Animal Advice and Information
 
Advice and Information About Dogs
 
Dog Products
 
Reigning Cats and Dogs
 
Benefits of Elevated Bowls & Feeders
 
Choosing A Dog Trainer
 
De - Skunk Receipe
 
Dogs and Separation Anxiety
 
Evolution Of The Dog
 
Finding A Lost Pet
 
Pet "Pests", Fleas, Flies, Ticks, etc.
 
Getting A Dog
 
Grooming Your Dog
 
How To Find A Good Dog Breeder
 
Socializing Your New Puppy
 
Summer Fun - Summer Safety
 
Training Older Pets
 
Understanding Your Dog's Chewing Behavior
 


Become A Fan!


 
We Accept:


 
Teaching Your Dog Not To Pull On A Leash
Reigning Cats & Dogs Header

Dog Beds | Dog Bowls | Dog Collars | Dog Toys | Cat Products

Join Reigning Cats & Dogs BLOG for specials, information and helpful tips!

Click on any product thumbnail image to see larger picture


Bookmark Us - Add us to your Favorites


Evolution Of The Dog

Evolution of the Dog

The dog traces its ancestry back to a five-toed, weasellike animal called Miacis, which lived in the Eocene epoch about 40 million years ago. This animal was the forebear of the cat, raccoon, bear, hyena, and civet, as well as of the wolf, fox, jackal, and dog.Miacis, undoubtedly a tree climber, probably also lived in a den. Like all den dwellers, it no doubt left its quarters for toilet functions so that the den would remain clean. The ease of housebreaking a modern dog probably harks back to this instinct. Next in evolutionary line from Miacis was an Oligocene animal called Cynodictis, which somewhat resembled the modern dog. Cynodictis lived about 20 million years ago. Its fifth toe, which would eventually become the dewclaw, showed signs of shortening. Cynodictis had 42 teeth and probably the anal glands that a dog still has. Cynodictis was also developing feet and toes suited for running. The modern civet--a "living fossil"--resembles that ancient animal (see Civet). After a few more intermediate stages the evolution of the dog moved on to the extremely doglike animal called Tomarctus, which lived about 10 million years ago during the late Miocene epoch. Tomarctus probably developed the strong social instincts that still prevail in the dog and most of its close relatives, excluding the fox. The Canidae, the family that includes the true dog and its close relatives, stemmed directly from Tomarctus. Members of the genus Canis--which includes the dog, wolf, and jackal--developed into their present form about a million years ago during the Pleistocene epoch.

 

 

THE PARTNERSHIP OF DOG AND HUMAN

Authorities agree that the dog was the first of man's domesticated animals. How and when this domestication took place, however, remains unknown. A 50,000-year-old cave painting in Europe seems to show a doglike animal hunting with men. But most experts believe the dog was domesticated only within the last 15,000 years. Moreover, fossil remains that would substantiate the presence of dogs with humans have not yet been unearthed for periods earlier than about 10,000 BC. One theory holds that humans took wolf pups back to their camp or cave, reared them, allowed the tame wolves to hunt with them, and later accepted pups of the tame wolves into the family circle. Another theory suggests that dogs were attracted to food scraps dumped as waste near human living sites. As they scavenged and kept the site clean, the dogs rendered a service to the humans. In turn, the humans would accept the presence of the scavengers and would not drive them away. Still other theories maintain that the dog was domesticated to pull sleds and other conveyances bearing the heavy game killed by humans, to provide a ready source of food, or to act as a sacrificial animal for magical or religious purposes.

Studies of primitive human societies still in existence tend to substantiate some of these theories. Whatever the ultimate reason for the domestication of the dog, however, the final submission must have been the consequence of thousands of years of caution and "deliberation" by the dog before it would cast its lot with humans. Also, the dog, itself a hunter, had to suppress its desire to kill the other animals domesticated by humans. Instead, it had to learn to protect them.

Some feral dogs live today; that is, they have returned to the wild state. The dingo of Australia, for example, spends only a portion of its time with humans. When the mating urge seizes it, the dog runs off to the wild. Another, the dhole of India, is reputed to be a fierce, untamable dog.

The partnership between dog and master has long been shown in paintings and other art forms and in writings. Prehistoric paintings done about 15,000 years ago on the walls of Spanish caves show doglike animals accompanying humans on a hunt. Dogs are amply illustrated in the sculptures and pottery of ancient Assyria, Egypt, and Greece. The ancient Egyptians worshiped Anubis as the god of death. Anubis was portrayed with the head of a jackal or a dog. The Egyptians were great lovers of dogs and were responsible for developing many breeds by crossing dogs with jackals, wolves, and foxes.

 

Homer, the Greek author of the 'Odyssey' in the 9th century BC, is believed to be one of the first to write about dogs. They were mentioned often in his classic epic. The ancient Greeks believed that the gates of the underworld were guarded by a savage three-headed dog named Cerberus. The belief might have been derived from the widespread practice in Greece of using watchdogs. The ancient Romans relied on watchdogs, too. So many dogs were kept in the larger Roman cities that any house with a watchdog was required to have a sign warning "Cave Canem" (Beware the Dog). The Romans also used dogs for military purposes, some as attack dogs and some as messengers.

During the 400 years of the Han Dynasty of China, which began in the 3rd century BC, dogs were portrayed in many pieces of pottery. These were effigy pieces that symbolized the burial of favored dogs with their masters. Toy dogs were also popular among the ancient Chinese: the little animals were used to provide warmth when carried in the wide sleeves of their gowns.

Many of the European hound breeds were developed in the Middle Ages, when coursing was popular with the nobility. In coursing, the prey is pursued until exhausted. Then it is killed. Coursing was eventually replaced by fox hunting, which was considered less cruel.

Throughout the years dogs have been bred for many reasons, such as for hunting, for herding, and for guarding. Breed histories and pedigrees, however, were not methodically compiled until the 19th century with the establishment of the first kennel clubs. The world's first dog show took place in Great Britain in 1859. The first all-breeds show in the United States was held in Detroit, Mich., in 1875, although Chicago, Ill. was the site a year earlier of a show exclusively for sporting dogs. In 1884 the AKC was organized in New York City. Today's breeds are a standardization of the desirable traits of the older breeds, especially those characteristics that have proved useful over the centuries. Dog breeders try to perpetuate those traits while maintaining a friendly disposition in a dog, a trait so important for a family pet.

People have been amply repaid for this long partnership and rapport with the dog. Care and love have been exchanged for loyalty, companionship, and fun.

 

Reigning Cats Á Dogs Footer Reigning Cats & Dogs Footer

OUR OSCAR

1996-2009

Home Page - Dog Beds -Customer Photos

Elevated Dog Feeders - Pet Carriers - Dog Coats and Sweaters - Dog Toys - Breed Specific Gifts

 Pet Strollers - Cat Beds - Pet ID Tags - Ceramic Dog Bowls -  Choke Free Dog Harness

Privacy Info: Reigning Cats & Dogs DOES NOT store your name, your email, your friends name, or your friends email in any form. It is ONLY used to generate an email message. YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE AN ORDER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AS SOON AS YOUR ORDER IS PLACED, IF YOU DO NOT IT IS BECAUSE YOUR E MAIL PROGRAM WOULD NOT LET IT THROUGH AND IT IS BOUNCED BACK TO US AT REIGNING CATS & DOGS. IF WE DO NOT HAVE YOUR PERMISSION TO HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR E MAIL WE CANNOT SEND YOU ORDER UPDATES OR SHIPPING INFORMATION.

Subscribe To Our News Letter

* Email
First Name
Last Name
* = Required Field
Email Marketing You Can Trust
 
Reigning Cats & Dogs
107 Shawnee Square Drive
# 241
Shawnee on Delaware, PA. 18356
Business Hours: Seven Days 10-5 Eastern Time
Order Line:
570-369-7531
e mail: reigncatsdogs@msn.com
***
Email Reigning Cats and Dogs
Visit our Partners:

Jim Miller Golf | A Bird's Home | Woodside Gardens