by Andrew Garcia
Jul 03, 2023
5 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The Evolution of Dogs into Man’s Best Friends
- Dog Breed Explained
- Popular Dog Breeds
- Why You Should Have a Dog
- To Round Up
Dogs have been called “man’s best friends” for years because of their closeness with humans. People keep dogs at home for different reasons. For instance, some derive comfort and company from their dogs, while others look up to them for protection and security. They are also competent companions for people with disabilities. In this article, we discuss the roles of dogs in their relationships with humans and why these unique pets are always loyal as companions.
The Evolution of Dogs into Man’s Best Friends
Contrary to popular assumptions, dogs do not originate initially from the grey wolf. Modern-day dogs come from a specific wolf species that is yet to be determined by scientists. Another mystery is how humans successfully domesticated dogs from their wild ancestors. Generic research has suggested that the divergence of dogs from their wolf ancestors occurred about 15,000 to 30,000 years ago. However, the domestication of these ferocious creatures that translate to their unwavering loyalty to humans is still another mystery.
According to some scientists, the evolution of wolves into dogs occurred gradually and progressed as the relationship between dogs and humans improved. Another theory suggests that it all started with wolves scavenging for human scraps. The more human parts these wolves got, the more comfortable they were around humans. This led to the general but gradual acceptance of wolves among humans, who then selectively bred them for certain traits of interest. All of these encouraged their domestication and integration into the human world.
Dog Breed Explained
Information from prehistoric times suggests that dog breeding was an intentional action among humans. The earliest dogs came from wolves, with humans selectively breeding them to retain certain physical and mental traits. These traits make dogs ideal for herding, guarding, and hunting. Over the years, dogs have performed different and even more complicated roles, leading to the emergence of certain breeds made for specific purposes.
Selective breeding of dogs has made it possible to develop and retain beneficial physical and behavioral traits over the years. That means we currently have over 190 dog breeds, as compiled by the American Kennel Club. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale also recognized 360 different dog breeds officially.
Popular Dog Breeds
According to the American Kennel Club, there are seven groups of dogs. This grouping is according to the function of each group or breed. We have highlighted each breed and what they offer as a group below:
This breed of dogs was developed to hunt game birds. Therefore, the members are active, energetic and excel as companions for most outdoor activities.
This breed of dog was developed for tracking and hunting game. They tend to have a strong sense of smell for this purpose and are available in different sizes, including large and small hound dogs. They are overall intelligent and loyal pets.
Working group dogs were bred to handle many tasks. These include pulling carts and sleds, search and rescue, and guarding humans. All of these are made possible by their intelligence, loyalty, and quick learning ability.
The terrier group includes dogs that can hunt rodents and other small animals. Therefore, they are aggressive, independent, and energetic. They are also excellent companions for people who are physically active.
You will find small dog breeds in the toy group. These dogs were bred as lap dogs, and they offered great companionship. They are playful and affectionate and are companions for most indoor dwellers.
The non-sporting group comprises different breeds that do not fit into the other groups. The reasons for breeding these groups vary. For some, it is for protection and companionship. For others, it is to have excellent sled dogs. The personalities of these dogs are unique, making them suitable for all households.
As the name suggests, herding dogs utilize their strong instincts to herd livestock. Their intelligence, loyalty, and overall sense of attention make them excellent controllers and managers of animals. They are also wonderful pets for families and individuals who are active outdoors.
Why You Should Have a Dog
The role of dogs in human society dates back several years. Within this period, man’s best friends have evolved in their roles. While their functional roles may have dropped recently, their companionship roles have significantly improved. Dogs are now crucial parts of most households globally, where they offer value as service animals and loving pets. These groups of pets can help with certain tasks or contribute to the general quality of life.
Humans enjoy numerous positive impacts from their interactions with dogs. According to research, most humans who own a dog get many physical and emotional benefits from their pets. These lovely creatures are mood lifters and offer support and comfort, especially when you are stressed. Your canine companion offers more than welcoming you home after a long day at work. Having one in your space opens exercise, socialization, and learning opportunities. They can also improve your sense of purpose and responsibility significantly.
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Dogs offer companionship
Dogs are affectionate and loyal, making them fantastic companions. They are always happy to be in their owners’ presence and ready to offer emotional support. Dogs will take away your loneliness and make you feel better overall. Owning one can be great if you stay alone - it can be your source of companionship and make you feel less isolated.
Dogs help with exercising
Dogs are active animals that require exercising regularly. If you struggle to stay physically active, getting a dog can provide some encouragement to walk, run, and play. You can exercise more with your dog and enjoy some fresh air outdoors. This improves your physical and cardiovascular health. Regular exercise also sharpens you mentally and reduces the risk of health issues like heart disease and obesity.
Dogs help you socialize
You can meet new people and create fresh social connections when you step out with your dog. The topic of dogs is an excellent conversation starter for most people. It is also a great way to break the ice when you are with new people. Another avenue to make new friends is to attend dog-related events where other dog owners are present.
Dogs are stress relievers
Dogs can help humans lower blood pressure and stress levels. When you spend time with your dog, your body releases oxytocin and endorphins. This enables you to stay calm and reduces feelings of anxiety and stress. Your dogs can also offer support and comfort during challenging situations, especially when you are ill or mourning.
Choosing the right dog harness for your furry friends is of great significance.
Dogs can provide security
Owning a dog comes with a sense of safety and security. Their presence deters intruders and keeps you alert to possible dangers. Some dog breeds are specially for protecting homes and their owners. You can train them to notify you of possible dangers like gas leaks and smoke.
Dogs can be a learning opportunity
When you have a dog, you get to learn about responsibility, empathy, and patience by caring for its needs. Children who had a dog in their households while growing up tend to imbibe helpful life skills like caring for others and being responsible for their actions. Tending to a dog is also an avenue to learn - for example, training your dog to obey commands or perform tricks.
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Dogs are excellent service providers
It is common to see dogs trained to perform certain tasks like detecting seizures, offering therapy, or guiding the visually impaired. These are called service dogs, and they can affect their owners’ lives positively in many ways. Some service dogs are sources of support and independence to people with disabilities, making their lives more fulfilling.
To Round Up
Being a dog owner has a wide range of benefits. It encourages physical activity, especially if your dog is the super active type. You can walk your dog regularly to relieve stress and improve your mental health. They are also excellent sources of companionship and purpose. Finally, these loving creatures can create socializing opportunities with new people and other dog owners. With your canine companion by your side, you can create new experiences and explore new places.
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