months old, they are returned to a training establishment, where they learn the skills they will need to be a guide dog. The best suited are divided from the others for extended training. Here they are taught numerous directions that they must learn to handle without becoming distracted. All this training takes about 2 years.
After successfully passing training, these dogs are paired up with a visually impaired person, and both dog and owner go through more intensive training.
These dogs are between three and four years old before they even start their “working” years. The bond between each dog and his/her working companion is extremely close.
The dog’s owner must be willing and able to take care of his /her dog’s needs: food, exercise, visits to the Vet, etc. Visually Impaired persons must register, and may wait for some time, before they are paired with a dog that suits their temperament and needs.
What happens to the dogs that do not make it all the way through training? They have been socialized so well that they make
wonderful family pets and are usually found forever homes.
People who suffer with mental illnesses, PTSD, or physical handicaps, or who live in long term care facilities for the elderly, or facilities for children with special needs, receive much needed comfort and affection from therapy dogs.
These people’s faces, both children and adults, light up with such joy when a therapy dog comes to visit. Therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort and affection. They are not assistance dogs. They
do not perform tasks. They simply comfort anyone who is in need.
Therapy Dogs International evaluates both dog and owner, and trains and registers therapy dogs and their owners.
My granddaughter had a very large, but sweet dog that she took to hospitals and nursing homes for a number of years. She said it was just wonderful to see how much the patients enjoyed their visits. It was well worth the time she spent.
Dogs for Defense and K-9 Corps
Protection dogs are trained in all working dog disciplines. People who get these dogs are members of the military, law enforcement officers, government and large corporation officers. Training is taught at Defense Training facilities or at a special location.
K-9 Corps trains dogs for law enforcement, Detection, Personal protection, Military and private security. Their main focus is; “We strive to improve the human to canine relationship, the cornerstone of effective training. We provide world class protection dogs and police dog training.”
all the rest
Then there are dogs that just get “on the job” training or have certain traits bred into them. Dogs that accompany cow or sheep wranglers are invaluable in cornering wayward cows and sheep and corralling them back into the main herd or cutting a group from the main herd. They learn these tactics from the mother dog and all other things “on the job.”
Dogs have a lot of love to give to their owners. They are also fiercely loyal, even to owners who mistreat them. Dogs are extremely bright and have a lot of energy. That is why dogs, even house pets, must be trained to know what is ok and what is not ok.https://My-Pet-Toys-and-Stuff.com/why-did-we-get-a-dog?
A dog that has not been trained in social manners is unhappy and expresses it in ways that drives his owner crazy. The owner must spend a little time training his dog in what is acceptable and what is not. Consider it as training a small child. With a little social training, you will have a wonderful pet and a loving companion for many years.
There are a number of organizations that I have mentioned in this article. They have been mentioned for those of you that read this article and want to get in touch with the organizations for additional information. I have received NO money, goods or services by mentioning these organizations.
Thanks to these organizations for information for this article.:
Guide Dogs of America–Sylmar, CA Mail@guidedogsofamerica.org
Therapy Dogs International TDI-dog.org In Flanders, N.J.
Dogs for Defense St, Cloud, Minn. Info@dogsfordefense.com
K9–Corps www dogsfordefense.com/K9 report/welcome-to-the-K-9-corp-report
Top Dog Tips-become- a -better- dog- owner -stuff @topdogtips.com
I’m Barbara Nelson and the author of this post. I hope you understand the bond between dog and man. I would love to hear from my readers. Let me know what you think.