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History of dogs as a Human Companions

          History of dogs as a human companion: ABK

Dogs have been human best friends for ages. Have you ever been curious about their friendship with us? Various different kinds of dog breeds can be found all over the world varying from each other in various features and specifications. It is believed that the dog is one of the first specie humans have tamed and our bond of love has a history of 15,000 years.

Origin of dogs

History of dogs as human companions: ABK

(Photo credits:, source: Display, LVR-Landes Museum Bonn, for the exhibition)

History of dogs as human companions: ABK

(Source: Bosinski (2014), book cover, back)

Above is an artist's impression of the couple from Oberkassel

We can say dogs have evolved from wolves and the first dog named Bonn-Oberkassel is an undisputed example of a dog. Bonn-Oberkassel was found buried with a woman and man around 14,220 years ago. It can be said one of the earliest examples of the domestication of dogs.  

How did the dogs become pets?

History of dogs as human companion: ABK

There is a lot of difference of opinion among scientists about the time frame of friendship between humans and dogs. The first set of scientists believes that dogs were first tamed by hunter-gatherers. Whereas others believe that the split of the wolf population into East and West Eurasia domesticated them independently of each other and gave birth to two separate dog populations before going extinct.

This distinct domestication of wolf populations lends credence to the idea that dogs underwent domestication twice. While other dogs accompanied human groups further west to European regions, the dogs that remained in East Eurasia may have been domesticated by Paleolithic humans in Southern China.

The human-canine partnership’s origins

A theory suggests the mutualistic relationship between humans and dogs is thought to have begun when humans migrated into colder Eurasian regions. Just like now, the ancestors of dogs enjoyed the benefits of improved safety, a steady supply of food, and more chances to breed.

A study suggests that humans would have found wolf puppies friendly toward people and later they grew up as hunting companions, tracking and retrieving wounded game as their human packs settled in Europe and Asia during the last Ice Age. These tracking and hunting games immensely benefited dogs by enhancing their sense of smell.    

‘Three dog night' is the most used common phrase which truly indicates dogs being our partners during cold night camps. It is said that during olden times when quilts and covers were not available humans needed dogs to keep them warm and save themselves from freezing. These dogs were part of the family and were also given proper names.   

Dogs during ancient times

 History of dogs as human companion: ABK

Dogs were believed to be protectors and divine during ancient times. They were not just faithful partners to humans but were turned into cultural figures.

History of dogs as human companion: ABK

Tomb of William Courtenay - Archbishop of Canterbury (1381-1396), Canterbury Cathedral. Photo credit David Merrett, Flickr.

Middle east and North America: Dogs were buried with their masters and statues of canines stood guard at crypts.

History of dogs as human companions: ABK

China: The dogs are considered to be gifts from heaven, and amulets were carved and worn for personal protection.

History of dogs as human companion: ABK

Medieval English Alabaster Tomb Sculpture of a Hound Dog Seated on a Carved Mail Ground. Courtesy of Finch & Co Antiquities.

Ancient Sumerian and Ancient Egypt: Dogs were considered companions of the Gods and dog collars and pendants were found. Amulets of dogs were carried as protection and their clay figurine were also buried under in building before construction.

History of dogs as human companion: ABK

(Image courtesy:

Ancient Greece: They invented spiked collars to protect dogs from getting attacked. The ancient Greek school of philosophy Cynicism derives its name from Kunikos, which means ‘dog-like’ in Greek. They also distinguished the dogs into types which could be found through their writings and art.

Ancient Romans: Aside from that, Ancient Roman law mentions dogs as guardians of the home and flock, and it favoured dogs over other pets like cats.

Different dog breeds and their development

While the majority of the dog varieties that exist now were already well-established by the Roman era, distinct dog breeds don't appear to have been discovered until 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. It makes sense that the oldest dogs were probably working dogs who used to guard, herd, and hunt. Dogs have been crossed to increase their strength, speed, and senses including hearing and sight.

Dogs and humans today

Even now, dogs and humans continue to have a special affinity. Dogs have evolved, as they usually do, to fit the unique demands of humans and play an essential part in society. Here are some of the most widespread uses for dogs in modern society:

(Image courtesy:

During World War I, German Shepherds were frequently employed as messenger and ambulance dogs. Dogs were mass-trained to act as guides for the veterans when mustard gas caused thousands of soldiers to return home blind. Veterans' guide dog programs quickly became popular in the US.

For decades, assistance dogs have shown that canines are useful for more than just hunting and property protection. In a Paris hospital for the blind, dogs first underwent training in the 1750s to serve as guides for the blind.

Dogs also help humans to relieve stress and provide loving companionship and emotional comfort to people with mental disabilities, stress, post-traumatic disorder, depression, and anxiety.  

Dogs help police departments all throughout the world. They assist in finding evidence at crime scenes, locating missing people, and hunting for explosives and drugs. They are referred to as "K9" dogs.

Dogs trained for search and rescue have frequently been utilized in large casualty incidents like the September 11 attacks. Dogs trained to track human scent can identify and pursue individuals who are lost or running even in snow and water.

Crossbreeding of dogs

Humans have crossbred dogs for better purposes it became quite popular in the 20th century when Poodle was crossed with other purebred dogs.  There is an amazing crossbreed that originated in Australia in the 1970s was developed to assist disabled people who are allergic to dander the breed was named Labradoodle, bred from a Labrador and a Poodle. Designer dogs can come from a wide range of purebred parents and are typically kept as pets and friends. Breeds are frequently crossed to produce puppies with the best traits of both of their parents. The offspring are frequently referred to as portmanteaux of the breed names of the parents; the Shepsky, for example, is a mix between the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky.

Dogs have undoubtedly advanced from scavenging in the vicinity of early human communities, and researchers from all around the world continue to thoroughly examine the natural history of dogs.

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